L.E.J. Brouwer – Topologist, Intuitionist, Philosopher

How Mathematics Is Rooted in Life

  • Dirk van Dalen

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XII
  2. Dirk van Dalen
    Pages 1-37
  3. Dirk van Dalen
    Pages 39-76
  4. Dirk van Dalen
    Pages 77-117
  5. Dirk van Dalen
    Pages 119-148
  6. Dirk van Dalen
    Pages 149-192
  7. Dirk van Dalen
    Pages 193-229
  8. Dirk van Dalen
    Pages 231-277
  9. Dirk van Dalen
    Pages 279-325
  10. Dirk van Dalen
    Pages 327-356
  11. Dirk van Dalen
    Pages 357-394
  12. Dirk van Dalen
    Pages 395-434
  13. Dirk van Dalen
    Pages 435-490
  14. Dirk van Dalen
    Pages 491-525
  15. Dirk van Dalen
    Pages 527-601
  16. Dirk van Dalen
    Pages 603-662
  17. Dirk van Dalen
    Pages 663-700
  18. Dirk van Dalen
    Pages 701-781
  19. Dirk van Dalen
    Pages 783-832
  20. Back Matter
    Pages 833-875

About this book


Dirk van Dalen’s biography studies the fascinating life of the famous Dutch mathematician and philosopher Luitzen Egbertus Jan Brouwer.

Brouwer belonged to a special class of genius; complex and often controversial and gifted with a deep intuition, he had an unparalleled access to the secrets and intricacies of mathematics.
Most mathematicians remember L.E.J. Brouwer from his scientific breakthroughs in the young subject of topology and for the famous Brouwer fixed point theorem. Brouwer’s main interest, however, was in the foundation of mathematics which led him to introduce, and then consolidate, constructive methods under the name ‘intuitionism’. This made him one of the main protagonists in the ‘foundation crisis’ of mathematics.

As a confirmed internationalist, he also got entangled in the interbellum struggle for the ending of the boycott of German and Austrian scientists. This time during the twentieth century was turbulent; nationalist resentment and friction between formalism and intuitionism led to the Mathematische Annalen conflict ('The war of the frogs and the mice'). It was here that Brouwer played a pivotal role.

The present biography is an updated revision of the earlier two volume biography in one single book. It appeals to mathematicians and anybody interested in the history of mathematics in the first half of the twentieth century.


Biography Brouwer Grundlagenstreit History of mathematics Intuitionism Topology

Authors and affiliations

  • Dirk van Dalen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUtrecht UniversityUtrechtNetherlands

Bibliographic information