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THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY OF
TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
GBOBG CANTOR (18461918)
u
nnsu
'"
'
" '"
jf
~.^.^>...^^AW^.*^>'"**~ **"" '
1
1
.n.i.l
nr
P

<t
W
CONTRIBUTIONS TO
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY OF
TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
HY
GEORG CANTOR
TRANSLATED, AND PROVIDED WITH AN INTRODUCTION
AND NOTES, UY
PHILIP
E. B.
JOURDAIN
M. A. (CANTAB.)
'I
1OCT1954
NEW YOKK
DOVER PUBLICATIONS,
INC.
/
IV)
Unabridged and unaltered reprint
of the English translation first published
in
1915
<
DOVER PUBLICATIONS,
INC.
Printed and bound in the United States of America
PREFACE
THIS volume contains a translation of the two very
important memoirs of Georg Cantor on transfinite
numbers which appeared in the Mathematische
Annalen for 1895 an d 1897* under the title:
,
"Beitra^e zur Begrimdurig der transfiniten Mengenlehre."
It
seems to me
that,
memoirs
since these
are chiefly occupied with the investigation of the
various transfinite cardinal and ordinal numbers and
not with investigations belonging to. what is usually
described as ".the theory of aggregates" or "the
"
theory of sets (Mengenlehre thtorie des ensembles),
the elements, of the sets being real or complex
,
1
numbers wliich are imaged as 'geometrical f points "
one or more dimensions, the title given
to tnem in this translation is more suitable.
These memoirs arethe final and logically purified
'
in space of
statement of
many
the long series of
of the most, important results of
memoirs begun by Cantor
in 1 870.
necessary, if we are to appreciate the
full import of Cantor's work on transfinite numbers,
to have thought through and to bear in mind Cantoris
It is, I think,
earlier researches
It
was
on the theory of pointaggregates.
that the need for the
in these researches
* Vol.
xlvi, 1895, PP 481512
V
;
vol. xlix, 1897, pp.
207246.
PREFACE
vi
transfinite
numbers
first
showed
itself,
and
it is
only
the study of these researches that the majority
of us can annihilate the feeling of arbitrariness and
by
even
insecurity
numbers.
about
Furthermore,
these
the
introduction of
it is
also necessary to trace
the
backwards, especially through Weierstrass,
course of those researches which led to Cantor's
I have, then, prefixed an Introduction tracing
the growth of parts of the theory of functions during
the nineteenth century, and dealing, in some detail,
work.
with the fundamental work of Weierstrass and others,
and with the work of Cantor from 1870 to 1895.
Some notes at the end contain a short account of the
developments of the theory of transfinite numbers
^ n these notes and in the Introduction
since 1897.
have been greatly helped by the information that
Professor Cantor gave me in the course of a long
correspondence on the theory of aggregates which
I
we
on many years ago.
philosophical revolution brought about by
Cantor's work was even greater, perhaps, than the
carried
The
With few exceptions, mathematicians joyfully accepted, built upon, scrutinized,
and perfected the foundations of Cantor's undying
but very many philosophers combated it.
theory
This seems to have been because very few under
mathematical one.
j
stood
it.
I
hope that
the subject better
mathematicians.
The
three
mathematics
this
known
men whose
book may help
to
make
to both philosophers
and
influence on modern pure
and indirectly modern logic and the
PREFACE
vii
philosophy which abuts on it is most marked are
Karl Weierstrass, Richard Dedekincl, and Georg
A great part of Dedekind's work has deCantor.
veloped along a direction parallel to the work of
Cantor, and it is instructive to compare with Cantor's
work Dedekind's Stetigkeit und irrational?. Zahlen
and Was sind und was sollsn die Zahlen ?> of which
excellent English translations have been issued
the publishers of the present book. *
There
is
by
a French translation f of these memoirs of
is no English translation of them.
Cantor's, but there
For kind permission to make the translation, I
indebted to Messrs B, G. Teubner of Leipzig
and Berlin, the publishers of the Mathematische
am
Annalcn.
PHILIP
*
Essays on the Theory of Numbers
E.
B.
JOURDA1N.
Continuity and Irrational
Numbers II, The Naiure and Meaning of Nuwberx\ translated by
W. W. Benian, Chicago, 1901. I shall refer to this as JSssaps on
(I,
1
',
Number,
t
By
F.
Marotte,
trans/inis, Paris, 1899,
Sur
les fonttemettts de la
throne
ties
ensembles
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE
PREFACE
v
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ix
INTRODUCTION
i
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
ARTICLE
I.
ARTICLE
II.
(1895)
(1897)
......
85
137
NOTES
202
INDEX
209
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE
FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
INTRODUCTION
I
back to any single man the
origin of those conceptions with which pure mathematical analysis has been chiefly occupied during
IF
it
is
safe to trace
the nineteenth century and up to the present time,
we must, I think, trace it back to Jean Baptiste
Fourier was first and
Joseph Fourier (17681830).
foremost a physicist, and he expressed very definitely his view that mathematics only justifies itself
by the help it gives towards the solution of physical
problems, and yet the light that was thrown on the
'
congeneral conception of a function and its
tinuity," of the "convergence" of infinite series,
'
and of an
began to shine as a result
and bold treatment of the
integral, first
of Fourier's
original
problems of the conduction of heat.
This
it
was
that gave the impetus to the formation and development of the theories of functions.
The broad
minded
physicist
will
approve
of
this
refining
INTRODUCTION
2
development of the mathematical methods which
arise from physical conceptions when he reflects
mathematics is a wonderfully powerful and
economically contrived means of dealing logically
and conveniently with an immense complex of data,
that
and that we cannot be sure of the logical soundness
of our methods and results until we make everyThe pure mathething about them quite definite.
matician knows that pure mathematics has an end
in itself which is more allied with philosophy.
But
,
not to justify pure mathematics here
we
have only to point out its origin in physical conBut we have also pointed out that
ceptions.
physics can justify even the most modern developments of pure mathematics,
we have
:
.
II
During the nineteenth century, the two great
branches of the theory of functions developed and
The rigorous foundation of
gradually separated.
the results of Fourier on trigonometrical series,
which was given by Dirichlet, brought forward as
subjects of investigation the general conception of a
(onevalued) function of a real variable and the (in
particular, trigonometrical)
On
development of functions.
Cauchy was gradually led to
recognize the importance of what was subsequently
seen to be the more special conception of function of
the other hand,
a complex variable and, to a great extent independently of Cauchy, Weierstrass built up his theory of
;
analytic functions of
complex
variables.
INTRODUCTION
3
These tendencies of both Cauchy and Dirichlet
combined to influence Riemann his work on the
theory of functions of a complex variable carried on
and greatly developed the work of Cauchy, while
the intention of his " Habilitationsschrift " of 1854
;
was
to generalize as far as possible Dirichlet's partial
solution of the problem of the development of a
function
of
a
real
variable
in
a
trigonometrical
series.
Both these
sides of Riemann's activity left a deep,
impression on
In a memoir of 1870,
Hankel.
Hankel attempted to exhibit the theory of functions
of a real variable as leading, of necessity, to the
restrictions and extensions from which we start in
Riemann's theory of functions of a complex variable
and yet Hankel's researches entitle him to be called
;
the founder of the independent theory of functions
of a real variable.
At about the same time, Heine
initiated,
"
under the direct influence of Riemann's
Habilitationsschrift," a
new
series of investigations
on trigonometrical series,
Finally, soon after this, we
find Georg Cantor
both studying Hankel's memoir and applying to
theorems on the uniqueness of trigonometrical de
velopments those conceptions of
his
on irrational
numbers and the ''derivatives" of point aggregates
or numberaggregates which developed from the
rigorous treatment of such fundamental questions
given by Weierstrass at Berlin in the introduction to
on analytic functions. The theory of
pointaggregates soon became an independent theory
his lectures
INTRODUCTION
4
of great importance, and finally, in 1882, Cantor's
"
transfinite numbers
were defined independently
' '
of the aggregates in connexion with which they
appeared in mathematics.
first
Ill
* of the
investigations
eighteenth century on
the problem of vibrating cords led to a controversy
The
for the following reasons.
D'Alembert maintained
that the arbitrary functions in his general integral
of the partial differential equation to which this
problem led were restricted to have certain pro
them to the analytically
representable functions then known, and which would
prevent their course being completely arbitrary at
perties which assimilate
every point.
Euler, on the. other hand, argued for
the admission of certain of these "arbitrary"
functions
into
analysis.
produced a solution
in
Then
Daniel
the form
of
an
Bernoulli
infinite
and
claimed, on certain
physical grounds, that this solution was as general
As Euler pointed out, this was so
as d'Alembert's.
trigonometrical
series,
if any arbitrary f function
able in a series of the form
only
<fr(x)
were develop
*
Cf. the references given in my papers in the Archiv der Mathematik
Physik, 3rd series, vol. x, 1906, pp. 255256, and fst's, vol. i,
Much of this Introduction is taken from ray
1914, pp. 670677.
"
account of The Development of the Theory of Transfinite Numbers "
in the abovementioned Archiv 3rd series, vol. x, pp. 254281 ;
vol. xiv, 1909, pp. 289311; vol. xvi, 1910, pp. 2143; vol. xxii,
1913, pp. l2i.
f The arbitrary functions chiefly considered in this connexion by
Euler were what he called "discontinuous" functions. This word
does not mean what we now mean (after Cauchy) by it.
Cf. my paper
und
',
in
7j,
vol.
i,
1914, pp. 661703.
INTRODUCTION
this was, indeed, the case, even when <^(x)
not necessarily developable in a powerseries, was
first shown by Fourier, who was led to study the
That
is
same mathematical problem
as the above one by
which were communicated
to the French Academy in 1807, on the conduction
of heat.
To Fourier is due also the determination
his researches, the first of
of the coefficients in trigonometric series,
sin tfMjs sin
in the
2^+
,
.
.,
form
fir
lir
b v =.~\ 0() cos va.da
t
av =
l
<h(a) sin vada.
1TJ
"KJ
v
w
This determination was probably independent of
Euler's prior determination and Lagrange's analogous determination of the coefficients of a finite
Fourier also gave a geoconvergence of his series,
which, though not formally exact, contained the
trigonometrical series.
metrical proof of the
of Dirichlet's proof.
Peter Gustav LejeuneDirichlet (18051859)
due the first exact treatment of Fourier's series, *
germ
To
is
He
expressed the sum of the
series
by a
*
definite integral,
first n terms of the
and proved that the
"Sur la. convergence ties series trigonomitriquea qui servent A
unc fonction arbltrnlr* entre des limites donnien,"/""''^ 1
ftir Math. t vol. iv, 18291,
pp. 157169; Gtt, Werk9 t voL i,
pp. nyrja.
reprtfsenter
INTRODUCTION
6
limit,
when n
increases indefinitely, of this integral
the function which
is
is
to be represented by the
that the function
trigonometrical series, provided
These conditions were
somewhat lightened by Lipschitz in 1864.
Thus, Fourier's work led to the contemplation
and exact treatment of certain functions which
satisfies certain conditions.
were totally different in behaviour from algebraic
functions.
These last functions were, before him,
tacitly considered to be the type of all functions that
can occur in analysis.
Henceforth it was part of
the business of analysis to investigate such nonalgebraoid functions.
In the first few decades of the nineteenth century
there grew up a theory of more special functions of
an imaginary or complex variable.
This theory was
part at least, to Carl Friedrich Gauss
(17771855), but he did not publish his results, and
known,
in
so the theory
is
due to Augustin Louis Cauchy
(17891857).* Cauchy was less farsighted and
penetrating than Gauss, the theory developed
and only gradually were Cauchy's prejudices
"
overcome.
imaginaries
Through the
years from 1814 to 1846 we can trace, first, the
strong influence on Cauchy's conceptions of Fourier's
slowly,
*
'
against
ideas, then the quickly increasing unsusceptibility to
the ideas of others, coupled with the extraordinarily
prolific nature of this narrowminded genius.
Cauchy
appeared to take pride in the production of memoirs
*
"The
Theory of Functions
Cf. Jourdain,
Math. (3), vol. vi, 1905, pp. 190207.
Bibl.
with Cauchy and Gauss,"
INTRODUCTION
7
weekly meeting of the French Academy, and
it was partly, perhaps, due to this circumstance that
Besides
his works are of very unequal importance.
that, he did not seem to perceive even approximately
the immense importance ,of the theory of functions
of a complex variable which he did so much to
create.
This task remained for Puiseux, Briot and
Bouquet, and others, and was advanced in the
most striking manner by Georg Friedrich Bernhard
at each
Riemann (18261866).
Riemann may have owed
to his teacher Dirichlet
bent both towards the theory of potential
which was the chief instrument in his classical
development (1851) of the theory of functions of a
his
complex variable and that of trigonometrical series.
By a memoir on the representability of a function
by a trigonometrical series, which was read in 1854
but only published after his death, he not only laid
the foundations for all modern investigations into the
theory of these series, but inspired Hermann Hankel
(18391873) to the method of researches from which
we can date the theory
as
of functions of a real variable
The motive of HankePs
an independent science.
research
was provided by
reflexion
on the founda
tions of Riemann's theory of functions of
a.
complex
object to show how the
needs of mathematics compel us to go beyond the
variable.
It
was HankePs
most general conception of a function, which was
the
implicitly formulated by Dirichlet, to introduce
complex variable, and finally to reach that conception from which Rietriann started in his inaugural
INTRODUCTION
8
For this purpose Hankel began his
Untersuchungen liber die unendlich oft oscillirenden und unstetigen Functionen ein Beitrag zur
"
Feststellung des Begriffes der Function Uberhaupt
of 1870 by a thorough examination of the various
dissertation.
' '
;
possibilities contained in Dirichlet's conception.
Riemann,
his
in
memoir of
1854, started
from
the general problem of which Dirichlet had only
solved a particular case
If a function is developable
:
in a trigonometrical series,
what
results
about the
variation of the value of the function (that
is to say,
the most general way in which it can become
discontinuous and have maxima and minima) when
what
is
the argument varies continuously ? The argument
a real variable, for Fourier's series, as Fourier had
is
already noticed, may converge for real ;r's alone.
This question was not completely answered, and,
perhaps in consequence of this, the work was not
Riemann's lifetime but fortunately
which concerns us more particularly,
and which seems to fill, and more than fill, the place
published in
that part of
;
it
of Dirichlet's contemplated revision of the principles
of the infinitesimal calculus, has the finality obtained
by the giving of the necessary and sufficient conditions for the integrability of a function
f(x), which
was a necessary preliminary to Riemann's investigation.
Thus, Riemann was led to give the process
of
integration
a
far
wider
meaning
contemplated by Cauchy or even
than
Dirichlet,
that
and
Riemann constructed an integrable function which
becomes discontinuous an
infinity of times
between
INTRODUCTION
any two
9
as close together as wished, of the
limits,
If,
independent variable, in the following manner
where x is a real variable, (x) denotes the (positive or
negative) excess of x over the nearest integer, or
:
zero
if
x
midway between two
is
a onevalued function of
x
integers,
(x) is
with discontinuities at
the points x=n\$, where n is an integer (positive,
negative, or zero), and with \ and
\ for upper and
lower limits respectively.
Further, (vx), where v is
an integer, is discontinuous at the points vx=n\$
or
x= (# +
where the
Consequently, the series
).
2
is
i/j/
added to ensure convergence
be supposed to be discontinuous for all values of x of the form x=fl/2n,
where/ is an odd integer, relatively prime to n. It
was this method that was, in a certain respect,
In Riemann's
generalized by Hankel in 1870.
example appeared an analytical expression and
" function " in Euler's sense
therefore a
which, on
account of its manifold singularities, allowed of no
such general properties as Riemann's
functions of
a complex variable," and Hankel gave a method,
whose principles were suggested by this example, of
factor
for all values of
x may
t
' '
forming analytical expressions with singularities at
He was thus led to state, with
every rational point.
some reserve, that every "function" in DIrichlet's
sense
is
The
also a
' '
function
"
in Euler's sense,
greatest influence on Georg Cantor seems,
io
INTRODUCTION
not to have been that exercised by
Riemann, Hankel, and their successors though
the work of these men is closely connected with
some parts of Cantor's work, but by Weierstrass,
a contemporary of Riemann's, who attacked many
of the same problems in the theory of analytic
functions of complex variables by very different and
more rigorous methods.
however,
IV
Karl Weierstrass (18151897) has explained, in
his address delivered on the occasion of his entry
into the Berlin Academy in 1857, that, from the
time (the winter of 18391840) when, under his
teacher Gudermann, he made his first acquaintance
elliptic functions, he was power"
Now,
by this branch of analysis.
