Studies in the Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics
Phenomenological Ideas in the Philosophy of Mathematics. From Husserl to Gödel (co-author: Thomas Bedürftig)
Phenomenological Ideas in the Philosophy of Mathematics. From Husserl to Gödel
Co-authored by Thomas Bedürftig
Husserl came in a certain sense from mathematics.He began his studies of mathematics at the universities of Leipzig and Berlin with Carl Weierstraß and Leopold Kronecker. In 1881 he moved to Vienna where he studied with Leo Königsberger and in 1883 obtained his doctor’s degree on the base of the dissertation Beiträge zur Variationsrechnung. Strongly impressed by the lectures of Franz Brentano (1838–1917) on psychology and philosophy which he attended at the University of Vienna, he decided after the doctorate to dedicate his life to philosophy. In 1886 he went to the University of Halle to obtain his Habilitation with Carl Stumpf, a former student of Brentano. The Habilitationsschrift was entitled Über den Begriff der Zahl. Psychologische Analysen. This 64-page work was later expanded into a book (of five times the length), which was one of Husserl’s major works: Philosophie der Arithmetik. Psychologische und logische Untersuchungen (Husserl 1891, cf. also Husserl 1970, 2003).
Working as Privatdozent at the University of Halle, Husserl came into contact with mathematicians:Georg Cantor, the founder of set theory and Hermann Grassmann’s son, also Hermann. The former, with whom he had long philosophical conversations when they were teaching together in Halle in the 1890s, told him about Bernard Bolzano. In fact, Husserl was perhaps the first philosopher outside Bohemia to be influenced significantly by Bolzano (cf. Grattan-Guinness 2000). Later, as a professor of the University in Göttingen, Husserl had contact with David...
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