Tackling three of Frege's problems: Edmund Husserl on sets and manifolds [Book Review]

Axiomathes 13 (1):79-104 (2002)
Abstract
Edmund Husserl was one of the very first to experience the direct impact of challenging problems in set theory and his phenomenology first began to take shape while he was struggling to solve such problems. Here I study three difficulties associated with Frege's use of sets that Husserl explicitly addressed: reference to non-existent, impossible, imaginary objects; the introduction of extensions; and 'Russell's paradox'.I do so within the context of Husserl's struggle to overcome the shortcomings of set theory and to develop his own theory of manifolds. I define certain issues involved and discuss how Husserl's theory of manifolds might confront them. In so doing I hope to help bring Husserl's theories about sets and manifolds out of the realm of abstract theorizing and prompt further exploration of uncharted philosophical territory rich in philosophical implications.
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