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/Archive1 - Discussion May 2, 2009
/Archive2 - Relativity Discussion May7, 2009
ARCHIVED: May 7, 2009 Editing session Hilbert/Physics/Relativity with Jwy, Salix, Wvbailey, Pie are round, concluded with the revision of a paragraph under category "Physics" concerning Einstein, Hilbert, and the 1915 development of the field equations of General Relativity. --Pie are round (talk) 18:51, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Hilbert in the 1930's
- That has been suggested before, but I've never seen any sources of it. Do you have a good source? (John User:Jwy talk) 17:14, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- See Constance Reid's biography, mentioned in the "Secondary Literature". —Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 10:14, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
- There was a plebiscite in Germany on the 19/8/1934. A pro-Hitler declaration appeared in a German paper,
- made by German scientists, on the previous day. Unfortunately, I have no access to copies of German newspapers, going back to
- 18/8/1934.See http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0505235 Hilbert is not mentioned as being one of those refusing to make a
- pro-Hitler declaration.
I agree, that the link does not work directly. Search arxiv.org for "Ivan Todorov" and you might find his paper on Heisenberg. A PDF is involved, which might account for the difficulty. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 13:59, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
- Sorry, but WERNER HEISENBERG mentions Hilbert directly only as Courant's colleague. I couldn't see any indirect mention, although I may not have read closely enough. Since it appears to be a notable exception when a professor avoided the Hitler salute, I suspect Hilbert participated in that - but that is as notable as saying he kept his job. But thanks for pointing to that site. A lot of good information there. (John User:Jwy talk) 18:06, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
See "Hilbert" by Constance Reid, published by Springer-Verlag, in 1996. On page 207 it says, "An election was scheduled for August with the alternatives, yes or no. The day before the election, the newspapers carried a proclamation announcing that Hitler had the support of German science. The list of signatures included the name of Hilbert. Whether Hilbert actually signed the proclamation is not known." —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 12:13, 13 July 2009 (UTC) I think the same passage appeared in the 1970 edition of the biography of Hilbert. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 12:18, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
- An uncertain signature among a long list that did not reflect (as it indicates later in the paragraph) his apparent core beliefs does not, in my opinion, warrant mention here unless the context is made very clear - which would take some careful research and writing. There is no sign that he was an active supporter of the Nazis. That someone in Germany didn't resist openly is not really notable. Resistance seems to have been rather limiting in many ways - and he did complain about the loss of his Jewish colleagues. (John User:Jwy talk) 19:06, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Hilbert was often accused of being a *** by the Nazis, because of his name "David". He seems to acquired the name from Lutheran ancestors, who often used Hebrew names. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 08:18, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Hilbert's alleged anger
Numerous wiki pages are assorted with an allegation that Hilbert got angry when he heard of Goedel's work. The main source for this seems to be the somewhat sensationalistic biography by Reed. Such an allegation is not very informative, and I suggest we delete it thoughout. It is particularly irrelevant in the context of the debate against Brouwer, and gives the impression of a gleeful editor siding with Brouwer propagating this information throughout Hilbert-related pages. Tkuvho (talk) 12:33, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
- There is a little bit of research on Hilbert's reactions here. 126.96.36.199 (talk) 03:57, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
- Indeed, the discussion there reveals that the only source for the alleged anger is Reed's personal recollection of a conversionation with... Bernays. Reed's sensationalistic dramatisations have no respectable source and should be deleted. Please log in and you agree we can delete this unreliable material. Tkuvho (talk) 04:05, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
http://people.math.jussieu.fr/~harris/theology.pdf tell a somewhat different version of the "theology" story. Parking it here for now. I'll add something about it to the article unless someone gets to it before I do (please feel free). 188.8.131.52 (talk) 08:07, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
- Is COLIN MCLARTY's piece published? Why does it appear in pdf form at Harris's page? What's the relation between Harris and McLarty? If this has been published, it is yet another "dramatic" distortion of history perpetrated by Reed and Eric Temple Bell. This should certainly be clarified. Tkuvho (talk) 04:17, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
- The article will appear in the book "Circles disturbed: the interplay of Mathematics and Narrative", edited by Apostolos Doxiadis and Barry Mazur, Princeton University Press, 2011. Harris was at the meeting where I presented the paper, and he put up the pdf because the book is not out yet. It is based on comments by Hilbert, and Felix Klein and others close to the event. You could especially look at Gerhard Frei editor, "Der Briefwechsel David Hilbert Felix Klein (1886--1918)", Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Goettingen, 1985.
