Article ID: CBB000931166

The Influence of Spinoza's Concept of Infinity on Cantor's Set Theory (2009)


Georg Cantor, the founder of set theory, cared much about a philosophical foundation for his theory of infinite numbers. To that end, he studied intensively the works of Baruch de Spinoza. In the paper, we survey the influence of Spinozean thoughts onto Cantor's; we discuss Spinoza's philosophy of infinity, as it is contained in his Ethics; and we attempt to draw a parallel between Spinoza's and Cantor's ontologies. Our conclusion is that the study of Spinoza provides deepening insights into Cantor's philosophical theory, whilst Cantor can not be called a `Spinozist' in any stricter sense of that word.

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Authors & Contributors
Ferreirós, José
Dauben, Joseph Warren
Grattan-Guinness, Ivor
Aczel, Amir D.
Bandmann, Hans
Cantor, Georg
Historia Mathematica
British Journal for the History of Philosophy
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Circumscribere: International Journal for the History of Science
Llull: Revista de la Sociedad Española de Historia de las Ciencias y de las Técnicas
Monist: An International Quarterly Journal of General Philosophical Inquiry
Princeton University Press
Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina
Four Walls Eight Windows
Oxford University Press
Set theory
Philosophy of mathematics
Philosophy of science
Cantor, Georg Ferdinand Ludwig
Gödel, Kurt
Hilbert, David
Russell, Bertrand Arthur William
Crescas, Hasdaï ben Abraham
Dedekind, Richard
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
14th century
15th century
17th century
20th century

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