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One of the greatest revolutions in mathematics occurred when Georg Cantor (1845-1918) promulgated his theory of transfinite sets. This revolution is the subject of Joseph Dauben's important studythe most thorough yet writtenof the philosopher and mathematician who was once called a "corrupter of youth" for an innovation that is now a vital component of elementary school curricula. Set theory has been widely adopted in mathematics and philosophy, but the controversy surrounding it at the turn of the century remains of great interest. Cantor's own faith in his theory was partly theological. His religious beliefs led him to expect paradoxes in any concept of the infinite, and he always retained his belief in the utter veracity of transfinite set theory. Later in his life, he was troubled by recurring attacks of severe depression. Dauben shows that these played an integral part in his understanding and defense of set theory.
DIVBeginning with perspectives on the finite universe and classes and Aristotelian logic, the author examines permutations, combinations, and infinite cardinalities; numbering the continuum; Cantor's transfinite paradise; axiomatic set theory, and more. /div
Philosophen und Mathematiker hat das Nachsinnen über das Wesen des Unendlichen buchstäblich den Verstand geraubt – und dennoch ist es ein Konzept, das immer wieder unser Leben bestimmt. In diesem mit Anekdoten und Geschichten gespickten Buch nimmt uns Brian Clegg mit auf eine Reise durch das Grenzland zwischen dem extrem Großen und dem Ultimativen, von Archimedes, der die Zahl der Sandkörner bestimmte, die das Universum füllen würden, bis zu den neuesten Theorien über die physikalische Realität des Unendlichen.

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