In Search of Infinity

Springer Science & Business Media
Free sample

The concept of infinity is one of the most important, and at the same time, one of the most mysterious concepts of science. Already in antiquity many philosophers and mathematicians pondered over its contradictory nature. In mathematics, the contradictions connected with infinity intensified after the creation, at the end of the 19th century, of the theory of infinite sets and the subsequent discovery, soon after, of paradoxes in this theory. At the time, many scientists ignored the paradoxes and used set theory extensively in their work, while others subjected set-theoretic methods in mathematics to harsh criticism. The debate intensified when a group of French mathematicians, who wrote under the pseudonym of Nicolas Bourbaki, tried to erect the whole edifice of mathematics on the single notion of a set. Some mathematicians greeted this attempt enthusiastically while others regarded it as an unnecessary formalization, an attempt to tear mathematics away from life-giving practical applications that sustain it. These differences notwithstanding, Bourbaki has had a significant influence on the evolution of mathematics in the twentieth century. In this book we try to tell the reader how the idea of the infinite arose and developed in physics and in mathematics, how the theory of infinite sets was constructed, what paradoxes it has led to, what significant efforts have been made to eliminate the resulting contradictions, and what routes scientists are trying to find that would provide a way out of the many difficulties.
Read more
Collapse
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Springer Science & Business Media
Read more
Collapse
Published on
Jun 29, 2013
Read more
Collapse
Pages
146
Read more
Collapse
ISBN
9781461208372
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Best For
Read more
Collapse
Language
English
Read more
Collapse
Genres
Mathematics / Algebra / Abstract
Mathematics / Algebra / General
Mathematics / Applied
Mathematics / General
Mathematics / History & Philosophy
Mathematics / Logic
Science / Astronomy
Science / Physics / Astrophysics
Science / Physics / Mathematical & Computational
Read more
Collapse
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Collapse

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
The chief purpose of the book is to present, in detail, a compilation of proofs of the Cantor-Bernstein Theorem (CBT) published through the years since the 1870's. Over thirty such proofs are surveyed.

The book comprises five parts. In the first part the discussion covers the role of CBT and related notions in the writings of Cantor and Dedekind. New views are presented, especially regarding the general proof of CBT obtained by Cantor, his proof of the Comparability Theorem, the ruptures in the Cantor-Dedekind correspondence and the origin of Dedekind's proof of CBT.

The second part covers the first CBT proofs published (1896-1901). The works of the following mathematicians is considered in detail: Schröder, Bernstein, Bore, Schoenflies and Zermelo. Here a subtheme of the book is launched; it concerns the research project following Bernstein's Division Theorem (BDT).

In its third part the book covers proofs that emerged during the period when the logicist movement was developed (1902-1912). It covers the works of Russell and Whitehead, Jourdain, Harward, Poincaré, J. König, D. König (his results in graph theory), Peano, Zermelo, Korselt. Also Hausdorff's paradox is discussed linking it to BDT.

In the fourth part of the book are discussed the developments of CBT and BDT (including the inequality-BDT) in the hands of the mathematicians of the Polish School of Logic, including Sierpiński, Banach, Tarski, Lindenbaum, Kuratowski, Sikorski, Knaster, the British Whittaker, and Reichbach.

Finally, in the fifth part, the main discussion concentrates on the attempts to port CBT to intuitionist mathematics (with results by Brouwer, Myhill, van Dalen and Troelstra) and to Category Theory (by Trnková and Koubek).

The second purpose of the book is to develop a methodology for the comparison of proofs. The core idea of this methodology is that a proof can be described by two descriptors, called gestalt and metaphor. It is by comparison of their descriptors that the comparison of proofs is obtained. The process by which proof descriptors are extracted from a proof is named 'proof-processing', and it is conjectured that mathematicians perform proof-processing habitually, in the study of proofs.
Labyrinth of Thought discusses the emergence and development of set theory and the set-theoretic approach to mathematics during the period 1850-1940. Rather than focusing on the pivotal figure of Georg Cantor, it analyzes his work and the emergence of transfinite set theory within the broader context of the rise of modern mathematics. The text has a tripartite structure. Part 1, The Emergence of Sets within Mathematics, surveys the initial motivations for a mathematical notion of a set within several branches of the discipline (geometry, algebra, algebraic number theory, real and complex analysis), emphasizing the role played by Riemann in fostering acceptance of the set-theoretic approach. In Part 2, Entering the Labyrinth, attention turns to the earliest theories of sets, their evolution, and their reception by the mathematical community; prominent are the epoch-making contributions of Cantor and Dedekind, and the complex interactions between them. Part 3, In Search of an Axiom System, studies the four-decade period from the discovery of set-theoretic paradoxes to Gödel’s independence results, an era during which set theory gradually became assimilated into mainstream mathematics; particular attention is given to the interactions between axiomatic set theory and modern systems of formal logic, especially the interplay between set theory and type theory. A new Epilogue for this second edition offers further reflections on the foundations of set theory, including the "dichotomy conception" and the well-known iterative conception.
©2019 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.