à Paris

I’m in Paris (or I was in Paris till this morning). And what better place than Paris to read Sartre to see if there’s more than a play of words in the name of this blog? But that’s not the real reason I’m in Paris. My daughter is going to study French in Paris, and as the start of her course coincided with my journey to the US, we went there together on Monday. I left for Minneapolis Thursday morning.

So I brought my Swedish edition of “L’existentialisme est un humanisme”. I’ve just read the introduction and some pages into the text. It is of course written in a context (just after the end of WW2) and for reasons that are very remote from mathematics. But there may be a little bit more than a play with words.
In the Introduction to the translation, it is stated that Sartre had a principle not to “finish his thinking” – in his philosophy he found that what was unfinished was the most developable. That thought could be transferred to science and to mathematics. Science is never finished and neither is mathematics – contrary to a common conception of mathematics as topic that is closed.

Anyway, I may write a little more on Sartre later. Today I dropped down in Minneapolis and drove to Northfield where I had booked myself into a motel. I will use the weekend to get organized and get accustomed to the new time zone. First college visit starts on Monday with Beloit College.

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