more from George Cantor

Single Idea 14199

[catalogued under 4. Formal Logic / F. Set Theory ST / 5. Conceptions of Set / b. Combinatorial sets]

Full Idea

Cantor's definition of a set was a collection of its members into a whole, but within a few years Dedekind had the idea of a set as a container, enclosing its members like a sack.

Gist of Idea

Cantor's sets were just collections, but Dedekind's were containers


report of George Cantor (works [1880]) by Oliver,A/Smiley,T - What are Sets and What are they For? Intro

Book Reference

'Metaphysics (Philosophical Perspectives 20)', ed/tr. Hawthorne,John [Blackwell 2006], p.123

A Reaction

As the article goes on to show, these two view don't seem significantly different until you start to ask about the status of the null set and of singletons. I intuitively vote for Dedekind. Set theory is the study of brackets.