Home
Department of Philosophy
Talk

Tim Grasshöfer (TU Dortmund): "Wittgenstein on Irrational and Complex Numbers"

The aim of this talk is to shed light on the few remarks of Wittgenstein on complex numbers and place them amid his more general framework of genuine numbers.

Main content

Wittgenstein devoted enormous amounts of his lifetime to the philosophy of mathematics. In particular, one highly controversial topic is still in the focus of current Wittgenstein scholars, namely his unorthodox take on irrational numbers. Starting from this, and given the expansion of numbers to complex numbers, it naturally begs the question whether Wittgenstein had similar remarks on the status of complex numbers. The aim of this paper is to shed light on the few remarks of Wittgenstein on complex numbers and place them amid his more general framework of genuine numbers. Lastly this framework is placed in between a Revisionist and Quietist interpretation of Wittgenstein.