The Motives behind Cantor's Set Theory – Physical, Biological, and Philosophical Questions

@article{Ferreirs2004TheMB,
  title={The Motives behind Cantor's Set Theory – Physical, Biological, and Philosophical Questions},
  author={Jos{\'e} Ferreir{\'o}s},
  journal={Science in Context},
  year={2004},
  volume={17},
  pages={49 - 83}
}
The celebrated “creation” of transfinite set theory by Georg Cantor has been studied in detail by historians of mathematics. However, it has generally been overlooked that his research program cannot be adequately explained as an outgrowth of the mainstream mathematics of his day. We review the main extra-mathematical motivations behind Cantor's very novel research, giving particular attention to a key contribution, the Grundlagen (Foundations of a general theory of sets) of 1883, where those… 

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