Abel, who was accustomed to take the highest
with the theory of
fully attracted
standpoint in any part of mathematics, established
a theorem which comprises all those transcendents
which arise from the integration of algebraic differ
and has the same signification for these as
and
Euler's integral has for elliptic functions
Jacobi succeeded in demonstrating the existence of
entials,
.
.
.
;
whose fundaperiodic functions of many arguments
mental properties are established in Abel's theorem,
,
and by means of which the true meaning and
real
essence of this theorem could be judged.
Actually
to represent, and to investigate the properties of
these magnitudes of a totally new kind, of which
analysis has as yet no example, I regarded as one
H
INTRODUCTION
of the principal problems of mathematics, and, as
soon as I clearly recognized the meaning and significance of this problem, resolved to devote myself
to
it.
Of course
it
would have been foolish even
to think of the solution of such a problem without
having prepared myself by a thorough study of the
means and by busying myself with
less difficult
"
problems.
With the ends stated here of Weierstrass's
we
now concerned
work
only incidentally it is the
"
means the
thorough study of which he spoke
which has had a decisive influence on our subject in
are
:
' '
the theory of functions.
We will,
over his early work which was only
in
1894 on tne theory of analytic
common with
then, pass
published
functions, his later
work on the same
subject,
and
Abelian functions, and examine
his immensely important work on the foundations
of arithmetic, to which he was led by the needs of
his theory of the
a rigorous theory of analytic functions.
have spoken as if the ultimate aim of Weier
We
work was the investigation of Abelian
But another and ,m,ore philosophical
view was expressed in his introduction to a course
of lectures delivered in the summer of 1886 and
strass's
functions.
*
"In order to
preserved by Gosta.MittagLeffler
penetrate into mathematical science it is indispensable that we should occupy ourselves with individual
:
"Sur
lea
fondements arithm&iques de la thorie des. /enactions
Congrts ties MeUhintaliqws h Stockholm^
Weierstrass,"
1909, p. 10,
INTRODUCTION
12
problems which show us its extent and constitution.
But the final object which we must always keep in
sight is the attainment of a sound judgment on the
foundations of science. "
1859, Weierstrass began his lectures on the
In
theory of analytic functions at the University of
The importance of this, from our present
Berlin.
point of view, lies in the fact that he was naturally
obliged to pay special attention to the systematic
of the theory, and consequently, to
scrutinize its foundations.
treatment
'In
the
first
one of the characteristics of
place,
Weierstrass's theory of functions is the abolition of
the method of complex integration of Cauchy and
Gauss which was used by Rieimann
and, in a
to H. A. Schwarz of October 3, 1875,
;
letter
Weierstrass stated his belief that, in a systematic
it is better to
dispense with integration,
foundation,
as follows
:
"... The more
I
meditate upon the principles
of the theory of functions,
and I do this incessantly,
the firmer becomes my conviction that this theory
must be built up on the foundation of algebraic
truths,
and therefore that it is not the right way to
and make use of the trans
proceed conversely
cendental (to express myself briefly) for the establishment of simple and fundamental algebraic theorems
;
however attractive may be, for example, the considerations by which Riemann discovered so many
of the most important properties of algebraic
That to the discoverer, quA discoverer,
functions,
INTRODUCTION
every route
I
am
13
permissible, is, of course, selfevident
only thinking of the systematic establishment
is
;
"
of the theory.
In the second place, and what is far more important than the question of integration, the
systematic treatment, ab initio, of the theory of
analytic functions led Weierstrass to profound investigations in the principles of arithmetic, and the
great result of these investigations his theory of
numbers has a significance for all mathe
irrational
matics which can hardly be overrated, and our
subject may truly be said to be almost
present
wholly due to
this theory
and
its
development by
Cantor.
In the theory of analytic functions we often have
to use the theorem that, if we are given an infinity
of points of the complex plane in any bounded
region of this plane, there is at least one point of
the domain such that there is a.n infinity of the
given points in each and every neighbourhood round
it and
Mathematicians used to express
including it.
this
is
by some such
" There
rather obscure phrase as
some of the given points are
:
a point near which
infinitely near to
one another."
If
we
apply, for the
method which seems naturally to
suggest itself, and which consists in successively
halving the region or one part of the region which
contains an infinity of points,* we arrive at what is
proof of
required,
this,
the
namely, the conclusion that there is a
is another point in any neigh
point such that there
*
This method 'was
first
used by Bernard Bolzaao in 1817.
INTRODUCTION
14
bourhood of
it,
that
is
to say, that there
is
a so
"point of condensation," when, and only
sum "
when, we have proved that every infinite
such that the sum of any finite number of its terms
does not exceed some given finite number defines a
called
' '
The geometrical
irrational) number.
analogue of this proposition may possibly be claimed
but if our ideal in the theory of
to be evident
which had, even in Weierstrass's time,
functions
(rational or
;
been regarded for long as a justified, and even as a
is to found this theory on the
partly attained, ideal
conception of number alone,* this proposition leads to
the considerations out of which a theory of irrational
numbers such as Weierstrass's is built. The theorem
on the existence of at least one point of condensation was proved by Weierstsass by the method of
successive subdivisions, and was specially emphasized
by him.
Weierstrass, in the introduction to his lectures on
analytic functions, emphasized that, when we have
admitted the notion of whole number, arithmetic
needs no further postulate, but can be built up in a
purely logical fashion, and also that the notion of a
*
The separation of analysis from geometry, which appeared in the
work of Lagrange, Gauss, Cauchy, and Bolzano, was a consequence of
the increasing tendency of mathematicians towards logical exactitude
in denning their conceptions and in making their deductions, and, consequently, in discovering the limits of validity of their conceptions and
methods. However, the true connexion between the founding of
"
arithmetization," as it has been
analysis on a purely arithmetical basis
called and logical rigour, can only be definitely and convincingly
shown after the comparatively modem thesis is proved that all the concepts (including that of number) of pure mathematics are wholly logical.
And this thesis is one of the most important consequences to which the
theory whose growth we are describing has forced \ts.
INTRODUCTION
Onetoone correspondence
But
is
iS
fundamental
in count
purely arithmetical introduction
of irrational numbers that his great divergence from
ing.
it is
in his
This appears from a consideration
precedent comes.
of the history of incommensurables.
.
The
ancient Greeks discovered the existence of in
commensurable geometrical magnitudes, and therefore grew to regard arithmetic and geometry as
sciences of which the analogy had not a logical
basis.
This view was also probably due, in part at
least, to an attentive consideration of the famous
arguments of Zeno. Analytical geometry practically identified geometry with arithmetic (or rather
with arithmetica universalis\ and, before Weierthe
strass,
introduction
of irrational
"number"
The
was, explicitly or implicitly, geometrical.
view that number has a geometrical basis was taken
by Newton and most
to
the
of his successors.
To come
nineteenth
century,
Cauchy explicitly
adopted the same view. At the beginning of his
Cours d'analyse of 1821, he defined a "limit" as
When the successive values attributed
follows
' '
:
to a variable
approach a fixed value indefinitely
so as to end by differing from it as little as
wished, this fixed value is called the limit of
'
the others
"
;
and remarked that
' '
'
is
all
thus an irrational
the limit of the various fractions which
number
is
furnish
more and more approximate values of it."
consider as, however, Cauchy does not
If
we
appear to have done, although many others havethe latter statement as a definition, so that an
1
INTRODUCTION
6
number is defined to be the limit of
sums of rational numbers, we presuppose
that these sums have a limit.
In another place
"irrational"
certain
after
Cauchy remarked,
u z)
.
.
to be convergent
.
,
defining a series
1>
the sum s n =u Q + u 1 {u z
it
+
+*i, for values of n always increasing,
approaches indefinitely a certain limit .vthat, "by
the above principles, in order that the series
.
.
w o u v u t>
mav k convergent, it is necessary
and sufficient that increasing values of n make the
sum s n converge indefinitely towards a fixed limit
s in other words, it is necessary and sufficient that,
for infinitely great values of n, the sums $, s n +i,
S M +Z,
differ from the limit s, and consequently,
from one another, by infinitely small quantities."
Hence it is necessary and sufficient that the different
sums # + #+! 4+#+ for different ;#'s, end,
'
;
.
.
.
.
when n
.
.
by obtaining numerical values confrom one another by less than any
increases,
stantly differing
assigned number,
If we know that the sums s n have a limit
s,
we
can at once prove the necessity of this condition
but its sufficiency (that is to say, if, for any assigned
.positive rational e, an integer n can always be found
;
such that
is any integer, then a limit s exists) requires a previous definition of the system of real
numbers, of which the supposed limit is to be one.
where r
For
it
is
evidently a vicious circle to define a real
INTRODUCTION
17
number
as the limit of a "convergent" series, as
the above definition of what we mean by a ' con'
vergent"
a series which
series
lias
a limit
in
volves (unless we limit ourselves to rational limits)
a previous definition of what we mean by a " real
number." *
It
we
if
seems, perhaps, evident to "intuition", that,
., for which the
lay off lengths S M j w+ i,
,
above, condition
.
.
on a straight
line, that
a (commensurable or incommensurable) "limiting"
length s exists and, on these grounds, we seem to
is
fulfilled,
;
be
justified in
number
theory
designating Cauchy's theory of real
But such a geometrical
geometrical.
not logically convincing, and Weierstrass
as
is
showed that it is unnecessary, by defining real
numbers in a manner which did not depend on a
process of "going to the limit."
To repeat the point briefly, we have the following
logical
error
in
all
wouldbe arithmetical f pre
Weierstrassian introductions of irrational numbers
we
start
:
with the conception of the system of
"
sum (a limit of
rational numbers, we define the
a sequence of rational numbers) of an infinite series
of rational numbers, and then raise ourselves to the
conception of the system of real numbers which are
The error lies in overlooking
got by such means.
' '
the fact that the
*
On
' '
sum
"
() of the
infinite series
of
the attempts of Bolzano, Hankel, and Stolz to prove arithmetically, without an arithmetical theory of real numbers, the sufficiency of
the above criterion, see stwa.lt? s Klassiker, No. 153, pp. 42, 95, 107.
t It must be remembered that Cauchy's theory was not one of these.
Cauchy did not attempt to define real numbers arithmetically, but
simply presupposed their existence on geometrical grounds.
18
INTRODUCTION

numbers can only be defined when we have
already defined the real numbers, of which b is one.
" I
believe," said Cantor,* Apropos of Weierstrass's
rational
which was first
notice almost
universally in earlier times, and was not noticed on
the ground that it is one of the rare cases in which
actual errors can lead to none of the more important
' '
theory,
avoided
that this logical error,
by
Weierstrass,
escaped
mistakes in calculation."
Thus, we must bear in mind that an arithmetical
theory of irrationals has to define irrational numbers
not as "limits" (whose existence is not always
beyond question) of certain infinite processes, but
in a manner prior to any possible discussion of the
question in what cases these processes define limits
at

all.
.
N
With Weierstrass, a number was said to be
"determined" if we know of what elements it is
and
composed
how many times each element
Considering numbers formed with
the principal unit and an infinity of its aliquot parts,
Weierstrass called any aggregate whose elements
occurs in
it.
and the number
occurs in
it
j
are
(finite)
known
of
times
each
a (determined)
' '
element
numerical
"
An aggregate consisting
quantity (Zahlengrosse).
of a finite number of elements was regarded as equal
to the sum of its elements, and two aggregates of a
finite
when
*
t
number of elements were regarded as equal
the respective sums of their elements are equal.
Math. Ann.,
It is
vol. xxi, 1883, p. 566.
not implied that the given elements are
finite in
number.
'
INTRODUCTION
A
rational
19
number r was said to be contained in
when we can separate from
a numerical quantity a
A numerical
a a partial aggregate equal to r.
quantity a was said to be "finite" if we could
number
number contained in a
R
numerical quantities
a, b
when every
rational
number contained
were said to be "equal,"
in a is con
tained in
and
assign a rational
b,
is
such that every rational
Two
smaller than R.
vice versa.
When
a and b are not
equal, there is at least one rational number which
is either contained in a without being contained in
3,
or vice versa
' '
greater than
"
"less than
"
:
in the first case,
b
a was said to be
in the second, a
\
was said to be
.
Weierstrass called
the numerical quantity c de
identical with) the aggregate whose
elements are those which appear in a or b, each of
fined
by
(i.e.
these' elements being taken a
to the number of times in
number of times equal
which
it
occurs in a
by the number of times in which it occurs
The "product" of
in b, the "sum" of a and b.
a and b was defined to be the numerical quantity
defined by the aggregate whose elements are obincreased
tained by forming in all possible manners the product
In the
of each element of a and each element of b.
same way was defined the product of any finite
number of numerical quantities.
sum " of an infinite number of numerical
The
was then defined to be the
quantities a, b,
aggregate (s) whose elements occur in one (at least)
' '
.
of a,
6)
.
.
,.,
,
.
each of these elements e being taken
INTRODUCTION
20
a number of times (n) equal to the number of times
that it occurs in a, increased by the number of times
occurs in 6, and so on.
In order that s be
and determined, it is necessary that each of the
elements which occurs in it occurs a finite number of
times, and it is necessary and sufficient that we can
that
it
finite
N
such that the
assign a number
number of the quantities a, b,
.
Such
.
.
sum
is
of any finite
less
than N.
the principal point of Weierstrass's theory
of real numbers.
It should be noticed that, with
is
Weierstrass, the new numbers were aggregates of
the numbers previously defined and that this view,
which appears from time to time in the better text;
books, has the important advantage which was first
This advantage
sufficiently emphasized by Russell.
is
that
the
existence of limits
can be proved in
such a theory.
That is to say, it can be proved by
actual construction that there is a number which is
<
the limit of a certain series
"or
"
fulfilling
"
the condition
When real
convergency.
numbers are introduced either without proper definitions, or as "creations of our minds," or, what is
far worse, as "signs,"* this existence cannot be
f '
of
finiteness
proved.
If we consider an infinite aggregate of real
numbers, or comparing these numbers for the sake
of picturesqueness with the points of a straight
line, an infinite "pointaggregate," we have the
theorem
:
There
such that there
*
Cf. Juurdain,
in this domain, at least one point
an infinity of points of the aggre
is,
is
Math,
Gazette^ Jan. 1908, vpl. iv, pp. 201209,
INTRODUCTION
21
gate in any, arbitrarily small, neighbourhood of it.
Weierstrass's proof was, as we have mentioned,
by the process, named after Bolzano and him,
of successively halving any one of the intervals
which contains an infinity of points.
This process
defines a certain numerical magnitude, the
of condensation
"
"point
(Htiufungsstelle) in question.
An
analogous theorem holds for the twodimensional
region of complex numbers.
Of
real
numerical magnitudes #,
than some
less
finite
all
number, there
is
of which are
an "upper
G
which is defined as A numerical magnitude
which is not surpassed in magnitude by any x and
is
such that either certain
limit,"
:
certain x's
(G,
.
.
.
,
x's are equal to G or
within the arbitrarily small interval
Anathe end G being excluded.
<S),
lie
G
" lower limit
logously for the
"g.
It must be noticed that, if
aggregate of ^s, one of these
we have
a finite
the upper limit,
one of them may
is
and, if the aggregate is infinite,
In this case
be the upper limit.
it
need not
also,
If
but of course may, be a point of condensation.
none of them is the upper limit, this limit (whose
existence
proved similarly to the existence of
is
a
point of condensation, but is, in addition, unique^
is a point of condensation.
Thus, in the above
explanation of the term "upper limit," we can
"
either certain x*s "to
replace the words
being
excluded "by " certain x*s lie in the arbitrary small
' '
interval (G,
.
.
The theory
G <$), the end G being included*
of the upper and lower limit of a
.,
INTRODUCTION
22
"
Dirichlet's ") real onevalued function
(general or
of a real variable was also developed and emphasized
by Weierstrass, and especially the theorem
If
:
G
is
the upper limit of those values of y=f(x)* which
belong to the values of x lying inside the interval
from a to
b,
there
is,
in this interval, at least
one
^=X
such that the upper limit of the j/'s
which belong to the x's in an arbitrarily small
point
neighbourhood of
lower limit.
