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Dedekind, Julius Wilhelm Richard (1831–1916)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-Y072-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved March 01, 2021, from

Article Summary

Dedekind is known chiefly, among philosophers, for contributions to the foundations of the arithmetic of the real and the natural numbers. These made available for the first time a systematic and explicit way, starting from very general notions (which Dedekind himself regarded as belonging to logic), to ground the differential and integral calculus without appeal to geometric ‘intuition’. This work also forms a pioneering contribution to set theory (further advanced in Dedekind’s correspondence with Georg Cantor) and to the general notion of a ‘mathematical structure’.

Dedekind’s foundational work had a close connection with his advancement of substantive mathematical knowledge, particularly in the theories of algebraic numbers and algebraic functions. His achievements in these fields make him one of the greatest mathematicians of the nineteenth century.

Citing this article:
Stein, Howard. Dedekind, Julius Wilhelm Richard (1831–1916), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-Y072-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2021 Routledge.

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