David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophia Mathematica 2 (1):5-15 (1994)
For 20th century mathematicians, the role of Cantor's sets has been that of the ideally featureless canvases on which all needed algebraic and geometrical structures can be painted. (Certain passages in Cantor's writings refer to this role.) Clearly, the resulting contradication, 'the points of such sets are distinc yet indistinguishable', should not lead to inconsistency. Indeed, the productive nature of this dialectic is made explicit by a method fruitful in other parts of mathematics (see 'Adjointness in Foundations', Dialectia 1969). This role of Cantor's theory is compared with the role of Galois theory in algebraic geometry.
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