X
is
G
and analogously
;
for the
If the y value corresponding to x="K is G, the
upper limit is called the "maximum" of the jp's
and, if yf(^f) is a continuous function of #, the
upper limit
is
a
maximum
;
in other words, a con
tinuous function attains its upper and lower limits.
That a continuous function also takes at least once
every value between these limits was proved by
Bolzano (1817) and Cauchy (1821), but the Weierstrassian
theory of real numbers
first
made
these
proofs rigorous, f
It is of the utmost importance to realize that,
whereas until Weierstrass's time such subjects as
the theory of points of condensation of an infinite
aggregate and the theory of irrational numbers,
on which the founding of the theory of functions
*
Even if y is finite for every single x of the interval a^x^b, all
these ys need not be, in absolute amount, less than some finite number
*^i),
(for example, f(x) =lfx for je>o, /(o)=o, in the interval
but if they are (as in the cose of the sum of a uniformly convergent
series), these ys have a finite upper and lower limit in the sense defined.
t There is another conception (due to Cauchy and P. du BoisReymnnd) allied to that of upper and lower limit, With every infinite
aggregate, there are (attained; upper and lower points of condensation,
which we may call by the Latin name " Z.imiffs,"
o^
INTRODUCTION
23
depends, were hardly ever investigated, and never
with such important results, Weierstrass carried
research into the principles of arithmetic farther
it had been carried before.
But we must also
than
were questions, such as the nature
to which he made no valuable
These questions, though logically
realize that there
of whole
number
contributions.
itself,
the first in arithmetic, were, of course, historically
the last to be dealt with.
Before this could happen,
arithmetic had to receive a development,
by means
of Cantor's discovery of transfinite numbers, into a
theory of cardinal and ordinal numbers, both finite
transfinite, and logic had to be sharpened, as
was by Dedekind, Frege, Peano and Russell to
a great extent owing to the needs which this theory
made evident.
and
it
V
Georg Ferdinand Ludwig Philipp Cantor was
born at St Petersburg on 3rd March 1845, and
lived there until 1856; from 1856 to 1863 he lived
in South Germany (Wiesbaden, Frankfurt a. M.,
and Darmstadt) and, from autumn 1 863 to Easter
He became Privatdocent at Halle
1869, in Berlin.
a.S. in 1869, extraordinary Professor in 1872, and
;
ordinary
Berlin,
strass's
Professor in 1879.*
When
a student at
Cantor came under the influence of Weierteaching, and one of his first papers on
*
Those memoirs of Cantor's that will be considered here more
and which constitute by far the greater part of his writings,
Joum.fiir Math,, vols. Ixxvii and Ixxxiv, 1874 and
1878; Math. Ann vol, iv, 1871, vol. v, 1873, vol. xv, 1879, vol, xvii,
particularly,
are contained in
:
t
>
1880, vol. xx, 1882, vol, xxi, 1883.
INTRODUCTION
24
mathematics was partly occupied with a theory of
numbers, in which a sequence of numbers
irrational
satisfying Cauchy's condition of convergence was
used instead of Weierstrass's complex of an infinity
of
elements satisfying a condition which, though
is less convenient
equivalent to the above condition,
for purposes of calculation.
This theory was exposed
in the course
of Cantor's
One of the
researches on trigonometrical series.
problems of the modern theory of trigonometrical
was to establish the uniqueness of a trigonometrical development.
Cantor's investigations related to the proof of this uniqueness for the most
series
general trigonometrical series, that
trigonometrical
whose
series
is
to say, those
are not
coefficients
necessarily supposed to have the (Fourier's) integral
form.
In a paper of 1870, Cantor proved the theorem
that,
alt
if
<z
a,
.
.
.,
,
.
.
and
.
x,
&,
...,,...
are two infinite series such that the limit of
a v sn vx+
for every value of
(a<x<b}
of the
with increasing
increasing
vt
domain of
j/,
cos vx,
v
x which
lies in
a given interval
is zero
real magnitudes,
both a v and b v converge, with
This theorem leads to a
to zero.
criterion for the
convergence of a trigonometrical
series
J
+#! sin x \d l cosx{
.
.
.
+a v sin vx +b
v
cos wrf ...
INTRODUCTION
25
Riemann proved under
the supposition of the
In a paper imintegral form for the coefficients.
that
mediately following this
theorem
one,
Cantor
used
this
prove that there is only one representation
the form of a trigonometrical series con
to
viflx} in
vergent for every value of x except, possibly, a
if the sums of two trigonofinite number of x's
t
;
metrical series differ for a finite
number of ^s, the
forms of the series coincide.
In 1871, Cantor gave a simpler proof of the
uniqueness of the representation, and extended this
If we have, for every value of #, a
theorem to
:
representation of the value o by a
trigonometrical series, the coefficients of this reIn the same year, he also
presentation are zero.
convergent
gave a simpler proof of his first theorem that, if
lim (a v sin vx^b v cos n#) = o for a<x<b> then both
lim a v and lim b v are zero.
In November 1871, Cantor further extended his
theorem by proving that the convergence or equality
of the sums of trigonometrical series may be re
nounced
interval
.
To
hold.
aggregates of X'B in the
without the theorem ceasing to
describe the structure that such an
for certain infinite
.
.
2ir
aggregate may have in this case, Cantor began
some explanations, or rather some simple
with
indications, intended to put in a full light the
' '
different
in
to
manners
in
which numerical magnitudes,
number finite or infinite, can behave," in order
make the exposition of the theorem in question
as short as possible.
INTRODUCTION
26
A
The system
serves as basis
of rational numbers (including o)
at a more extended
for arriving
notion of numerical magnitude.
which we meet
ization with
infinite

is
The first generalwhen we have an
sequence
a ly a z ...,#,...
(1)
,
of rational numbers, given by some law, and such
that, if we take the positive rational number e as
small as
we
(2)
wish, there
I
*+*
is
an integer n such that
<
(>i),

m
whatever the positive integer
is.*
This property
Cantor expressed by the words, "the series (i)
has a determined limit b" and remarked particularly
that these words, at that point, only served to
enunciate the above property of the series, and,
just as we connect (i) with a special sign b, we
must
also
different
attach different
series
of the
signs
same
b",
b',
species.
.
.
.,
to
However,
the fact that the "limit" may be
supposed to be previously defined as the number
a v becomes in(if such there be) b such that \b
because of
:
\
finitely small as v increases, it appears better to
avoid the word and say, with Heine, in his exposition of Cantor's theory, the series (#) is a
"numberseries," or, as Cantor afterwards expressed
" fundamental series. "
(aj) is a
it,
* It
may be proved that this condition (2) is necessary and sufficient
that the sum to infinity of the series corresponding to the sequence (i)
should be a "finite numerical magnitude" in Weierstrass's sense ; and
consequently Cantor's theory of irrational numbers has been described
as a happy modification of Weierstrass'a,
INTRODUCTION
Let a second
series
a' 1} a' z ,
(l')
27
.
.
.,
a' v)
.
.
.
have a determined limit b\ we find that (i) and
(i') have always one of the three relations, which
a n a'n becomes infinitely
from a certain n on, it
remains always greater than e, where e is positive
and rational (c) from a certain
on, it remains
e.
In these cases we say,
always less than
exclude one another:
small as
increases
(a)
;
(b)
;
respectively,
b = b'>
b>b'>
or
b<b'.
Similarly, we find that (i) has only one of the
three relations with a rational number a (a) a n a
:
becomes
small as n increases
(b) from
a certain n on, it remains always greater than e
e.
on, it remains less than
(c) from a certain
infinitely
;
;
We
express this by
6 = a,
respectively.
b>a,
or
Then we can prove
b<a
f
that b
an becomes
n increases, which, consequently,
the name given to b of "limit of the
infinitely small as
justifies
series (i)."
Denoting the totality of the numerical magnitudes
b by B, we can extend the elementary operations
with the rational numbers to the systems
and B
A
united.
Thus the formulae
INTRODUCTION
28
express that the relations
lim
hold
lim (ana' n a" n ) = o,
a'a"J = o,
lim (an
respectively.
(*/' a",) = o
We have similar
definitions
when one or two of the numbers belong to A.
The system A has given rise to B by the same
;
process
B and A
Let the
C.
united give rise to a third system
series
(3)
#1.
#a ,
...,,
A
be composed of numbers from
and B (not all
from A), and such that
bn
bn + m
becomes inis (this
finitely small as n increases, whatever

\
m
condition
is
then (3)
is
The
determined by the preceding definitions),
said to have "a determined limit c."
definitions
of equality,
inequality,
and the
elementary operations with the members of C, or
with them and those of B and A, are analogous to
Now, whilst B and A are such
we can equate each a to a b but not inversely,
the above definitions.
that
t
we can equate each b
thus
B and C
to a c,
and inversely.
' '
Although
can, in a certain
measure, be regarded
as identical, it is essential in the theory here exposed, according to which the numerical magnitude,
not having in general any objectivity at first,* only
appears as element of theorems which have a certain
objectivity (for example, of the theory that the
numerical magnitude serves as limit for the corresponding series), to maintain the abstract distinction
*
This
is
(see below).
connected with Cantor's formalistic view of real numbers
INTRODUCTION
between
B and
29
C, and also that the equivalence of
does not mean their identity, but only
expresses a determined relation between the series
b and
b'
which they
to
refer."
After considering further systems C, D,
L
of numerical magnitudes which arise successively,
.
B
did from
A
and C from
.
.
,
A
and B, Cantor dealt
with the relations of the numerical magnitudes with
as
the metrical geometry of the straight line.
If the
distance from a fixed point O on a straight line has
a rational ratio with the unit of measure, it is
expressed by a numerical magnitude of the system
otherwise, if the point is known by a con
A
;
we can always imagine a
and having with the distance
struction,
series
(i)
in
such as
question a
relation such that the points of the straight line to
a v ... refer
,
.,
which the distances alt a 2
.
.
,
approach, ad infinitum, as v increases, the point to
be determined.
express this by saying The
We
:
distance from the point to be determined to the
point O is equal to 6, where b is the numerical
We can
magnitude corresponding to the series (i).
then prove that the conditions of equivalence,
majority, and minority of known distances agree
with those of the numerical magnitudes which
represent these distances.
It now follows without difficulty that the numerical
magnitudes of the systems C, D,
.
.
.,
are also
But,
capable of determining the known distances.
to complete the connexion we observe between the
systems of numerical magnitudes and the geometry
5/4*7
INTRODUCTION
30
of the straight line, an axiom must still be added,
which runs To each numerical magnitude belongs
:
also, reciprocally,
a determined point of the straight
whose coordinate is equal to this numerical
magnitude.* This theorem is called an axiom, for
in its nature it cannot be demonstrated generally.
line
It also serves to give to the numerical magnitudes
a certain objectivity, of which, however, they are
completely independent.
We consider, now, the relations which present themwhen we are given a finite or infinite system of
numerical magnitudes, or "points," as we may call
them by what precedes, with greater convenience.
selves
If
we
are given a system (P) of points in a finite
interval, arid
understand by the word
"
' '
limitpoint
(Grenzpunkf) a point of the straight line (not
necessarily of P) such that in any interval within
which this point is contained there is an infinity of
points of P,
P
we can prove
Weierstrass's theorem
has at least one limitpoint.
Every point of P which is not a limitpoint of P
was called by Cantor an isolated " point.
that, if
is
infinite, it
' '
Every
point, then, of the straight line either
is
or
not a limitpoint of P and we have thus defined,
at the same time as P, the system of its limitpoints,
"
which may be called the
first derived system
is
;
'
(erste
finite
Ableitung)
number
P'.
of points,
If
'
P'
is
we can
not composed of a
deduce, by the
same
* To each numerical
magnitude belongs a determined point, but to
each point are related as coordinates numberless equal numerical
magnitudes.
INTRODUCTION
by
v
of
a
and,
arrive at the notion
analogous operations, we
j/th
system PW derived
example, P
whose
is
of
composed
abscissae are rational
o and
31
system P" from P
process, a second derived
all
from
P.
;
for
If,
the points of a line
and comprised between
(including these limits or not), P' is composed of all the points of the interval (o
l),
and P', P", ... do not
including these limits
i
.
.
.
;
from
differ
P
If
P.
is
composed of the points whose
abscissae are respectively
I,
P'
is
...,!/..
1/2, 1/3,
.,
single point o, and derivation
to any other point.
It may
composed of the
does not give
and
happen
rise
alone
case
this
us here
interests
that, after v operations, PM is composed of a finite
number of points, and consequently 'derivation does
not give rise to
the primitive P
and thus
(Art),"
(v
any other system.
2)th,
.
.
.
P",
P',
In this case
" vth
species
... are of the
(i/i)th,'
species respectively.
The extended
If the
said to be of the
is
trigonometrical theorem
is
now
:
equation
cos #4
.
.
.
is satisfied for all values of x
except those which
correspond to the points of a system P of the i/th
1
species,
where
v is
in the interval (o
.
an integer as great as
.
.
271),
then
is
pleased,
INTRODUCTION
32
Further information as to the continuation of
these researches into derivatives of pointaggregates
was given in the series of papers which Cantor
" Ueber
unendliche,
began in 1879 under the title
lineare Punktmannichfaltigkeiten. "
Although these
papers were written subsequently to Cantor's dis"
f tne
of "
covery (1873)
conceptions
enumerability
(Abzdhlbarkeit) and "power" (Machtigkeit), and
these conceptions formed the basis of a classification
of aggregates which, together with the classification
by properties of the derivatives to be described
directly, was dealt with in these papers, yet, since,
by Cantor's own indications,* the discovery even of
derivatives of definitely infinite order was made in
1871,
we
shall
now
extract from these papers the
parts concerning derivatives.
pointaggregate ? is said to be of the "first
A
kind" (Gattung) and pth "species" if
of merely a finite aggregate of points
;
be of the
' :
"
second kind
P',
P'",
.
if
.
.
PC")
it is
consists
said to
the series
P,
.
.
.
All the points of P", P'",
are always
points of P', while a point of P' is not necessarily a
is infinite.
.
.
.
point of P.
" dialectic
* In
1880, Cantor wrote of the
generation of conceptions,
which always leads farther and yet remains free from all arbitrariness
necessary and logical," of the transfinile series of indices of derivatives.
"I arrived at this ten years ago [this was written in May 1880]; on
the occasion of my exposition of the numberconception, I did not
refer to it."
And in a letter to me of 3lst August 1905, Professor
Cantor wrote: "Was die transfiniten Ordnungszahlen betrifft, 1st es
mir wahrscheinlidi, dass ich schon 1871 eine vorstellung von ihnen
habe.
Den Begriff der AbzShlbarkeit bildete ich mir erst
gehabt
1
,
1873."
INTRODUCTION
Some
(a ...
or
j8),
33
of the points of a continuous * interval
the extreme points being considered as
all
belonging to the interval, may be points of P
none are, P is said to be quite outside (a
@)>
.
.
.
.
.
P
(wholly or in part) contained in (a
is
remarkable case
may
present itself
:
;
#),
.
if
If
a
every interval
however small, may contain points
"
"
is said to be
everywhere dense
in the interval (a ... /3).
For example, (i) the
pointaggregate whose elements are all the points
of (a ... /3), (2) that of all the points whose
abscissae are rational, and (3) that of all the
points whose abscissae are rational numbers of the
w where m and n are
form
integers, are
(2# + i)/2
everywhere dense in (a ... )8). It results from this
(y ...
8) in
of P.
Then P
it,
,
that, if a pointaggregate is not everywhere dense
there must exist an interval (y
)
/3),
in (a
.
.
in
(a
in
...
.
.
.
/3)
Further,
/S),
not only
and
in
P
is
if
is
this
.
is
the same true for
...
j8).
P',
We
property of P' as the definition
P is everywhere dense in
the expression
(a ...
.
no
everywhere dense
which there
P' consists of all the points of (a
might take
of
(a
of P.
point
but
.
.
comprised
c '
:
/3).
Such a P is necessarily of the second kind, and
hence a point aggregate of the first kind is everywhere dense in no interval. As to the question
whether inversely every pointaggregate of the
" As we shall
*
At the beginning of the first paper, Cantor stated
show later, it is on this notion [of derived aggregate] that the simplest
and completes! explanation respecting the determination of a continuum
:
rests
"
(see below).
INTRODUCTION
34
everywhere dense in, some intervals,
Cantor postponed it.
