From Kant to Hilbert Volume 1: A Source Book in the by William Bragg Ewald

By William Bragg Ewald

Immanuel Kant's Critique of natural cause is greatly taken to be the place to begin of the trendy interval of arithmetic whereas David Hilbert was once the final nice mainstream mathematician to pursue very important 19th century rules. This two-volume paintings offers an summary of this crucial period of mathematical study via a gently selected collection of articles. they supply an perception into the rules of every of the most branches of arithmetic - algebra, geometry, quantity conception, research, good judgment, and set concept - with narratives to teach how they're associated. vintage works by way of Bolzano, Riemann, Hamilton, Dedekind, and Poincare are reproduced in trustworthy translations and plenty of choices from writers akin to Gauss, Cantor, Kronecker, and Zermelo are right here translated for the 1st time. the gathering is a useful resource for an individual wishing to achieve an figuring out of the root of recent arithmetic.

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This project was pursued during the first two-thirds of the nineteenth century by such mathematicians as Gauss, Bolzano, Cauchy, Abel, Fourier, Riemann, and Weierstrass. Their investigations into the foundations of real analysis in turn inspired the later studies by Dedekind, Cantor, Frege, Peano, Peirce, Russell, and Hilbert of set-theory, logic, and the foundations of arithmetic. Berkeley's Analyst prefigures this entire development, and his philosophicallymotivated criticisms of the Newtonian mathematics of the eighteenth century raise many issues that will loom large in the selections that follow.

X 341a. But the 1/10000 of a mile being somewhat they think the 1/10000 of the inch is somewhat, w" they think of y' they imagine they think on this. x 351. We need not strain our Imaginations to conceive such little things. Bigger may do as well for intesimals since the integer must be an infinite. x 352. Evident y' wch has an infinite number of parts must be infinite. x 353. Qu: whether extension be resoluble into points id (sicj does not consist of. x 354. Axiom. No reasoning about things whereof we have no idea.

And as the former owes its generality, not to its being the sign of an abstract or general line, but of all particular right lines that may possibly exist, so the latter must be thought to derive its generality from the same cause, namely, the various particular lines which it indifferently denotes. 13 To give the reader a yet clearer view of the nature of abstract ideas, and the uses they are thought necessary to, I shall add one more passage out of the Essay on Human Understanding, which is as follows.

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