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Cantor, Georg (1845–1918)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-Y074-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved June 10, 2023, from

Article Summary

Georg Cantor and set theory belong forever together. Although Dedekind had already introduced the concept of a set and naïve set theory in 1872, it was Cantor who single-handedly created transfinite set theory as a new branch of mathematics. In a series of papers written between 1874 and 1885, he developed the fundamental concepts of abstract set theory and proved the most important of its theorems. Although today set theory is accepted by the majority of scientists as an autonomous branch of mathematics, and perhaps the most fundamental, this was not always the case. Indeed, when Cantor set out to develop his conception of sets and to argue for its acceptance, he initiated an inquiry into the infinite which raised questions that have still not been completely resolved today.

Citing this article:
Majer, Ulrich. Cantor, Georg (1845–1918), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-Y074-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2023 Routledge.

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