Pointaggregates of the first kind can, as we have
second kind
is
seen, be completely characterized
by the notion
of
derived aggregate, but for those of the second kind
this notion does not suffice, and it is necessary to
give it an extension which presents itself as it
were of
its
own
It
question.
when we go deeper into the
here be remarked that Paul du
accord
may
BoisReymond was
led by the study of the general
theory of functions to a partly similar development
of the theory of aggregates, and an appreciation of
In 1874,
importance in the theory of functions.
he classified functions into divisions, according to,
its
the variations of the functions required in the theory
of series and integrals which serve for the repreHe then
sentation of "arbitrary" functions.
considered
An
certain
of
distributions
singularities.
aggregate of points which .does not form
a continuous line may be either such that in any
infinite
line,
however small, such points occur
(like the points
corresponding to the rational numbers), or in any
part, a finite line in which are none of those points
exists.
In the latter case, the points are infinitely
"for if they are
dense on nearing certain points
infinite in number, all their distances cannot 'be
But also not all their distances in an
finite.
;
arbitrarily small
first
line
case would occur.
can vanish
So
;
if
for,
so,
the
their distances can be
zero only in points, or, speaking
Here
in infinitely small lines."
more
we
correctly,
distinguish:
INTRODUCTION
35
The
points kl condense on nearing a finite
number of points kz (2) the points a condense at
a finite number of points
Thus, the
8
(i)
;
.
,
.
.
of o = sin \\x condense near #=0, those
sin i /sin \\x
near the preceding roots,
roots
o=
.
The functions with such
between the "
common
"
of
.
.
the space
functions and the functions
fill
singularities
with singularities from point to point.
Finally,
du BoisReymond discussed integration over such
a
In a note of 1879, he remarked that
line.
Dirichlet's criterion for the integrability of a function
not sufficient, for we can also distribute intervals
an everywhere dense fashion (pantachisch) that
is
in
;
we can
to say,
is
interval
TT
(
.
+ TT)
.
.
that
in
.
.
.
+ TT)
D
.
;
then
is
<j>(x)
.
.
be o in these
+ IT) not
inside
which
is
covered
not integrable, although any
w.
(
+TT) contains
continuous (namely, zero).
interval
it
on the
connected
connected
any
TT
portion, however small, of (
intervals
occur.
Let, now, 0(#)
D's and i in the points of (
TT
by D's
D
so distribute intervals
.
distribution of intervals
lines
.
we
are led
' '
To
in
this
when we seek
the points of condensation of infinite order whose existence 1 announced to Professor Cantor years ago."
Consider a series of successive intervals on the
line like
.
.
.,
take
i/v,
those bounded ,by the points
.
,
.
;
in
the
interval
(i/v
.
i,
.
.
1/2, 1/3,
i/(i/+i))
a pointaggregate of the first kind and i/th
Now, since each term of the series of
species.
derivatives of
P
is
contained in the preceding ones,
P<"> arises from the preceding
and consequently each
INTRODUCTION
36
p(vi)
by the
to say, no
is
falling
new
away
most) of points,
(at
P
if
then,
points arise,
that
of the
is
second kind, P' will be composed of two pointQ and R Q consisting of those points
aggregates,
;
P which
of
the sequence
sufficient progression in
PM,
the terms of
P",
P',
points kept in all
the above example,
.
.
.,
.
.
and
.,
R
of the
In
this sequence.
R
consists of the single point
00
denoted
by P^ *, and called it
R
Cantor
zero.
by
disappear
the derived aggregate of P of order oo (infinity). "
The first derivative of P (oo) was denoted by pf 08 * 1 ),
'
'
and so on
for
p(oo+2)
p(+8)
p(+i>)
f
(ec >
may have a derivative of infinite order
Again, P
which Cantor denoted by P (2oo) and, continuing
these conceptual constructions, he arrived at de;
which
rivatives
p(>+*) w here
he went still
j
1
a re
quite
denoted
logically
m
and n are positive
farther, formed the
integers.
by
But
of
aggregate
common
points of all these derivatives, and got a
a
derivative which he denoted p(" ), and so on without
Thus he got derivatives of
end.
^
v
<x>
^1
,
+VIOQ
indices
00
+
co
.
,
,
.
.
.
+Vn,
.
.
.
oo
,
.
.
.
oo
,
.
,
.
" Here we see a dialectic
generation of conceptions,* which always leads yet farther, and remains
both free from every arbitrariness and necessary
and
*
logical in itself."
To
this
exposing
"
I was led to this generapassage Cantor added the note :
ago [the note was written in May 1880], but when
theory of the numberconception I did not refer to it."
tion ten years
my
INTRODUCTION
37
t
We
that pointaggregates of the first kind
are characterized by the property that P (00) has no
see
elements, or, in symbols,
and also the above example shows that a pointaggregate of the second kind need not be everywhere dense in any part of an interval.
In the first of his papers of 1882, Cantor extended
"
the conceptions
and
derivative
everywhere
dense" to aggregates 'situated in continua of n
dimensions, and also gave some reflexions on the
question as to under what circumstances an (infinite)
These reflexions, though
aggregate is well defined.
c
c
( '
for the purpose of emphasizing the
legitimacy of the process used for defining P (oo)
P(2oo >,
are more immediately connected with
.,
important
,
.
.
the conception of "power," and will thus be dealt
with later.
The same applies to the proof that it is
passible to remove an everywhere dense aggregate
from a continuum of two or more dimensions in
such a way that any two points can be connected
by continuous
circular arcs
consisting
of the
re
maining points, so that a continuous motion may
be possible in a discontinuous space.
To this
Cantor added a note stating that a purely arithmetical theory of magnitudes was now not only
known to be possible, but also already sketched out
leading features.
must now turn our attention to the development of the conceptions of " enumerability " and
in its
We
INTRODUCTION
38
"power," which were gradually seen to have a
very close connexion with the theory of derivatives
and the theory, arising from this theory, of the
transfinite
numbers.
Cantor
set out from the question
whether the linear continuum (of real numbers)
could be put in a oneone correspondence with the
aggregate o f w hple numbers, and found the rigorous
In
1873,
This proof, together
proof that this is not the case.
with a proof that the totality of real algebraic
numbers can be put in such a correspondence, and
hence that there exist transcendental numbers in
number continuum,
the
of
interval
every
was
published in 1874.
A
real
number
which
(a
is
a root of a nonidentical
equation of the form
aQ a
<
(4)
where
,
aQ) a v
+ a 1 (a' +
+a n = o,'
l
.
.
.
.
.
an are integers,
.,
is
called a real
number we may suppose n and a positive,
a n to have no common divisor, and (4)
#0. a i>
to be irreducible.
The positive whole number
algebraic
;
,
N = i+
may
+
*
I

be called the
'
i
1
+
I
"
'
height
positive integer correspond a
+
of
a?
finite
numbers whose height
I
I
and to each
number of real
;
is
that integer.
Thus we can arrange the totality of
numbers in a simply infinite series
real algebraic
algebraic
MI>
wa
,
.
.
,
).,
.
.
.
,
by arranging the numbers corresponding to the
INTRODUCTION
39
height N in order of magnitude, and then the
various heights in their order of magnitude.
Suppose, now, that the totality of the real
numbers
in
the interval (a ...
where a
/8),
< /#,
could be arranged in the simply infinite series
(5)
#1,
...,...
*,
Let a, ($' be the two first numbers of (5), different
from one another and from a, j3, and such that
", /3", where a"</3", be the
a'</3'; similarly, let
first different numbers in (a' ... /3')> and so on.
are members of (5) whose
The numbers a', a",
and similarly for the
indices increase constantly
numbers /3', j3", ... of decreasing magnitude.
Each of the intervals (a ... ), (a ... '),
includes all those which follow.
(a"
ft"),
We can then only conceive two cases either (a)
.
.
.
;
7
.
.
.
.
'
.
:
the number of intervals
M
(a
.
is
finite
let
;
the last be
then, since there is in this interval at
one number of (5), we can take in it a number
.
.
jSPy)
;
most
which does not belong to
tj
(5)
or (b) there are
;
Then, since o, a, a",
increase constantly without increasing ad infinitum,
(oo
they have a certain limit a >, and similarly ft, /3',
decrease constantly towards a certain
$",
infinitely
.
many intervals.
,
.
.
.
B>
a(co) =/5(oo) (which always happens
method to the system ()), we
a(oo) cannot be in (5),*
easily see that the number q
If, on the contrary, a**^^"^, every number 17 in
limit
>.
/3<
If
when applying
* For
but that
were, we would have ??/,
for ity is not in
pot possible,
if it
is
definition,
this
is.
p being a determined index
(a^
.
.
.
!&)), whilst
ij,
;
by
INTRODUCTION
40
the interval (a<> .../*">) or equal to one of
fulfils the condition of not belonging to (5).
its
ends
The property
numbers
of the totality of real algebraic
can be put in a one(co)
that the system
is
the system
(i, i ^correspondence with
and hence results a new proof of Liouville's
theorem that, in every interval of the real numbers,
toone or
(),
there
is
an
infinity of transcendental (nonalgebraic)
numbers.
This conception of (i, ^correspondence between
aggregates was the fundamental idea in a memoir
of 1877, published in 1878, in which some important theorems of this kind of relation between various
aggregates were given and suggestions
made
of a
aggregates on this basis.
If two welldefined aggregates can be put into
such a (i, i ^correspondence (that is to say, if,
classification of
element to element, they can be made to correspond
completely and uniquely), they are said to be
"
of the same
(Mdcktigkeit *) or to be
power
' '
"equivalent" (aequivalenf).
When
an aggregate
notion of power corresponds to that of
number (Angaht)> for two such aggregates have the
is finite, the'
same power when, and only when, the number of
their elements
A part
is
the same.
any other aggregate whose
elements are also elements of the original one) of a
finite aggregate has always a power less than that
(Bestandteil
;
*
The word "power" was borrowed from Steiner, who used it in a
quite special, but allied, sense, to express that two figures can be put,
element for element, in protective correspondence,
INTRODUCTION
of the aggregate itself, but this
case with infinite aggregates,*
series of positive integers
41
not always the
for example, the
is
easily seen to
is
have the
same power as that part of it consisting of the even
and hence, from the circumstance that
integers,
an infinite aggregate
M
is
part of
N
(or is equiva
we can only conclude that the
than that of N if we know that
lent to a part of N),
M
is less
power of
these powers are unequal.
The series of positive integers has, as is easy to
show, the smallest infinite power, but the class of
aggregates with this power is extraordinarily rich
and extensive, comprising, for example, Dedekind's
corpora," Cantor's "systems of points of
species," all ple series, and the totality of
real (and also complex) algebraic numbers.
Further,
we can easily prove that, if
is an aggregate of
"finite
the
i/th
M
this first infinite
the same
M
has
infinite part of
M', M", ... is a finite
series of aggregates of the first
power, each
power as M, and
or simply infinite
power, the aggregate
if
resulting from the union of
these aggregates has also the first power.
By the preceding memoir, continuous aggregates
first power, but a greater one
and
Cantor proceeded to prove that the analogue, with
continua, of a multiple series a continuum of many
dimensions has the same power as a continuum of
have not the
;
*
This curious property of infinite aggregates was first noticed by
Bernard Bolzano, obscurely stated ("
two unequal lengths [may
be said to] contain the same number of points") in a paper of 1864 in
which Augustus De Morgan argued for a proper infinite, and was used
as a definition of "infinite" by Dedekind (independently of Bolzano
,
and Cantor)
in 1887.
.
.
INTRODUCTION
42
Thus it appeared that the assumpRiemann, Helmholtz, and others that the
essential characteristic of an np\y extended continuous manifold is that its elements depend on n
one dimension.
tion of
continuous, independent variables (coordinsuch a way that to each element of the
real,
ates), in
manifold belongs a definite system of values xlt x^
xn and reciprocally to each admissible system
x
x* belongs a certain element of the
.
.
.
,
,
*i>
z,

)
manifold, tacitly supposes that the correspondence
of the elements and systems of values is a continuous
If we let this supposition drop, f we can prove
one. *
that there is a (i, ^correspondence between the
elements of the linear continuum and those of a
ply extended continuum.
This evidently follows from
the proof of the
xn be real, independent
Let x^ x^
variables, each of which can take any value o^tr^ I
then to this system of n variables can be made to
correspond a variable *(o<.*^i) so that to each
determined value of t corresponds one system of
determined values of xlt xv
., x,n and vice versa.
To prove this, we set out from the known theorem
and I can
that every irrational number e between
theorem
:
.
,
.
,
;
.
.
be represented in one manner by an infinite continued fraction which may be written
:
* That is to
say, an infinitely small variation in position of the element
an infioitely small variation of the variables, and reciprocally.
T In the French translation only of this memoir of Cantor s is added,
"and this happens very often in the works of these authors
here
(Riemann and Helmholtz)." Cantor had revised this translation.
implies
:
INTRODUCTION
where the
a
i
(i,
43
There
are positive integers.
<i's
l
^correspondence between the
s
thus
is
and the
Consider, now, n variables,
each of which can take independently all the irrational values (and each only once) in the interval
various series of
(o.
.
i):
.
= (ai,i,
*i
ei
.
ai, 2,
(<*2, 1
.
.,
ai,
OB, 2i
O2,
number
i)th irrational
<*=(&, A,
.
(6)
j8 fr i>,+ M
=aMF *
OA=I,
.
&,,
2,
.
.
i),
.),
:
.
.
.,
such
established.
is
)'
...
in (o
.
the relation between a and
if
)
,
w
n irrational numbers uniquely determine a
these
(n+
a's.
n;
a
y=l,
2,
.
.
.00)
d determines
Inversely,
uniquely the series of fi's and, by (6), the series of
the a's, and hence, again of the <r's.
have only
We
to show, now, that there can exist a (i,
i ^correspondence between the irrational numbers o < e < i
and the real (irrational and rational) numbers
For this purpose, we remark that all
numbers of this interval can be written
o<.x<.i.
the rational
in the
*
If
.
we
.
infinite series
n aeries of o'a iu a double series with
are to enumerate the a's in the order a^
arrange ihe
meauB ihat we
this
.
form of a simply
M( t ,
1(
2
,
a.^ 3,
,
.
.
,
and that the yth term of
n rowi,
,
(
['hi*
u.
Jt 1
1
series
is ftv,
f This
ia
done most simply
of this interval in
its
as follows : Let ply be a rational number
lowest terms, and put/+4'=JN',
To each f\q
INTRODUCTION
44
Then
in (o
ij v
o
s=
.
/s/2/2"),
.
.
i)
.
.
.
we
i)
numbers
irrational
and
take any infinite
let
j/ a>
if
.
.
we
of
.,
except the 0's and
and we can also write the
Now,
series
>?,... (for example,
h take any of the values of
i^,
jj's,
last
c '
write a c\j b for
equivalent to that of the
a .r\j b and b c\> c imply <z
is
so that
formula
:
the aggregate of the a's
and notice that a Oo,
's,"
oo c, and that two aggregates of equivalent aggregates of elements, where the
elements of each latter aggregate have, two by two,
no common element, are equivalent, we remark that
h 00
A,
and
A. generalization of the above theorem to the case
of #!, Xfr
., xv
being a simply infinite series
(and thus that the continuum may be of an infinity
.
.
,
.
,
.
of dimensions while remaining of the
same power
as the linear continuum) results from the observation that, between the double series {aM }, where
,
^ = (a^,i,
0,1,1,
.
.
.,
ap V
,
.
.
.)
for
/ui,
2,
.
.
.00
N
belongs a determined positive integral value of N, and to each such
belong a finite number of fractions p(q. Imagine now the numbers plq
arranged so that those which belong to smaller values of
precede
those which belong to larger ones, and those for which
has the same
value are arranged the greater after the smaller.
* This notation means : the
aggregate of the x'a is the union of those
of the A's, ?;p's, and ^ F's ; and analogously for thai of the e'a.
N
N
INTRODUCTION
45
and the simple series {/3J, a (i, ^correspondence
can be established * by putting
and the function on the right has the remarkable
property of representing all the positive integers,
and each of them once only, when p. and v independently take
positive integer values.
that we have proved," concluded
"for a very rich and extensive field of
all
"And now
Cantor,
manifolds, the property of being capable of corre
spondence with the points of a continuous straight
line or with a part of it (a manifold of points contained
in
the
same
.: Into how
question arises
(if we say that manifolds of
the
it),
many and what
.
