About this book
Wittgenstein's remarks on mathematics have not received the recogni tion they deserve; they have for the most part been either ignored, or dismissed as unworthy of the author of the Tractatus and the I nvestiga tions. This is unfortunate, I believe, and not at all fair, for these remarks are not only enjoyable reading, as even the harshest critics have con ceded, but also a rich and genuine source of insight into the nature of mathematics. It is perhaps the fact that they are more suggestive than systematic which has put so many people off; there is nothing here of formal derivation and very little attempt even at sustained and organized argumentation. The remarks are fragmentary and often obscure, if one does not recognize the point at which they are directed. Nevertheless, there is much here that is good, and even a fairly system atic and coherent account of mathematics. What I have tried to do in the following pages is to reconstruct the system behind the often rather disconnected commentary, and to show that when the theory emerges, most of the harsh criticism which has been directed against these re marks is seen to be without foundation. This is meant to be a sym pathetic account of Wittgenstein's views on mathematics, and I hope that it will at least contribute to a further reading and reassessment of his contributions to the philosophy of mathematics.
Ludwig Wittgenstein Plato philosophy of mathematics