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Zermelo, Ernst (1871–1953)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-Y086-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved May 22, 2024, from

Article Summary

The German mathematician Ernst Zermelo is today best known for his axiomatization of set theory (1908b), presented in the spirit of Hilbert’s early axiomatic programme. Originally working in the calculus of variations and mathematical physics, Zermelo concentrated on set theory after proving that every set can be well-ordered (1904). His proof, based on the axiom of choice, provoked a lively controversy. In the 1930s Zermelo worked on infinitary logic, trying to overcome Gödel’s incompleteness results.

Citing this article:
Peckhaus, Volker. Zermelo, Ernst (1871–1953), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-Y086-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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