.
classes
or different
power are grouped
in the
same
or different classes respectively) do linear manifolds
fall ?
By a process of induction, into the further
description of which we will not enter here,
led to the theorem that the number of classes
we
is
are
two
:
the one containing all manifolds susceptible of being
brought to the form functio ipsius v, where v can
receive all positive integral values
and the other
:
;
containing
all
manifolds reducible to the form functio
where x can take
ipsius x,
all
the real values in the
1
interval (o
i).'
In the paper of 1879 already referred to, Cantor
.
*
.
.
Enumerate the double
in the
series
(a^
}
diagonally, that
is
to say,
order
"i,
The term
n
*i,
of this series
>
a, i
"i, 8>
"a, n
whose index
is
"a,
(/u.
n
v)
is
the
\th,
where
INTRODUCTION
46
considered the classification of aggregates* both
according to the properties of their derivatives and
After some repetitions,
according to their powers.
a rather simpler proof of the theorem that the conis not of the first power was given.
But,
though no essentially new results on power were
published until late in 1882, we must refer to the
tinuum
what
discussion (1882) of
is
meant by
a "well
defined" aggregate.
The conception
of
power f which
contains, as a
particular case, the notion of whole number may,
said Cantor, be considered as an attribute of every
"welldefined" aggregate, whatever conceivable
"An aggregate of
its elements may. have.
elements belonging to any sphere of thought is said
nature
be
'
'
when, in consequence of its
and of the logical principle of the excluded
middle, it must be considered as intrinsically determined whether any object belonging to this sphere
to
well defined
definition
belongs to the aggregate or not, and, secondly,
whether two objects belonging to the aggregate
are
in
equal or not, in spite of formal differences
In fact,
the manner in which they are given.
cannot, in general, effect in a sure and
manner these determinations with the means
we
disposal
;
but here
it is
only a question of intrinsic
determination, from which an
*
precise
at our
actual
or extrinsic
Linear aggregates alone were Considered, since all the powers of
the continua of various dimensions are to be found in then).
t "That foundation of the theory of magnitudes which we may
consider to be the most general genuine moment in the case of
manifolds."
INTRODUCTION
determination
47
to be developed
is
auxiliary means."
doubt, conceive it
Thus,
we
by perfecting the
can, without any
to be intrinsically determined
chosen at will is algebraic or
whether a number
not and yet it was only proved in 1874 that e is
transcendental, and the problem with regard to v
was unsolved when Cantor wrote in 1882.*
In this paper was first used the word "enumer"
able to describe an aggregate which could be put
in a (i, ^correspondence with the aggregate of
the positive integers and is consequently of the first
and here also was the important
(infinite) power
theorem In a ^dimensional space (A) are defined
an infinity of (arbitrarily small) continua of n
;
;
:
dimensions t (a) separated from one another and
most meeting at their boundaries the aggregate of
the a's is enumerable.
;
For
an
to
refer
A
ply
by means
extended
of reciprocal radii vectores
B within a (+i)
figure
infinite space A', and let the points of
have the constant distance i from a fixed point
of A'.
To every a corresponds a dimensional
dimensional
B
B with
part b of
a definite content, and the
3's
are
enumerable, for the number of d's greater in content than an arbitrarily small number y is finite, for
their
sum
is less
than
2V J
(the content of B).
*
Lindemann afterwards proved that K is transcendental. In this
passage, Cantor seemed to agree. with Dedekind.
t With every a the points of its boundary are considered as belonging to
it.
t In the French .translation (1883) of Cantor's memoir, this number
was corrected to an^n +
l^tlT^n + i)^.
When =i, the theorem is that every aggregate of intervals on a
INTRODUCTION
48
if
Finally, Cantor made the interesting remark that,
we remove from an ^dimensional continuum any
enumerable and everywhere*dense aggregate, the
remainder (91), if ^2, does not cease to be continuously connected, in the sense that any two
points N, N' of 91 can be connected by a continuous
line composed of circular arcs all of whose points
belong to
1.
VI
An
application of Cantor's conception of enumerability was given by a simpler method of condensation
of singularities, the construction of functions having
a given singularity, such as a discontinuity, at an
enumerable and everywheredense aggregate in a
This was suggested by Weiergiven real interval.
strass, and published by Cantor, with Weierstrass's
examples, in 1882.* The method may be thus
Let $(x) be a given function with the
indicated
:
single
singularity
aggregate
where tne
;
x=o
t
and
(CD,,)
any enumerable
put
cv's
are so chosen that the series
those derived from
it
and
in the particular cases treated
converge unconditionally
and
uniformly,
Then
or infinite) straight line which at most meet at theft ends is
enumerable. The endpoints are consequently enumerable, but not
always the derivative of this aggregate of endpoints.
" At the
* In a letter to me of
29th March 1905, Professor Cantor said :
conception of enuraerabilily, of which he [ Weierstrass] heard from me at
Berlin in the Christmas holidays of 1873, he was at first quite amazed,
but one or two days passed over, [and] it became his own and helped him
to an unexpected development of his wonderful theory of functions."
(finite
INTRODUCTION
f(x) has at
all
larity as 0(ar)
in general,
49
points x w^ the same kind of singuat jr=o, and at other points behaves,
The
regularly.
singularity at
x=&
tL
is
due exclusively to the one term of the series in
which v
the aggregate (&>) may be any enumerable aggregate and not only, as in Hankel's method,
the aggregate of the rational numbers, and the
superfluous and complicating oscillations produced
;
fj.
by the occurrence of the
is
sine in Hankel's functions
avoided.
The fourth (1882) of Cantor's papers "
CJeber
"
unendliche, lineare Punktmannichfaltigkeiten contained six theorems on enumerable pointaggregates.
If an aggregate Q (in a continuum of n dimensions)
is
such that none of
its
"
"
a limitpoint,*
is
points
it is
Then, round every point of
Q a sphere can be drawn which contains no other
point of Q, and hence, by. the above theorem on
said to be
isolated.
the enumerability of the aggregate of these spheres,
enumerable.
is
Secondly,
if
P' is enumerable,
3>(P,
Q
then
is
isolated
For
is.
let
P>R, PRsQjt
and therefore enumerable, and
is
also enumerable, since
P
is
R
is
R
contained in P'; so
enumerable.
The next three theorems
* Cantor
expressed this
Nuwber>
f
P
If
)(Q,
state
Q')so.
Cf,
p. 48.
an aggregate B is contained in A, and
is taken from A, we write
when B
EsAB.
that,
if
P
(
">,
or
Dedekind's Essays on
E
is
the aggregate left
INTRODUCTION
50
' '
P >, where a is any one of the
definitely defined
symbols of infinity (bestimmt definirte Unendlichkeitssymbole)" is enumerable, then P is.
(tt
If the aggregates P I} P 2J
have, two by two,
common point, for the aggregate P formed by
.
no
"
the union of these (the
now used the notation
.
.
Vereinigungsmenge") Cantor
Now, we have the following
identity
and thus, since
P'
P" p"_p'"
are all isolated
p^D
pM
and therefore enumerable,
enumerable, then P'
Now, suppose that P (eo)
ticular point of P'
if
P
(l/)
is
is also.
exists
;
then,
if
any
does not belong to P^00 ), there
paris
a
P (">,
one among
to which it does not belong, and consequently P*" 1)
contains it as an isolated point.
Thus we can write
the derivatives of finite order,
first
and consequently, since an enumerable aggregate of
enumerable aggregates is an enumerable aggregate
of the elements of the latter, and P (a ) is enumerable,
then P' is also.
This can evidently be extended to
'
P (a)
,
if it exists,
provided that the aggregate of
P^ is enumerable.
all
the derivatives from P' to
The
considerations
which
arise
from the
last
INTRODUCTION
51
observation appear to me to have constituted the
final reason for considering these definitely infinite
indices independently*
on account of
their
con"
nexion with the conception of "power," which
Cantor had always regarded as the most fundamental one in the whole theory of aggregates.
The
series
the indices found, namely,
of
is
such
up to any point (infinity or beyond), the
aggregate of them is always enumerable, and yet
that,
a process exactly analogous to that used in the
proof that the continuum is not enumerable leads
to the result that the aggregate of all the indices
such that,
if
a
is
any index, the aggregate
of.all
the
enumerable, is not enumerable, but is, just as the power of the series of
positive integers is the next higher one to all finite
indices preceding a
is
the next greater infinite power to the
can again imagine a new index which
ones,
And we
first.
is
the
after all those defined, just as after all the finite
shall see these thoughts published by
ones.
first
We
Cantor at the end of 1882.
It remains to mention the sixth theorem, in
is enumerable, P
which Cantor proved that, if
has the property, which is essential in the theory
F
of being "discrete," as Harnack
"
integrable, as P. du BoisReymond did,
as
it is. now generally called,
"unextended," or,
of integration,
called
"
it,
"contentless."
*
When considered
independently of F, these indices form a series
finite numbers, but extending beyond them ; so
suggests itself that those other indices be considered a infinite
beginning with the
that
it
(or transfinitej numbers.
INTRODUCTION
52
VII
We
have thus seen the importance of Cantor's
symbols of infinity" in the
P', and therefore P, is
This theorem may, as we can easily
defined
"definitely
theorem that
P (a vanishes,
>
if
enumerable.
see
by what precedes, be inverted
P' is
enumerable, there
By
vanishes.
as follows
:
If
an index a such that P (a)
defining these indices in an indeis
pendent manner as real, arid in general transfinite,
integers, Cantor was enabled to form a conception
of the enumeral *
(Anzahl) of certain infinite series,
and such series gave a means of defining a series of
ascending infinite "powers." The conceptions of
"enumeral" and "power" coincided in the case of
finite
aggregates, but diverged in the case of infinite
but this extension of the conception of
aggregates
;
enumeral served, in the way just mentioned, to
develop and make precise the conception of power
used often already.
Thus, from the new point of view gained, we get
as
insight into the theory of finite number
Cantor put it "The conception of number which,
new
;
:
has only the background of enumeral,
manner of speaking, when we raise our
in finito,
splits, in
a
selves to the infinite,
power
.
.
.
descend to the
finite,
two conceptions of
into the
and enumeral
I
.
.
.
see
and,
;
just
when
as
I
again
clearly
and
beautifully how these two conceptions again unite
to form that of the finite integer."
*
I have invented this word to translate "
with the word " number " (Zakl).
Anaahl"
to
avoid confusion
INTRODUCTION
53
for the theory
significance of this distinction
of all (finite and infinite) arithmetic appears in
The
Cantor's
own work*
work of
Russell.
Without
number
to
and, above
all,
the
this
extension
of
the
definitely
infinite
in
the later,
conception of
numbers, said
Cantor, "it would hardly be possible for me to
make without constraint the least step forwards in,
the theory of aggregates," and, although "I was
led to them [these numbers] many years ago,
without arriving at a clear consciousness that 1
concrete numbers of real signipossessed in them
" I was
logically forced, almost against
ficance," yet
my will, because in opposition to traditions which
had become valued by me in the course of scientific
extending
researches
over
many
years,
to
the
thought of considering the infinitely great, not
merely in the form of the unlimitedly increasing,
and in the form, closely connected with this, of
to fix it mathe'convergent infinite series, but also
matically by numbers in the definite form of a
completed
infinite.'
I
do not
any reasons can be urged
believe,
against
it
then, that
which
I
am
unable to combat."
The indices of the series of the derivatives can
be
conceived
as
the
series
of
finite
numbers
followed by a series of transfinite
numbers of which the first had been denoted by the
there is no greatest
symbol "oo." Thus, although
2,
i^
*
Cf.^ for
,
W
of the translations of Cantor's
example, pp. 113, 158159
given below.
memoirs of 1895 and
INTRODUCTION
54
finite
in other words, the supposition
a greatest finite number leads to conthere is no contradiction involved in
number,
that there
or,
is
tradiction,
postulating a new, nonfinite, number which is to be
This is the
the first after all the finite numbers.
*
method adopted by Cantor to define his numbers
independently of the theory of derivatives we shall
see how Cantor met any possible objections to this
;
system of postulation.
Let us now briefly consider again the meaning of
"
the word
Mannichfaltigkeitslehre," f which is
"
theory of aggregates." In a
usually translated as
note to the Gtundlagen, Cantor remarked that he
meant by
this
word
much, which hitherto
only in the special
' '
a doctrine embracing' very
have attempted to develop
form of an arithmetical or
1
geometrical theory of aggregates (Mengenlehre).
By a manifold or aggregate I understand generally
any
multiplicity which can be thought
of as
one
(jedes Viele, welcJus sich als Bines denken lasst), that
is to say, any totality of definite elements which
can be bound up into a whole by means of a law. "
* " Ueber
lineare
unendliche,
V."
Punktmannichfaltigkeiten.
[December 1882], Math. Ann.,vo\. xxi, 1883; pp. 545591 ; reprinted,
with the title : Grwidlagen einer allgtmrinen
with an added
preface,
Mannichfaltigkeitslekre.
Sin
mctfhematischphilosopkischtr Versuch in
derLehre des Unendtich.cn, Leipzig, 1883 (page n of the Grwidlagen is.
page + 544 of the article in the Math. Ann. ). This separate publication, with a title corresponding more nearly to its 'contents, was made
" since it carries the
subject in many respects much farther and thus is,
for the most part, independent of the earlier essays"
In
(Preface).
Ada
Math.,
ri,
pp. 381408, part of the Grundlagen
was
translated
into French.
"
"
t Or Mtinnigfaltigkeitslehre, or, more usually,
"
"thiorit des ensembles" The
French,
has not come into general usage.
English
"
; in
"
theory of manifolds
' '
Mengenlehre
INTRODUCTION
55
This character of unity was repeatedly emphasized
by Cantor, as we shall see later.
The above quotations about
the slow and sure
which the transfinite numbers forced themselves on the mind of Cantor and about Cantor's
philosophical and mathematical traditions are taken
Both here and in Cantor's
from the Grundlagen.
way
in
works we constantly come across discussions
of opinions on infinity held by mathematicians and
philosophers of all times, and besides such names as
later
Aristotle,
Descartes,
Spinoza,
Hobbes, Berkeley,
Locke, Leibniz, Bolzano, and many others, we find
evidence of deep erudition and painstaking search
Cantor has
after new views on infinity to analyze.
many pages to the Schoolmen and the
Fathers of the Church.
The Grundlagen begins by drawing a distinction
devoted
between two meanings which the word "infinity"
may
have
infinite,
as an
in
mathematics.
The mathematical
says Cantor, appears in two forms
improper
!
Firstly,
infinite (UneigentlichUnendliches),
a magnitude which either increases above
,
all limits
or decreases to an arbitrary smallness, but always
remains finite so that it may be called a variable
;
Secondly,
finite.
as
a
definite,
a proper infinite
represented by certain
geometry, and, in the theory of
(Eigentlich~Unendliches\
conceptions in
functions, by the point infinity of the complex plane.
In the last case we have a single, definite point,
and the behaviour of (analytic) functions about this
.point
is
examined
in
exactly the same
way
as
it
is
INTRODUCTION
56
about any
Cantor's
other point.*
infinite
real
integers are also properly infinite, and, to emphasize
" oo which was and is used also
,"
this, the old symbol
for the improper infinite, was here replaced by "o>."
To
new numbers, Cantor employed the
The series of the real
define his
following considerations.
positive integers,
(I)
i,
2,
3,
.
.
.,
V)
.
.
.,
from the repeated positing and uniting of
units which are presupposed and regarded as equal
the number v is the expression both for a definite
finite enumeral of such successive positings and for
arises
;
the uniting of the posited units into a whole.
Thus
the formation of the finite real integers rests on the
principle of the
addition of a unit to
which has already been formed
;
a number
Cantor called this
moment the first principle of generation (EreeugungsThe enumeral of the number of the class
princip).
(I) so formed is infinite, and there is no greatest
among them.
Thus, although
it
would be contra
dictory to speak of a greatest number of the class (I),
there is, on the other hand, nothing objectionable
in imagining a
new number,
,
which
that the whole collection (I) is given
its natural order of succession (in the
v is
is
to express
by its law in
same way as
the expression that a certain finite enumeral of
is united to a whole), f
By allowing further
units
* "The behaviour of the function in the
neighbourhood of the
shows exactly the same occurrences as in that
of any other point lying infinite, so that hence it is completely justified
to think of the infinite, in this case, as situated in a point"
" It is even
t
permissible to think of the newly and created number
infinitely distant point
INTRODUCTION
57
positings of unity to follow the positing of the
number , we obtain with the help of the first
principle of generation the further
numbers
:
Sfrnce again here we come to no greatest number, we
imagine a new one, which we may call 2to, and which
is to be the first which follows all the numbers v and
w + v hitherto formed. Applying the first principle repeatedly to the number 20, we come to the numbers
:
2co+I,
The
logical
numbers
first
2ftj+2,
and
to
principle
;
.
