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Abstraction and Idealization in Edmund Husserl and Georg Cantor Prior to 1895

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Little is known of Edmund Husserl's direct encounter with Georg Cantor's ideas on Platonic idealism and the abstraction of number concepts during the late 19th century, when Husserl's philosophical orientation changed considerably and definitely. Closely analyzing and comparing the two men's writings during that important time in their intellectual careers, I describe the crucial shift in Husserl's views on psychologism and metaphysical idealism as it relates to Cantor's philosophy of arithmetic. I thus establish connections between their ideas which have been until now been virtually unsuspected and contribute to a better understanding of the development of Husserl's thought and of the philosophical and metaphysical ideas within which Cantor chose to frame his theories.

Document Type: Case Report

Publication date: July 1, 2004


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