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A set is a Many that allows itself to be thought of as a One.
Georg Cantor
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The essence of mathematics lies entirely in its freedom.
Georg Cantor
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Had Mittag-Leffler had his way, I should have to wait until the year 1984, which to me seemed too great a demand!
Georg Cantor
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That from the outset they expect or even impose all the properties of finite numbers upon the numbers in question, while on the other hand the infinite numbers, if they are to be considered in any form at all, must (in their contrast to the finite numbers) constitute an entirely new kind of number, whose nature is entirely dependent upon the nature of things and is an object of research, but not of our arbitrariness or prejudices.
Georg Cantor
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Mathematics, in the development of its ideas, has only to take account of the immanent reality of its concepts and has absolutely no obligation to examine their transient reality.
Georg Cantor
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As for the mathematical infinite, to the extent that it has found a justified application in science and contributed to is usefulness, it seems to me that it has hitherto appeared principally in the role of a variable quantity, which either grows beyond all bounds or diminishes to any desired minuteness, but always remains finite. I call this the improper infinite [das Uneigentlich-unendliche].
Georg Cantor
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The old and oft-repeated proposition "Totum est majus sua parte" [the whole is larger than the part] may be applied without proof only in the case of entities that are based upon whole and part; then and only then is it an undeniable consequence of the concepts "totum" and "pars". Unfortunately, however, this "axiom" is used innumerably often without any basis and in neglect of the necessary distinction between "reality" and "quantity", on the one hand, and "number" and "set", on the other, precisely in the sense in which it is generally false.
Georg Cantor
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The fear of infinity is a form of myopia that destroys the possibility of seeing the actual infinite, even though it in its highest form has created and sustains us, and in its secondary transfinite forms occurs all around us and even inhabits our minds.
Georg Cantor
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What I assert and believe to have demonstrated in this and earlier works is that following the finite there is a transfinite (which one could also call the supra-finite), that is an unbounded ascending ladder of definite modes, which by their nature are not finite but infinite, but which just like the finite can be determined by well-defined and distinguishable numbers.
Georg Cantor
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My theory stands as firm as a rock; every arrow directed against it will return quickly to its archer. How do I know this? Because I have studied it from all sides for many years; because I have examined all objections which have ever been made against the infinite numbers; and above all because I have followed its roots, so to speak, to the first infallible cause of all created things.
Georg Cantor
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Mathematics is in its development entirely free and is only bound in the self-evident respect that its concepts must both be consistent with each other, and also stand in exact relationships, ordered by definitions, to those concepts which have previously been introduced and are already at hand and established. In particular, in the introduction of new numbers, it is only obligated to give definitions of them which will bestow such a determinacy and, in certain circumstances, such a relationship to the other numbers that they can in any given instance be precisely distinguished. As soon as a number satisfies all these conditions, it can and must be regarded in mathematics as existent and real.
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If there is some determinate succession of defined whole real numbers, among which there exists no greatest, on the basis of this second principle of generation a new number is obtained which is regarded as the limit of those numbers, i. e. is defined as the next greater number than all of them.
Georg Cantor
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The actual infinite arises in three contexts: first when it is realized in the most complete form, in a fully independent otherworldly being, in Deo, where I call it the Absolute Infinite or simply Absolute; second when it occurs in the contingent, created world; third when the mind grasps it in abstracto as a mathematical magnitude, number or order type.
Georg Cantor
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The pure mathematician knows that pure mathematics has an end in itself which is more allied with philosophy.
Georg Cantor
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Every transfinite consistent multiplicity, that is, every transfinite set, must have a definite aleph as its cardinal number.
Georg Cantor
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This view [of the infinite], which I consider to be the sole correct one, is held by only a few. While possibly I am the very first in history to take this position so explicitly, with all of its logical consequences, I know for sure that I shall not be the last!
Georg Cantor
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In order for there to be a variable quantity in some mathematical study, the domain of its variability must strictly speaking be known beforehand through a definition. However, this domain cannot itself be something variable, since otherwise each fixed support for the study would collapse. Thus this domain is a definite, actually infinite set of values. Hence each potential infinite, if it is rigorously applicable mathematically, presupposes an actual infinite.
Georg Cantor
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Mathematics is perfectly free in its development and is subject only to the obvious consideration, that its concepts must be free from contradictions in themselves, as well as definitely and orderly related by means of definitions to the previously existing and established concepts.
Georg Cantor
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Infinity, in its first form (the improper-infinite) presents itself as a variable finite [veranderliches Endliches]; in the other form (which I call the proper infinite [Eigentlich-unendliche]) it appears as a thoroughly determinate [bestimmtes] infinite.
Georg Cantor
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In mathematics the art of asking questions is more valuable than solving problems.
Georg Cantor
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Quote of the day
In the abstract conception of universal wrong, all concrete responsibility vanishes.
Theodor W. Adorno
Georg Cantor
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Born:
March 3, 1845
Died:
January 6, 1918
(aged 72)
Bio:
Georg Ferdinand Ludwig Philipp Cantor was a German mathematician. He invented set theory, which has become a fundamental theory in mathematics.
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