.
.,
2ft>
+
y,
.
.
.
which has given us the
obviously different from the
Cantor called it the second principle
function
2o> is
of generation of real integers, and defined
closely as follows
:
If there
is
defined
any
it
more
definite
succession of real integers, of which there is no
greatest, on the basis of this second principle a new
numberis created, which is defined as the next greater
number
to
them
all.
By the combined
we get, successively,
3o>,
w
30+ I,
.
.
application of both principles
the numbers
:
.
which the numbers v strive, if by that nothing else is
is to be the first integer which follows all the
that is to say, is to be called greater than every p."
Cf.
the next section.
If we do not know the reasons in the theory of derivatives which
the
but
of
introduction
u,
only
grounds stated in the text
prompted the
for this introduction, it naturally seems rather arbitrary (not apparently,
useful) to create u because of the mere fact that it can apparently be
defined in a manner free from contradiction.
Thus, Cantor discussed
(see below) such introductions or creations, found in them the disas the limit to
understood than that u
numbers
y,
tinguishing mark of pure mathematics, and justified them on historical
grounds (on logical grounds they perhaps seem to need no justification).
INTRODUCTION
58
and, since no number fjna+v is greatest, we create
a new next number to all these, which may be
denoted by
numbers
and
cu
To
a
.
this
follow,
in
succession,
:
further,
we come
to
numbers of the form
and the second principle then requires a new number,
which may conveniently be denoted by
0)".
And
so on indefinitely.
Now,
it
seen
is
without
that
difficulty
the
the numbers preceding any of the
infinite numbers and hitherto defined is of the
aggregate of
all
power of the first numberclass (I).
numbers preceding w" are contained
where
/*,
v0)
vlt
.
.
.,
^
Thus, all the
formula
in the
have to take
positive, integral values including zero
all
:
finite,
and exclud
v^v^^... =^ = 0.
As is
ing the combination
well known, this aggregate can be brought into the
form of a simply infinite series, and has, therefore,
the power of
of the
Since,
further, every sequence
power) of aggregates, each of
which has the first power, gives an aggregate of the
first power, it is clear that we obtain,
by the continuation of our sequence in the above way, only
such numbers with which this condition is fulfilled.
(itself
(I).
first
INTRODUCTION
59
Cantor defined the totality of all the numbers a
formed by the help of the two principles
.
.
.,
w",
.
.
.,
a,
.
.
.,
the numbers, from I on, preceding a
form an aggregate of the power of the first number
such that
all
"second numberclass (II)." The
from that of (I), and is,
indeed, the next higher power, so that no other
power lies between them. Accordingly, the second
class (I), as the
power of
(II)
is
different
principle demands the creation of a new
which follows all the numbers of (II)
first
number
and
is
(fl)
the
of the third numberclass (III), and so on.*
in spite of first appearances, a certain
Thus,
completion can be given to the successive formation
of the numbers of (II) which is similar to that
limitation present with
the
(I).
There we only used
principle, and so it was impossible to
from the series (I) ; but the second principle
first
emerge
must lead not only over
(II), but show itself indeed
means, which, in combination with the first
principle, gives the capacity to break through every
as a
limit in the formation of real integers.
The above
mentioned requirement, 'that all the numbers to
be next formed should be such that the aggregate
*
It is particularly to be noticed that the second principle will lake
us beyond any class, and is not merely adequate to form numbers which
are the limitnumbers of some enumerable series (so that a "third
The 'first and second principles
principle" is required to form 1).
together form all the numbers considered, while the "principle of
limitation" enables us to define the various numberclasses, of unin the series of these numbers.
ascending
brokenly
powers
INTRODUCTION
60
of numbers preceding each one should be of a certain
power, was called by Cantor the third or limitation*
(Hemwungs oder Beschrdnkungsprincip\*
acts in such a manner that the class (II)
with its aid can be shown to have a higher
principle
and which
defined
power than
In
it.
(I)
fact,
an absolutely
third
and indeed the next higher power to
the two
infinite
principle lays
this process,
so that
first principles together define
sequence of integers, while the
successively certain limits on
we obtain natural segments
(Akschnitte), called numberclasses, in this sequence.
Cantor's older (1873, 1878) conception of the
"power"
of an aggregate was,
by
this,
developed
and given precision. With finite aggregates the
power coincides with the enumeral of the elements,
for such aggregates have the same enumeral of
With infinite aggregates,
elements in every order.
on the other hand, the transfinite numbers afford a
defining the enumeral of an aggregate, if
be "well ordered," and the enumeral of such an
aggregate of given power varies, in general, with
means of
it
the order given
to
the elements.
The
smallest
evidently that of (I), and, now for
the first time, the successive higher powers also
in fact, the
receive natural and simple definitions
power of the yth number class is the yth.
infinite
power
is
;
By
*
a "wellordered" aggregate, f Cantor under
"This
principle
(or
requirement,
or
condition)
circumscribes
each numberclass.*'
f The origin of this conception can easily be seen to be the defining
of such aggregates as can be "enumerated" (using the word in the
wider sense of Cantor, given below) by the transfinite numbers. In
above definition of a wellordered aggregate simply indicates
fact, the
(limits}
INTRODUCTION
61
stood any welldefined aggregate whose elements
have a given definite succession such that there is
a.
first element, a definite element follows every one
(if it is not the last), and to any finite or infinite
aggregate a definite element belongs which is the
next following element in the succession to them
all
(unless there are
succession).
of the
no following elements
in the
Two wellordered aggregates are,
same enumeral (with reference
now,
to the orders
of succession of their elements previously given for
them) if a onetoone correspondence is possible
between them such that, if E and F are any two
different
elements of the one, and E' and F' the
corresponding elements (consequently different) of
the other, if E precedes or follows F, then E'
This ordinal
respectively precedes or follows F'.
correspondence
is
evidently quite determinate,
if it
and since there is, in the extended
numberseries, one and only one number a such that
its preceding numbers (from i on) in the natural
succession have the same enumeral, we must put a
for the enumeral of both wellordered aggregates, if
is
a
possible at
is infinite,
The
all,
or a
I
if
a
is finite.
essential difference
between
finite
and
infinite
aggregates is, now, seen to be that a finite aggregate
has the same enumeral whatever the succession of
the construction of any aggregate of the class required when the first
two principles are used, but to generate elements, not numbers.
An important property of a wellordered aggregate, indeed, a
is that any series of terms in it, a^. eh, . . .,
characteristic property,
Even if the wellprecedes av must be finite.
tf^, . . ., where a v
+i
ordered aggregate in question
can never be infinite.
,
is infinite,
such a series as that described
INTRODUCTION
62
the elements
may
an infinite aggregate has,
enumerate under these circum
be, but
in general, different
stances.
However, there is a certain connexion
between enumeral and power an attribute of the
aggregate which is independent of the order of the
elements.
Thus, the enumeral of any wellordered
aggregate of the first power is a definite number of
the second class, and every aggregate of the first
power can always be put in such an order that its
enumeral is any prescribed number of the second
class.
Cantor expressed this by extending the
enumerable " and saying
meaning of the word
Every aggregate of the power of the first class is
enumerable by numbers of the second class and only
by these, and the aggregate can always be so
( '
:
ordered that
it
is
enumerated by any prescribed
number of the second
class
;
and analogously
for
the higher classes.
From
his
above remarks on the
"absolute"*
*
Cantor said "that, in the successive formation of numberclasses,
we can always go farther, and never reach a limit that cannot be surso that we never reach an even approximate comprehension
passed,
I cannot doubt.
The Absolute can
(Erfassen) of the Absolute,
only be recognized (arurkannt} r but never apprehended (crkannt),
even approximately. For just as inside the first numberclass, at any
finite number, however great, we always have the same 'power' of
greater finite numbers before us, there follows any transfinite number
of any one of the higher numberclasses an aggregate of numbers and
'
'
classes which has not in the least lost in power in comparison with the
whole absolutely infinite aggregate of numbers, from i on. The state
of things is like that described by Albrecht von Holler
igh zieh'
sie ab [die ungeheure Zahl] und Du [die Ewigkeit] liegst ganz vor mir.'
The absolutely infinite sequence of numbers thus seems to me to be, in
a
the
Absolute
whereas
the
a certain sense,
suitable symbol of
;
infinity
of (I), which has hitherto served for that purpose, appears to me, just
because I hold it to be an idea (not presentation) that can be apprehended as a vanishing nothing in comparison with the former. It also
seemi to me remarkable that every numberclass and therefore every
'
:
INTRODUCTION
63
infinity of the series of ordinal
powers,
numbers and that of
was to be expected that Cantor would
it
derive the idea that any aggregate could be arranged
in a wellordered series, and this he stated with a
promise
to return to the subject later.*
The
addition and multiplication of the transfinite
(including the finite) numbers was thus defined by
M and M
Let
Cantor.
of enumerals a and
when
first
M
is
t
posited and then
and the two are united
enurneral
and
different
not both
from
{3\a.
it is
If
we
valid.
M^
denoted
finite,
sum to a finite
summands in a definite
cept of
law remains
is
defined to be a
is
are
ft
be wellordered aggregates
the aggregate which arises
ft,
+
/S.
a\($
following
it,
and
its
M+M
x
Evidently,
is,
in
if
easy to extend the con
or transfinite aggregate of
order, an4 the associative
Thus, in particular,
take a succession (of enurneral
ft)
of equal
and similarly ordered aggregates, of which each
is
we
get a new wellordered aggregate,
enurneral is defined to be the product ^a,
of enurneral
whose
a
general,
a,
corresponds to a definite number of the absolutely infinite
totality of numbers, and indeed reciprocally, so that corresponding to
any transfinite number 7 there is a (7th) power ; so that the various
power
powers also form an absolutely infinite sequence. This is so much the
more remarkable as the number 7 which gives the rank of a power
(provided that 7 ha& an immediate predecessor) stands, to the numbers
of that numberclass which has this power, in a magnituderelation
whose smallness mocks all description, and this the more 7 is taken to
be greater."
*^
With this is connected the promise to prove later that the power of
the continuum is that of (II), as stated, of course in other words, in 1878.
See the Notes at the end of this book.
_
INTRODUCTION
64
where ft is the multiplier and a the multiplicand.
Here also fta is, in general, different from aft but
;
we
' c
have, in general,
Cantor also promised an investigation of the
"
prime numberproperty of some of the transfinite
* a
proof of the nonexistence of infinitely
small numbers, f and a proof that his previous
theorem on a pointaggregate P in an ^dimensional
numbers
domain
that,
the derivate
if
P (a) where a
,
i$
integer of (I) or (II), vanishes, P', and hence
of the first power, can be thus inverted
If
:
any
P is
P is
s
such a pointaggregate that P' is of the first power,
there is an integer a of (1) or (II) such that P = o,
(tt)
and there is a smallest of such a's.
This last
theorem shows the importance of the transfinite
numbers in the theory of pointaggregates.
Cantor's proof that the power of (II)
from that of
is
different
analogous to his proof of the
nonenumerability of the continuum.
Suppose that
we could pUt (II) in the form of a simple series
(I) is
:
(7)
we
<*!>
a2
a"
>
number which has the
shall define a
properties
both of belonging to (II) and of not being a member
of the series (7) and, since these properties are
;
contradictory of one another if the hypothesis be
granted, we must conclude that (II) cannot be put
A
*
The property in question is:
the resolution *=Py is only possible
t See the next section.
"primenumber"
when jS = I or 0=a.
a
is
such that
INTRODUCTION
65
and therefore has not the power of
Let a K be the first number of (i) which is
(I).
and
greater than a 1} a Ka the first greater than a
form
in the
(7),
,
K)
so on
so that
;
we have
i< K2 < K3 <
.
.
.
and
and
av
Now
a K on,
all
p
<a K^
may happen
it
following
it
if
that,
from a certain number
in the series (7) are smaller
than it then it is evidently the greatest.
If, on
the other hand, there is no such greatest number,
imagine the series of integers from i on and smaller
;
than
>
a,.
ai
,
,
add to
it
the series of integers
then the series of integers
.>
a^
and
^
fll
and
< av and
so on we thus get a definite part of successive
numbers of (I) and (II) which is evidently of the
first power, and consequently, by the definition of
of (II) which is
(II), there is a least number ft
;
greater than
is
all
of these numbers.
Therefore
/3
>a
A
/3>a v and also every number /3'</3
surpassed in magnitude by certain numbers a x
If there is a greatest a* = y, then the number y+ l
and thus
also
,
.
p
is
a
member
of (II) and not of (7)
is a
/3
not a greatest, the number
and not of (7),
;
and
if
member
there
is
of (II)
Further, the power of (II) is the next greater to
that of (I), so that no other powers lie between
INTRODUCTION
66
them, for any aggregate of numbers of (I) and (II)
In fact, this aggregate
is of the power of (I) or (II).
Z 1} when arranged in order of magnitude,
may be represented by
is
well
ordered, and
where we always have /8<fl, where fi is the first
number of (III) and consequently (op) is either
finite or of the power of (I) or of that of (II),
;
quartum non datur. From this results the theorem
If N is any welldefined aggregate of the second
and M" is a part of M',
power, M' is a part of
and we know that M'' is of the same .power as M,
:
M
then M'
is of the same power as M, and therefore
and Cantor remarked that this theorem is
*
generally valid, and promised to return to it.
Though the commutative law does not, in general,
as
M"
;
hold with the transfinite numbers, the associative
law does, but the distributive law is only generally
valid in the form
:
where a+/3,
a>
and
/3
are multipliers,
"as we im
"
mediately recognize by inner intuition.
The subtraction, division, prime numbers, and
addition and multiplication of numbers which can
be put in the form of a rational and integral function
of
*
a)
of the transfinite numbers were then dealt with
From
the occurrence of this theorem on
p. 484 of the Afath. Attn.
which we now know (see the note on p, 204 below) to have
been a forestalling of the theorem that any
aggregate can be wellordered,
we may conclude that this latter theorem was used in this instance.
t
xlvi, 1895,
INTRODUCTION
much
same way
67
memoir of 1897
translated below.
In the later memoir the subject
is treated far more
completely, and was drawn up
with far more attention to logical form than was the
in the
as in the
Grundlagen.
An interesting part of the Grundlagen is the
discussion of the conditions under which we are to
regard the introduction into mathematics of a new
The result of
conception, such as w, as justified.
this discussion was already indicated by the way in
*
which Cantor defined his new numbers
may
'
:
We
'
'
regard the whole numbers as actual in so far as
they, on the ground of definitions, take a perfectly
determined place in our understanding, are clearly
distinguished from all other constituents of our
thought, stand in definite relations to them, and
thus modify, in a definite way, the substance of
"
our mind." We may ascribe
actuality to them
"in so far as they must be held to be an expression
f '
or an image (Abbild) of processes and relations in
the outer world, as distinguished from the intellect. "
Cantor's position was, now, that while there is no
first kind of reality always implies
doubt that the
the second,* the proof of
this
is
often
a most
metaphysical proulem but, in pure mathematics, we need only consider the first kind of
difficult
reality,
;
and consequently "mathematics is, in its
free, and only subject to the
development, quite
* This,
according to Cantor, is a consequence of "the unity of the
and so, in pure mathematics, we
All, to which we ourselves belong,"
need only pay attention to the reality of our conceptions in the first
sense, as stated in the text.
INTRODUCTION
68
selfevident condition that its conceptions are both
from contradiction in themselves and stand
free
fixed
in
arranged
relations,
previously
and
formed
tested
by
definitions,
conceptions.
to
In
particular, in the introduction of new numbers, it
is only obligatory to give such definitions of them
them such a definiteness, and, under
certain circumstances, such a relation to the older
as will afford
numbers, as permits them to .be distinguished from
As soon as a number
one another in given cases.
satisfies all these conditions, it can and must be
1 n
considered as existent and real in mathematics.
V
this I see the grounds on which we must regard the
rational, irrational,
and complex numbers as just as
existent as the positive integers."
