MARXISM & MATH: VAN HEIJENOORT ON ENGELS

Ralph Dumain rdumain at igc.apc.org
Mon Apr 10 00:37:04 MDT 1995


MARXISM AND MATHEMATICS - 3

I believe the following is the book that contains the essay I
mentioned on Engels and mathematics:

  Van Heijenoort, Jean, 1912-
    Selected essays / Jean van Heijenoort.  Napoli : Bibliopolis;
  Atlantic Highlands, N.J. : Distributed in the U.S.A. by
  Humanities Press, c1985.
    Series title:  History of logic ; 3.

If anyone intends to look it up (I don't believe I ever did),
please let me know.

Van Heijenoort was Trotsky's bodyguard.  Under various pseudonyms
(eg. Gerland) he took part in some intra-party debates over
dialectical logic.  (Trotsky and George Novack initiated an
orthodoxy whose embarrassing ineptitude carries down to the
present day.)  In 1948 he gave up politics and launched a
reknowned career in mathematical logic.  One of his parting shots
at Marxism was an essay (unpublished until this book came out)
criticizing Engels for a failure to understand the mathematics of
his time.



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