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Original Invitation

Invitation to Participate

Philosophy and Mathematics in the Work of Bernard Bolzano, Prague 2010

I am pleased to invite you to participate in a meeting to celebrate the 200th anniversary next year of the publication of Bolzano’s work Beyträge zu einer begründeteren Darstellung der Mathematik.

The meeting will be held from Thursday 15th April to Sunday 18th April 2010 in Prague. We are pleased to acknowledge welcome from the Ősterreichisches Kulturforum in Prague which will be the venue for our sessions.

The main theme is the relationship between philosophy and mathematics as developed, not only in the Beyträge ..., but in the whole corpus of Bolzano’s works. Where appropriate this development may extend to include the influence of Bolzano’s work, direct or indirect, on the work of subsequent thinkers.

Participation is by invitation (by this email) and may take the form of papers to be presented (20 minutes or 40 minutes including discussion) or simply engaging with the discussions in whatever way you choose.

As a provisional programme for our talks and discussions on the two full days of Friday and Saturday I anticipate something like the following. Friday morning to be on the context of Bolzano’s study and work (e.g. Kästner, Wolff, Lambert, Leibniz, Kant etc), Friday afternoon on themes or issues arising from the Beyträge itself, Saturday to be papers primarily based on work before or after the Beyträge. I expect we shall have some introductory session Thursday evening and I hope on Sunday we might have a visit to the substantial Bolzano museum now established at Techobuz – or else some other appropriate visit.

We have some offers of papers already so it promises to be a lively and enjoyable meeting. Please let me know as soon as you can whether you anticipate attending, whether you would like to offer a contribution in a 20 minute or a 40 minute slot, and some indication of your likely topic.

The meeting depends on your interest and commitment.

You can see the email addresses of other invitees in the ‘To: ‘ field of this email. [Of course, this does not apply to those invited after the first mailing.]

If there are others you think should be invited please let me know their names and email addresses.

This will be an informal meeting with a minimum of administration. There will be no registration fee and no funds to support participants (whether speaking or not), unless possibly for research students. Any publication plans would be made much nearer the time when the programme is much clearer.

I am very grateful to the following who are acting as an informal programme committee and aiding and abetting me in this venture: Jan Berg (Munich), Edgar Morscher (Salzburg), Paul Rusnock (Ottowa), Jan Sebestik (Paris) and Peter Simons (Dublin). With no registration fee and a small number of invitees we depend, in order to secure the meeting, on your commitment to attend. Please let me know as soon as you can about this and I’ll mail everyone again as soon this number of commitments has risen to a reasonable level (about 15). I think it is five at the moment!

[Update 1st October: we now have well over 20 committed participants, so the meeting is definitely going ahead! Many thanks for very much support.]

I shall mail later with more information on accommodation possibilities and programme details. Meanwhile do not hesitate to mail me with questions, comments or suggestions.

Steve Russ

Warwick 7th September 2009