There is no danger to be feared for science from
this
freedom in the formation of numbers,
for,
on
the one hand, the conditions referred to under which
this freedom can alone be exercised are such that
they leave only a very small opportunity for arbiand, on the other hand, every mathematical conception has in itself the necessary
trariness
;
corrective,
shows
if
it
is
unfruitful
very soon by
then abandoned.
To
this
its
or inconvenient,
it
and
is
unusability,
support the idea that conceptions in pure
are free, and not subject to any
mathematics
metaphysical control, Cantor quoted the names
and the branches of mathematics founded by,
of,
some of the greatest mathematicians of the nineteenth
century,
among which an
especially
instructive
INTRODUCTION
69
"
ideal
example in Rummer's introduction of his
numbers into the theory of numbers. But " applied "
mathematics, such as analytical mechanics and
' '
physics,
and
as
metaphysical both in its foundations
If it seeks to free itself of this,
is
' '
in its ends.
was proposed
lately
by a celebrated physicist,*
degenerates into a describing of nature,' which
must lack both the fresh breeze of free mathematical
(
it
thought and the power of explanation and grounding
of natural appearances. "
The note of Cantor's on the process followed in
the correct formation of conceptions is interesting.
In his judgment, this process is everywhere the same
posit a thing without properties, which is at first
;
we
nothing else than a name or a sign A, and give it
in order different, even infinitely many, predicates,
whose meaning for ideas already present is known,
and which may not contradict one another. By
this
the relations of
present,
and
determined
;
in
A
to the conception already
to the allied ones, are
particular
when we have completed
this, all
the
conditions for the awakening of the conception A,
which slumbers in us, are present, and it enters
completed into "existence" in the first sense; to
"
<
existence
in the second sense is then
prove its
a matter of metaphysics.
This seems to support the process by which Heine,
(
* This is
evidently Kirchhoff.
posed (Vorlesungen
iiber
As
is
well
known, Kirchhoff pro
mathcmalische Physift, vol.
i
{
Mechanik,
Leipzig, 1874) this.
Cf. E. Mach in his prefaces to his Mechanics
(3rd ed., Chicago and London, 1907 ; Supplementary Volume, Chicago
and London, 1915), and Popular Scientific Lectures, 3rd ed., Chicago
aqd London, 1898, pp. 236258.
INTRODUCTION
70
a paper partly inspired by his discussions with
Cantor, defined the real numbers as signs, to which
But
subsequently various properties were given.
in
Cantor himself, as we shall see
later,
afterwards
pointed out emphatically the mistake into which
fell when they started
numberconcept with the
and most unessential thing' the ordinal words
Kronecker and von Helmholtz
in their expositions of the
last
or signs
we
an
in the scientific
theory of number
;
so.
that
think, regard this note of Cantor's as
indication that, at this time (1882), he was a
must,
I
or at
supporter of the formalist theory of number,
least of rational and real nonintegral numbers.
In
' '
fact,
Cantor's
"
notions
as
to
what
is
meant
mathematics nptions which
are intimately connected with his introduction of
irrational and transfinite numbers
were in substance
identical with those of Hankel (1867) on "possible
or impossible numbers."
Hankel was a formalist,
though not a consistent one, and his theory was
criticized with great acuteness by Frege in 1884.
But these criticisms mark the beginning of the
by
existence
in
logical theory of mathematics, Cantor's earlier
work
belonging to the formal stage, and his later work to
what may be
called the psychological stage.
Finally, Cantor gave a discussion
and exact de
termination of the meaning of the conception of
"continuum." After briefly referring to the discussions of this concept due to Leucippus,
Demo
Epicurus, Lucretius, and Thomas
Aquinas, and emphasizing that we cannot begin, in
critus,
Aristotle,
INTRODUCTION
71
this determination, with the conception of time or
that of space, for these conceptions can only be
clearly explained by means of a continuityconception which must, of course, be independent of them,
he started from the dimensional plane arithmetical
space
values
Gw
,
that
is
to say, the totality of systems of
(*!> ^jii
>
*)>
which every x can receive any
in
oo
real value
+00 independently of the
to
others.
from
Every
' '
such system is called an
arithmetical point ;J of
GH the "distance" of two such points is defined
,
by the expression
G
"
arithmetical pointaggregate
P conis meant any aggregate of points
selected Out of it by a law.
Thus the investi
and by an
tained
in
' '
Gn
gation comes to the establishment of a sharp and
as general as possible a definition which should
allow us to decide
tinuum.
when P
is
If the first derivative P'
there
is
to be called a
"con
"
a
first
is
number a of
of the power of
(I) or (II)* for
(I),
which
but
if P' is not of the power of (I),
and in only one way, divided into
two aggregates R and S, where R is " reducible, "
p() vanishes
;
P' can be always,
that is to say, such that there
of (I) or (II) such that
R(v)= 0j
is
a
first
number y
INTRODUCTION
72
and S
such that derivation does not alter
is
it.
Then
SsS'
and consequently
also
"
"
No aggregate can
is said to be
perfect.
be both reducible and perfect, "but, on the other
hand, irreducible, is not so much as perfect, nor
and S
imperfect exactly the same as reducible,
easily see with some attention.
Perfect aggregates are by no
as
we
"
means always everywhere dense an example of such an aggregate
which is everywhere dense in no interval was given
by Cantor. Thus such aggregates are not fitted
for the complete definition of a continuum, although
we must grant that the continuum must be perfect.
The other predicate is that the aggregate must be
;
connected (zusammenhangend), that is to say, if t
and t are any two of its points and e a given arbitrarily small positive number, a finite number of
points
tances
t
lt
ttlf
tt)
.
f]/a ,
.
tv of
.,
.
.
.,
P
exist such that the dis
tjf are all less
than
e.
"All the geometric pointcontinua known
to us
and I believe,
now, that I recognize in these two predicates
'perfect' and 'connected* the necessary and sufficient
are,
as
is
easy to
see,
connected
;
characteristics of a pointcontinuum.
Bolzano's
certainly
definition
(1851)
not correct,
for
it
property of a continuum, which
of
"
a continuum
expresses
is
is
only one
also possessed
by
INTRODUCTION
aggregates which arise from
aggregate
consisting
is
of
removed from
many
Dedekind * appeared
73
GH
when any
it,
and also
separated
isolated
in
continua.
those
Also
to Cantor only to
emphasize
artother property of a continuum, namely, that which
it has in common with all other perfect aggregates.
We
will pass over the development of the theory
pointaggregates subsequently to 1882 Bendixson's and Cantor's researches on the power of
of
perfect aggregates, Cantor's theory of
' '
adherences "
and "coherences," the investigations of Cantor,
Stolz, Harnack, Jordan, Borel, and others on the
content " of aggregates, and the applications of
,
' '
the theory of pointaggregates to the theory of
functions made by Jordan, Brod6n, Osgood, Baire,
and will now
Arzela, Schoenflies, and many others,
the development, in Cantor's hands, of the
theory of the transfmite cardinal and ordinal numbers
trace
from 1883 to 1895.
VIII
An
account of the development that the theory
of transfmite numbers underwent in Cantor's mind
from 1883 to 1890 is described in his articles
published in the Zeitschrift filr Philosophie und
philosophised
collected
Kritik
and published
for
in
1887 and 1888, and
1890 under the title Zur
Lehre vom Transfiniten.
A great part of this little
book is taken up with detailed discussions about
philosophers' denials of the possibility of infinite
*
Essays on Number,
p. IT.
INTRODUCTION
74
numbers, extracts from
letters to
and from
philo
"All sosophers and theologians, and so on.*
called proofs of the impossibility of actually infinite
numbers," said Cantor, "are, as may be shown in
every particular case and also on general grounds,
false in that they begin by attributing to the
numbers
in
question
all
the properties
of
finite
numbers, whereas the infinite numbers, if they are
to be thinkable in any form, must constitute quite
a new kind of number as opposed to the finite
numbers, and the nature of this new kind of number
dependent on the nature of things and is an object
is
of investigation, but not of our arbitrariness or our
prejudice."
In 1883 Cantor had begun to lecture on his view
of whole numbers and types of order as general
concepts, or universals (unum versus alia) which
relate to aggregates
when we
and
arise
from these aggregates
abstract from the nature of the elements.
' '
Every aggregate of distinct things can be regarded
as a unitary thing in which the things first mentioned
are constitutive elements.
If we abstract both from
the nature of the elements and from the order in
which they are given, we get the cardinal number
or 'power' of the aggregate, a general concept in
which the elements, as socalled units, have so
grown organically into one another to make a
unitary whole that no one of them ranks above the
c
'
Hence results that two different aggregates
others.
have the same cardinal number when and only when
*
C/.
VII, near the beginning.
INTRODUCTION
75
they are what I call equivalent to one another,
and there is no contradiction when, as often happens
with infinite aggregates, two aggregates of which
one is a part of the other have the same cardinal
'
'
I regard the nonrecognition of this fact
the principal obstacle to the introduction of
If the act of abstraction referred
infinite numbers.
number.
as
when we have to do with an aggregate ordered
according to one or many relations (dimensions), is
only performed with respect to the nature of the
to,
elements, so that the ordinal rank in which these
is
kept in the general
elements stand to one another
concept, the organic whole arising is what I call
ordinal type, or in the special case of wellordered
This ordinal
ordinal number.
aggregates an
'
'
'
number
is
the
'
same thing
that
I
called,
in
my
'
enumeral (Anzahl) of a
wellordered aggregate.' Two ordered aggregates
have one and the same ordinal type if they stand
to one another in the relation of 'similarity,'
which relation will be exactly defined. These are
Grundlagen of 1883, the
the roots from which develops with logical necessity
the organism of transfinite theory of types and in
particular of the transfinite ordinal numbers, and
which
"
hope soon to publish in a systematic form.
contents of a lecture given in 1883 were also
In it was pointed out
given in a letter of 1884.
is the
that the cardinal number of an aggregate
I
The
M
general concept under which
equivalent to M, and that
fall
all
aggregates
:
"One
of the most important problems of the
INTRODUCTION
76
theory of aggregates, which
principal part in
I
believe
I
have solved
my
Grundlagen> consists
in the question of determining the various powers
of the aggregates in the whole of nature, in so far
This end I have reached by
as we can know it.
as to
its
the development of the general concept of enumeral
of wellordered aggregates, or, what is the same
The
thing, of the concept of ordinal number."
concept of ordinal number
is
a special case of the
concept of ordinal type, which relates to any simply
or multiply ordered aggregate in the same way as.
'the ordinal number to a wellordered aggregate.
The problem here
arises of
determining the various
ordinal numbers in nature.
When
Cantor said that he had solved the chief
of determining the various
powers in nature, he meant that he had almost
proved that the power of the arithmetical continuum
part
is
of the problem
the same as the power of the ordinal numbers of
In spite of the fact that Cantor
class.
the second
firmly believed this, possibly on account of the fact
that all known aggregates in the continuum had
been found to be either of the first power or of the
power of the continuum, the proof or disproof of
theorem has not even now been carried out,
and there is some ground for believing that it
this
cannot be carried out.
What
Cantor, in his Grundlagen, had noted as the
two wellordered aggregates which have
relation of
the same enumeral was here called the relation of
"similarity," and in the laws of multiplication
of
INTRODUCTION
77
two ordinal numbers he departed from the custom
followed in the Grundlagen and wrote the multiplier
on the right and the multiplicand on the left. The
importance of this alteration
that we can write a .o? = a'J+ T
:
have to write,
a".ay = a? + 0.
At
in
is
seen
by the fact
we would
whereas
/J
;
the notation of the Grundlagen
:
the end of this letter, Cantor remarked that
in a sense, be regarded as the limit to which
W may,
the variable finite whole number
v
tends.
Here "
the least transfinite ordinal number which
than all
numbers
finite
is
exactly in the same
;
is
greater
way
that ,J2 is the limit of certain variable, increasing,
rational numbers, with this difference the difference
:
,
between J2 and these approximating fractions becomes as small as we wish, whereas co v is always
But this difference in no way alters the
equal to &>.
fact that
<o is
to be regarded as as definite and
com
pleted as J2, and in no way alters the fact that
has no more trace of the numbers v which tend to
than
^2
o>
it
has of the approximating fractions.
The
numbers are in a sense new irrationalities,
transfinite
and indeed
in
my
finite irrational
eyes the best method of defining
numbers
is
the same in principle as
numbers. We
can say that the transfinite numbers stand or fall
with finite irrational numbers, in their inmost being
they are alike, for both are definitely marked off
my
method of introducing
transfinite
modifications of the actually infinite."
With this
is
connected
in principle
an extract from
INTRODUCTION
78
a letter written in 1886: "Finally I have still to
explain to you in what sense I conceive the minimum
of the transfinite as limit of the increasing finite.
For this purpose we must consider that the concept
'
domain of finite numbers has two
For example, the number
i is the limit of the numbers z v =i
ij Vt where v is
a variable, finite, whole number, which increases
In the first place the
above all finite limits.
ss v is a magnitude which becomes indifference i
of
'
in the
limit
essential characteristics.
finitely small
;
in the
second place
is
i
the least of
numbers which are greater than all magnitudes z v
Each of these two properties characterizes the finite
number i as limit of the variable magnitude s v
Now if we wish to extend the concept of limit to
all
.
.
the second of the above
transfinite limits as well,
characteristics
is
used
;
allowed to drop because
finite limits.
the
it
Accordingly
1
must
first
here
be
has a meaning only for
call co the limit of the
numbers v because o> is the
least of all numbers which are greater than all the
But o v is always equal to o>, and
finite numbers.
therefore we cannot say that the increasing numbers
indeed any number
v come as near as we wish to CD
v however great is quite as far off from a> as the least
Here we see especially clearly the
finite number.
increasing, finite, whole
,
;
very important fact that my least transfinite ordinal
number <o, and consequently all greater ordinal
lie
numbers,
and so
on.
quite outside the endless series i, 2, 3,
o> is not a maximum of the finite
Thus
numbers, for there
is
no such thing, "
INTRODUCTION
In another letter written
79
Cantor emphasized another aspect of irrational numbers.
In all
of the definitions of these numbers there is used,
as is indeed essential, a special actually infinite
in 1886,
In both this and
aggregate of rational numbers.
another letter of 1886, Cantor returned in great
detail
and
' '
to the distinction between the
actual
"
infinite of
"
' '
potential
which he had made a great
The
point under other names in his Gjundlagen.
potential infinite is a variable finite, and in order
may be completely known, we
must be able to determine the domain of variability,
and this domain can only be, in general, an actually
infinite aggregate of values.
Thus every potential
infinite presupposes an actually infinite, and these
"
domains of variability which are studied in the
that such a variable
' '
theory of aggregates are the foundations of arithmetic and analysis. Further, besides actually infinite
aggregates, we have to consider in mathematics
natural abstractions from these aggregates, which
form the material of the theory of transfinite
numbers.
In 1885, Cantor had developed to a large extent
his theory of cardinal
numbers and ordinal types.
In the fairly long paper which he wrote out, he
laid particular stress on the theory of ordinal types
details which he had not published
before as to the definition of ordinal type in general,
In
of which ordinal number is a particular case.
and entered into
this paper also
an aggregate
he denoted the cardinal number of
M
by M, and the
ordinal type of
INTRODUCTION
8o
M
by
M
;
thus indicating
that a double
or
single
by
act
lines over
the letter
of abstraction
is
to
be performed.
In the theory of cardinal numbers, he defined the
two cardinal numbers
addition and multiplication of
and proved the fundamental
much
the
1895 which
same way
as
translated below.
is
them in
memoir of
laws about
he did
in the
It is characteristic
of Cantor's views that he distinguished very sharply
between an aggregate and a cardinal number that
"Is not an aggregate an object outnumber is an abstract
"
picture of it in our mind ?
In an ordered aggregate of any number of
belongs to
it
:
side us, whereas its cardinal
dimensions, such as the totality of points in space,
as determined by three rectangular coordinates, or
a piece of music whose dimensions are the sequence
of the tones in time, the duration of each tone in
and the intensity of the
tones, then "if we make abstraction of the nature
time, the pitch of the tones,
we retain their rank in all the
an intellectual picture, a general
generated in us, and 1 call this the ple
The definition of the "
of
of the elements, while
different directions,
concept, is
ordinal type."
similarity
ordered aggregates " is
"Two tfply ordered aggregates
called similar if it is possible so to
:
M
and
N
make
are
their
elements correspond to another uniquely and completely that, if E and E' are any two elements of
M and F and
F' the
N, then for i/=
i,
2,
two corresponding elements of
.
