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Towards a biography of Georg Cantor

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The great influence of Georg Cantor's theory of sets and transfinite arithmetic has led to a considerable interest in his life. It is well known that he had a remarkable and unusual personality, and that he suffered from attacks of mental illness; but the ‘popular' account of his life is richer in falsehood and distortion than in factual content. This paper attempts to correct these misrepresentations by drawing on a wide variety of manuscript sources concerning Cantor's life and career, including the texts of some important documents. An appendix describes the most important collection of missing manuscripts, whose location would help further the preparation of a biographical study of Cantor.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Enfield College of Technology, Enfield, Middlesex, England

Publication date: December 1, 1971

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