Constructive Versus Ontological Construals of Cantorian Ordinals

History and Philosophy of Logic 24 (1):45-63 (2003)

Abstract

In a recent paper, Kit Fine offers a reconstruction of Cantor's theory of ordinals. It avoids certain mentalistic overtones in it through both a non-standard ontology and a non-standard notion of abstraction. I argue that this reconstruction misses an essential constructive and computational content of Cantor's theory, which I in turn reconstruct using Martin-Löf's theory of types. Throughout, I emphasize Kantian themes in Cantor's epistemology, and I also argue, as against Michael Hallett's interpretation, for the need for a constructive understanding of Cantorian ?existence principles?

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Wolfram Hinzen
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

References found in this work

Critique of Pure Reason.I. Kant - 1787/1998 - Philosophy 59 (230):555-557.
The Seas of Language.Michael Dummett - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
Reasoning with Arbitrary Objects.Kit Fine - 1985 - Oxford and New York: Blackwell.

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