Strange gender issue in the introduction??
"the first of two children and only son of Otto and Maria Therese (Erdtmann) Hilbert"
OK what is that supposed to be? Why is it significant that the second child was a female, is it that the Hilberts only had one 'good one'? Ridiculous sentence. 184.108.40.206 (talk) 21:27, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
- Dunno, making the change. A13ean (talk) 21:37, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
- I assume someone paraphrased a very old biography without thinking about it. a13ean (talk) 16:50, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
I've removed one of the references for Hilbert's atheism as the quote appears to be a response to Kroenecker's "God invented integers" approach, not a statement of Hilbert's more general religious stance - and is a primary source. The remaining reference is a bit dubious. Most of the references in it are from Wikipedia and there is no reference for the atheism statement. If it were "famously atheist," we should be able to find a better reference. --John (User:Jwy/talk) 19:07, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
- The two references just added have the same issue. They discuss Hilbert's refusal to include God in his discussion of mathematics (and geometry), but do not indicate he did not believe in God. --John (User:Jwy/talk) 20:16, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
I think 4 citations more than suffice to make the claim that Hilbert was an atheist. These citations are created by academics from universities, not some random user making questionable claims. You could send an email to these academics to ask for clarification to these articles as you wish. I posted links to these citations in order for skeptics to look at these citations for themselves. Anyway, a person does not have to deny the existence of God in order to become an atheist. Just because a person doesn't explicitly states that he/she is an atheist does not mean he/she is not an atheist. American physicist, Steven Weinberg states this comment about scientists who don't call themselves atheists: "Most scientists I know don't care enough about religion even to call themselves atheists.". This statement can be also applied to mathematicians as well. Hilbert, as a mathematician, was known to be against intuitionism of any kind and demanded rigorous proofs for any claims whatsoever. (Read the wiki article, Brouwer–Hilbert controversy for more details.) Whether in terms of mathematics or theology. Here is one example, "Also, when someone blamed Galileo for not standing up for his convictions Hilbert became quite irate and said, “But he was not an idiot. Only an idiot could believe that scientific truth needs martyrdom; that may be necessary in religion, but scientific results prove themselves in due time." - David Hilbert. Anton Z. Capri, Quips, quotes, and quanta: an anecdotal history of physics (2007), page 135. If a person does not have proof of any kind to their claims, it does not make any sense to believe in it. This is what most atheists' stance is in terms of theology. For example, Richard Dawkins himself, has said before that he was an agnostic. World's most notorious atheist Richard Dawkins admits he is in fact agnostic. Daily Mail.co.uk However, that does not rule out the fact that he stills considered himself to be an atheist. Just because a person is unsure about the existence of God, doesn't forbid the person to not believe in him as well. For example, I'm unsure about the existence of the Tooth fairy, however, due to lack of any evidence for this entity, I don't tend to believe in it. If there is evidence (or proof) of a statement or claim, a scientist may be more likely to believe in it. Ninmacer20 (talk) 20:27, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
- Only one of the four quotes you list indicate explicitly that Hilbert was an atheist. The statement needs to be more explicit in the sources. I could argue against the conclusions you derive from them, but since since the conclusions are not explicit in the source, they are original research and should not be included here.
Alright, I made a mistake by labeling him an atheist considering two of those sources are considered "original research". After finding an another source and based on his other statements, I think it's safest to say that he was an agnostic. I'll leave it as that. Ninmacer20 (talk) 02:03, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
Hilbert's Son's Mental Illness
I would like to know more about Hilbert's son's mental "illness." It sounds like his son was mentally handicapped which I don't think is considered mental illness.
The whole phrasing and description seems imprecise and awkward and I think could be improved if more information is available.