Robert van Heumen Composer Improvisor Laptop-Instrumentalist Sound-Designer
Software Developer
play (music player)

« Previous post | Back to Recent posts | Next post »

Van Atten on Brouwer

It's been too long, and there's much to tell, but I'll keep it short, as I'm in a reading mood.

Specifically: Mark van Atten's little book 'On Brouwer'. Just opened it, and scanning through some parts I already like it a lot. He finds ways to explain Brouwer that make me smile. Although I've read quite a lot about Brouwer, Van Atten manages to reformulate for example the notion of the choice sequence in a way that is very visual. This little booklet is very recommendable for both people looking for an introduction to Brouwer as well as those trying to find ways to explain Brouwer to others and finding that very hard to do.

I'd like to mention two quotes. The first one by Leibnitz (around 1689):
'There are two labyrinths of the human mind, one concerning the composition of the continuum, and the other one concerning the nature of freedom, and they arise from the same source, infinity.'
(The continuum for example as the straight line of real numbers, or 'the bridge' between 0 and 1, as opposed to a single discrete point.)

I get all kinds of visions when reading this, from the continuum as the jump between two buildings, to flying (and its heavy connotation with freedom), and composing music as bridging the gap between now and then, two moments in time.

Another quote, from Brouwer:
'In intuitionistic mathematics a mathematical entity is not necessarily predeterminate, and may, in its state of free growth, at some time acquire a property which it did not posess before. '

You can buy 'On Brouwer' online - not very expensive, and obligatory for those interested in philosophy, mathematics and music ;)

Heumo out.