Turing and Wittgenstein on Logic and Mathematics


November 6th, 2017

@ 6:15 pm - 8:00 pm

The Bloomsbury Institute, 50 Bedford Square

London WC1B 3DP


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About the Speaker
Speaker Bibliography
About the Reporter

About the Speaker

Ray Monk FRSL  is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southampton, where he has taught since 1992.

He won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the 1991 Duff Cooper Prize for his biography of Wittgenstein, Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius. His interests lie in the philosophy of mathematics, the history of analytic philosophy, and philosophical aspects of biographical writing. His biography of Robert Oppenheimer was published in 2012.

In 2015 he was awarded a Fellowship by the Royal Society of Literature


SELECTED Bibliography


In this lecture I want to discuss the relations, personal and intellectual, between Alan Turing and Ludwig Wittgenstein, concentrating in particular on their exchange during Wittgenstein’s lectures in 1939. In recent times, the person who has written at greatest length on this topic is the philosopher Juliet Floyd, but, in my view, what is especially interesting in the exchanges between Turing and Wittgenstein, namely their very divergent ways of looking at mathematics and logic, is in danger of being obscured by Floyd’s determination to stress the similarities between the two. In contrast, my lecture will highlight the profound and fundamental differences between them and thus try to get better in focus the issues at stake in this fascinating clash between two of the greatest figures in the history of twentieth century thought.


Available after the event.

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