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Topic:
Skepticism, mysticism, Jewish mathematics
Replies:
115
Last Post:
Aug 7, 2006 1:30 AM




Re: Skepticism, mysticism, Jewish mathematics
Posted:
Jul 30, 2006 5:58 PM


In article <1154289964.749323.306020@m73g2000cwd.googlegroups.com>, Han.deBruijn@DTO.TUDelft.NL wrote:
> david petry wrote: > > > Also, Cantor's mathematical ideas were very strongly influenced by his > > religious beliefs, and those were mystical beliefs, and he grew up in a > > Jewish environment. That amounts to suggestive evidence that Kabbalah > > has influenced mathematics. > > Affirmative: > > http://pirate.shu.edu/~wachsmut/ira/history/cantor.html > > Quote: > > Georg Ferdinand Ludwig Philipp Cantor was born in St. Petersburg, > Russia, on March 3, 1845. Georg's background was very diverse. > His father was a Danish _Jewish merchant_ that had converted to > Protestantism while his mother was a Danish Roman Catholic. > > Underline by me: _Jewish merchant_. I think the "merchant" is equally > important as the "Jewish". Perhaps the "Jewish" has lead to Cantor's > preoccupation with the infinite, but the "merchant" has lead Cantor to > his believe that the whole world is a set and nothing but a set. Read > "The Political Economy of Sets": > > http://groups.google.nl/group/sci.math/msg/19e5174536f49c32?hl=en& > > Han de Bruijn
The opening paragraph of that shows considerable ignorance of the actual history of mathematics (and misrepresenting History is a sin for a Marxist, no?) 
> Virtually any kind of Modern Math is based upon Set Theory. Despite > the fact that ST suffered from (Russell's) paradoxes from the very > beginning. This would have assassinated any other kind of > mathematical theory. It is remarkable that Set Theory survived its > shortcomings in the first place. Big surprise; it even became the > foundation "par exellance" whereupon Modern Mathematics is based.
Consider that calculus too started out as a halfbaked theory laden with paradoxes, and that one of the great mathematical achievements was to put it on a rigourous footing. And indeed, set theory was one of the important tools in that enterprise.



