Archives du mot-clé Cantor

Husserl, Cantor, Hilbert : la grande crise des fondements

Three thinkers of the 19th century revolutionized the science of logic, mathematics, and philosophy. Edmund Husserl (1859-1938), mathematician and a disciple of Karl Weierstrass, made an immense contribution to the theory of human thought. The paper offers a complex analysis of Husserl’s mathematical writings covering calculus of variations, differential geometry, and theory of numbers which laid the ground for his later phenomenological breakthrough. Georg Cantor (1845-1818), the creator of set theory, was a mathematician who changed the mathematical thinking per se. By analyzing the philosophy of set theory this paper shows how was it possible (by introducing into mathematics what philosophers call ‘the subject’). Set theory happened to be the most radical answer to the crisis of foundations. David Hilbert (1862-1943), facing the same foundational crisis, came up with his axiomatic method, indeed a minimalist program whose roots can be traced back to Descartes and Cauchy. Bringing together these three key authors, the paper is the first attempt to analyze how the united efforts of philosophy and mathematics helped to dissolve the epistemological crisis of the 19th century.
Keywords: Set theory, number, axiomatization, geometry, function, infinity.