,
,
n the relation of rank of
INTRODUCTION
81
M
E
to E' in the v th direction inside the aggregate
exactly the same as the relation of rank of F to F'
We
in the vth direction inside the aggregate N.
is
two aggregates
which are similar to one another an imaging ,of the
one on the other."
The addition and multiplication of ordinal types,
and the fundamental laws about them, were then
dealt with much as in the memoir of 1895 which is
The rest of the paper was devoted
translated below.
will call such a correspondence of
to a consideration of problems about #ple finite
types.
In 1888, Cantor, who had arrived at a very clear
notion that the essential part of the concept of number
lay in the unitary concept that we form, gave some
Helmholtz and
interesting criticisms on the essays of
Kronecker, which appeared in 1887, on the concept
Both the authors referred to started
of number.
with the last and most unessential feature in our
treatment of ordinal numbers the words or other
signs that we use to represent these numbers.
:
In 1887, Cantor gave a more detailed proof of the
nonexistence of actually infinitely small magnitudes.
This proof
lagen, and
was
was
Grundmore rigorous form
referred to in advance in the
later put into a
by Peano.
We have already referred to the researches of
Cantor on pointaggregates published in 1883 and
those already
later; the only other paper besides
dealt with that was published by Cantor on an
of transfinite
important question in the theory
INTRODUCTION
82
numbers was one published
in 1892.
In this paper
can see the origins of the conception of
covering" (Belegung) defined in the memoir of 1895 transIn the terminology introduced in this
lated below.
we
' '
memoir, we can say that the paper of 1892 contains
2, when exponentiated by a transfmite
number, gives rise to a cardinal number
a proof that
cardinal
which
is
greater than the
cardinal
number
first
mentioned.
The introduction of the concept of "covering" is
the most striking advance in the principles of the
theory of transfmite numbers from 1885 to 1895,
and we can now study the final and considered form
which Cantor gave to the theory in two important
memoirs of 1895 and 1897. The principal advances
in the theory since 1897 will be referred to in the
notes at the end of this book.
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE
FOUNDING OF THE THEORY OF
TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE
FOUNDING OF THE THEORY OF
TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
[481]
(FIRST ARTICLE)
"
Hypotheses non fingo."
leges intellectui aut rebus damus
ad arbitrium nostrum, sed tanquam scribse
fideles ab ipsius naturae voce latas et prolatas
"Neque enim
excipimus et describimus."
"Veniet tempus, quo ista quse nunc latent, in
lucem dies extrafiat et longioris sevi diligentia."
1
The Conception
BY
of
Power
or Cardinal
Number
"
(Menge) we are to understand
whole (Zusammenfassung su
of definite and separate objects m
einem Ganeen)
of our intuition or our thought.
These objects are
called the
elements " of M.
' '
an
aggregate
collection into a
any
M
' '
In signs
we
express this thus
We
P,
.
.
denote the uniting of
.,
many aggregates M, N,
which have no common elements, into a
single aggregate
(2)
:
M = {**}.
(1)
by
(M, N, P,
85
.
.
.)
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
86
The elements
elements of
We
M
of this aggregate are, therefore, the
of N, of P,
taken together.
.
,
A^
M
If
a is
a is a part of
a part of M.
Every aggregate
we
.
,
M
"
aggregate
M
.
by the name "part"
or "partial
of an aggregate
any* other aggregate
whose elements are also elements of M.
will call
will also call its
We
will call
number " of
M
M
x
and Mj
is
a part of M, then
M has a definite
' '
"power," which
cardinal number.
"
"
by the name
power" or "cardinal
the general concept which, by means
of our active faculty of thought, arises from the
when we make abstraction of the
aggregate
M
various elements m and of the order
which they are given.
[482] We denote the result of this double act of
abstraction, the cardinal number or power of M, by
nature of
its
in
5.
(3)
Since every single element m, if we abstract from
its nature, becomes a "unit," the cardinal number
M
a definite aggregate composed of units, and
is
this
number has existence
lectual
We
in
our mind as an
intel
image or projection of the given aggregate M.
and N are
say that two aggregates
equi
M
' '
valent," in signs
(4)
M c\> N
or
N
r\J
M,
possible to put them, by some law, in such a
relation to one another that to every element of each
if it is
one of them corresponds one and only one element
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
To
of the other.
every part
M
x
of
M
sponds, then, a definite equivalent part
87
there corre
N
of N, and
inversely.
If
we have such
a law of coordination of
two
equivalent aggregates, then, apart from the case
when each of them consists only of one element, we
can modify this law in many ways.
We can, for
always take care that to a special element
instance,
mQ of M a special
For
element
of N corresponds.
according to the original law, the elements
9
do not correspond to one another, but to the
and
m
if,
element
m
Q
of
M
the element n of
and to the element
N
corresponds,
the element
of
m
N
M
we
take the modified law according to
and m^ to n t and for the
corresponds to
corresponds,
which '/#
of
other elements the original law remains unaltered.
By this means the end is attained.
Every aggregate
is
equivalent to itself
:
M oo M.
(5)
If two aggregates are equivalent to a third, they are
equivalent to one another that is to say
:
;
(6)
from
M oo P
and
N oo P
Of fundamental importance
is
follows
M oo N.
the theorem that
two aggregates M and N have the same cardinal
number if, and only if, they are equivalent thus,
:
(7)
from
MooN
from
M
we
get
M
= N we
get
M oo N,
fT,
and
(8)
Thus
the equivalence of aggregates forms the neces
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
88
sary and sufficient condition for the equality of their
cardinal numbers.
483] In fact, according to the above definition of
remains unaltered if
power, the cardinal number
in the place of each of one or many or even all
M
elements
now,
m
of
M other
M oo N,
there
means of which
M
is
and
things are substituted.
a law of coordination
N
If,
by
are uniquely and recipro
and by it to the
cally referred to one another
element
of
corresponds the element n of N.
;
M
m
Then we can imagine, in the place of every element
m of M, the corresponding element n of N substituted, and, in this
way,
M transforms
alteration of cardinal number.
into
N without
Consequently
S=N.
The converse of the theorem results from the remark that between the elements of M and the
different units of its cardinal number M a reciprocally univocal (or biunivocal) relation of correspond
ence subsists.
speak, out of
element m of N.
we can say that
in
a.
We
results
M
that from every
grows, so to
M
arises.
M
N,
Thus
M no M.
In the same
(6),
saw,
way
special unit of
(9)
by
we
such a
For, as
M
M
way N oo
N.
If then
we
have,
oo N.
mention the following theorem, which
immediately from the conception of equival
will
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
If
euce.
P,
.
.
.
no common
gates with the same property, and
.
.
.
if
MooM', NooN', P oo
then
89
are aggregates which have
are also aggreelements, M', N', P',
M, N,
P'
we always have
(M, N, P,
.
.
.)
ro
(M', N', P',
.
.
.)
2
"Greater" and "Less" with Powers
(a)
M and N with the cardinal
M and b = N, both the conditions
no part of M which equivalent to N,
There
(b)
There
is
are fulfilled,
it
If for
two aggregates
numbers a =
hold
:
is
is
if
in
a part
is
them
N x of
N
N, such that
x
oo M,
obvious that these conditions
M
N
and
are replaced
still
by two
Thus they exequivalent aggregates M' and N'.
numbers
press a definite relation of the cardinal
a
and
b
to one another.
M
and N, and
[484] Further, the equivalence of
thus the equalky of rt and b, is excluded for if we
oo N, we would have, because Nj. oo M, the
had
oo N,
equivalence N x oo N, and then, because
;
M
there
would exist a part
M
and therefore we should
contradicts the condition
M
M such that M oo M,
and this
have M oo N
x
of
x
x
;
(a).
Thirdly, the relation of a to b is such that
makes impossible the same relation of b to a ; for
it
if
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
90
M
and N are
(a) and (b) the parts played by
interchanged, two conditions arise which are contradictory to the former ones.
in
We
(a)
express the relation of a to 'b characterized by
"
than b or b is
less
a is
and () by saying
"
' '
greater
than a
a<b
(1)
We
' '
:
in signs
;
or
b>a.
can easily prove that,
(2) if a
<b
Similarly,
that, if
Px
b
< c,
is
then
we always have
definition,
part of an aggregate P, from
< P and
a
<
c.
follows at once
it
a<Pj
follows i\ < b.
have seen that, of the three relations
follows a
We
and
from the
from P
<b
a=b, a<b, b<a,
On the other
each one excludes the two others.
hand, the theorem that, with any two cardinal
numbers a and b, one of those three relations must
necessarily be realized, is by no means selfevident
and can hardly be proved at this stage.
Not until later, when we shall have gained a
survey over the ascending sequence of the transfinite
cardinal numbers and an insight into their connexion,
will result the truth of the theorem
:
A, If a and
b
either a = b or a
From
are
<b
any two cardinal numbers, then
or a
> b.
theorem the following theorems, of
which, however, we will here make no use, can be
this
very simply derived
;
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
B.
If
two aggregates
M
M of
and N are such that
of N and N to a part
equivalent to a part N x
and
are equivalent
M, then
M
M
91
M
N
is
x
;
M
a part of an aggregate M,
a is a
part of the aggregate
lf and if the aggregates
and
is equivalent to
a are equivalent, then
C.
If
x
is
M
M
M
M and M
both
D.
If,
M
a
;
M
with two aggregates
and
N,
N
is
M
nor to a part of M, there is
equivalent neither to
a part N x of
that is equivalent to
E. If two aggregates
and
are not equivalent,
and there is a part 1 of N that is equivalent to M,
M
N
M
;
N
N
then no part of
M
is
equivalent to N.
3
[485]
The Addition and
Multiplication of Powers
M
The union of two aggregates
and
have no common elements was denoted in
by (M,
N).
We
call
it
the
N
which
I,
(2),
"union aggregate
M
and N."
(Vereinigungsmenge) of
If M' and N' are two other aggregates without
t\> M' and N ro N', we
common elements, and if
saw that we have
M
(M, N) oo (M',
N').
Hence the cardinal number of (M, N) only depends
upon the cardinal numbers M = a and N = b.
This leads to the definition of the sum of a and b.
We
put
(i)
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
92
Since in the conception of power, we abstract from
the order of the elements, we conclude at once that
a+b = b+a;
(2)
and, for
any three cardinal numbers
we have
a, b,
c,
Any
element
a+(b+c) = (a+b)+c.
(3)
We now come
to multiplication.
M
m
can be thought to be bound up
with any element n of another aggregate N so as
to form a new element (m, n) we denote by (M N)
of an aggregate
.
;
the aggregate of all these bindings (m, n\ and call
it the "aggregate of bindings (Verbindungsmenge)
ofMandN."
Thus
(M.N) = {(*,)}.
(4)
We
see that the
power of (M N) only depends on
.
M a and N = b
we replace the
aggregates M and N by the aggregates
the powers
==
for, if
;
W = {m'}
and
N' = {'}
respectively equivalent to them, and consider m, m'
n' as
and
corresponding elements, then the
,
aggregate
is
brought
(M'.N') =
into
{(**',
')}
a reciprocal and univocal corre
spondence with (M.N) by regarding (m n) and
Thus
(m' if) as corresponding elements.
t
t
(5)
We now
(6)
(M'. N')
ou (M.N).
define the product a b
.
a.b = (M.N).
by the equation
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
93
An
aggregate with the cardinal number
[486]
n b may also be made up out of two aggregates
and N with the cardinal numbers a and b according
M
.
We start from the aggregate
every element n by an aggregate
<>J
then, we collect the elements of all
if,
these aggregates
w to a whole S, we see that
to the following rule
N
and replace
M
M
in
:
it
;
M
Soo(M.N),
(7)
and consequently
=a.b.
For, if, with any given law of correspondence of the
and
we denote
two equivalent aggregates
H
M
by
m
element
mn
of
M
M
,
M
which corresponds to the
we have
the element of
tt ,
SHM;
(8)
and thus the aggregates S and (M.N) can be referred reciprocally and univocally to one another by
m
H and (m,
) as corresponding elements.
regarding
From our definitions result readily the theorems
a.b=b.a,
(9)
.a.(b,c)=(a.b).c,
(10)
a(b+c)ab+ac;
(n)
because
:
:
(M N) no (N M),
(N P)) oo ((M N) P),
.
(M
(M
.
.
.
(N, P)) CNJ
.
.
.
((M
.
N),
(M
.
P)).
Addition and multiplication of powers are subject,
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
94
therefore, to the commutative, associative, and distributive laws.
4
The Exponentiation
By
of
Powers
a "covering of the aggregate
N with elements
of the aggregate M," or, more simply, by a "coverwith M," we understand a law by which
ing of
with every element n of
a definite element of
N
N
is
bound
up,
where one and the same element of
M
M
can come repeatedly into application.
The element
of
bound up with n is, in a way, a onevalued
function of n, and may be denoted by f(n) it is
M
;
covering function of n." The corresponding covering of N will be called /(N).
[487] Two coverings /^(N) and./j,(N) are said to
called a
be equal
' '
if,
and only
if,
for all
elements
of
N
the
equation
fM=fM
(i)
is fulfilled,
so that
for even a single
if this
element
equation does not subsist
./i(N) and^(N) are
,
characterized as different coverings of N.
For example, if #z is a particular element of M, we may
fix that, for all n's
f(n) =
m
Q
\
law constitutes a particular covering of N with
M. Another kind of covering results if m and t
are two different particular elements of
a
and
particular element of N, from fixing that
this
m
M
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
/() =
f(n) =
for
all
The
's
which are
95
z
mv
from
different
.
totality of different coverings of
N
M
with
forms a definite aggregate with the elements /"(N)
we call it the "coveringaggregate (Belegungsmenge)
"
and denote it by (N M).
Thus
of N with
;
M
:

(NM) = {/(N)}.
(2)
If
M fX> M' and N ru N',
we
Thus the
cardinal
number
for
of
(N

M) depends only
M = a and N = b
on the cardinal numbers
us
easily find that
(NM)oo(N'MO.
(3)
the definition of a 6
;
it
a=(NM).
(4)
For any three aggregates, M, N,
the theorems
P,
we
easily prove
:
(5)
((N lM).(PM))oo((N, P)M),
(6)
((PM),(PN))csJ (P(M.N)),
(7)
from which,
(P(NM))r\>((P.N)M),
if
we
put
paying attention to
cardinal numbers, a,
P = c, we have, by
6,
(4)
and by
the theorems for any three
3,
and
(8)
c^.a'
(9)
a'.b
(10)
serves
:
(a*)
e=
c
:
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
96
[488] We see how pregnant and farreaching
these simple formulae extended to powers are by the
If we denote the power of the
following example.
continuum X (that is, the totality X of real
numbers x such that x>. and :<i) by o, we easily
see that it may be represented by, amongst others,
linear
the formula
:
= 2 No
(II)
,
6 gives the meaning of N O
where
2 N is the
power of
all
.
In
fact,
by
(4),
representations
..
(where f(v)=o or
of the numbers
x
in the
If
binary system.
i)
we pay
attention to the fact that every number x is only.?
represented once, with the exception of the^numbers
x=
v
^
<i, which are represented twice
over,
we
have, if we denote the "enumerable" totality of
the latter by {sv },
3
If
we
take
*(W,
X any
away from
X).
" enumerable
gate {tv } and denote the remainder by
X
X((M. X 1 ) = ({^_ 1 }, {*,},
({*}, X) = (M, {*}, X,),
{^i}^{jv},
{ffcjoofc}.
K },
X),
x,
"
aggre
we have
:
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
and thus
(
97
i)
2*X0.
From (n)
follows
= 2 So
.
by squaring (by
.
2 No
6, (6))
= 2 No+Wo = 2 No =sO,
and hence, by continued multiplication by
o"
(13)
where
If
we
v is
we
o,
= o,
finite cardinal number.
both sides of (n) to the power* N O
any
raise
get
But
since,
by
6, (8),
.NO = N O
>
we have
0*0 = 0.
(14)
The
O
formulae
i/dirnensional
(13) and (14) mean that both the
and the N dimensional continuum have
the power of the onedimensional continuum.
the whole contents of
Thus
my
paper in Crelle's Journal^
vol. Ixxxiv, i878,f are derived purely algebraically
with these few strokes of the pen from the fundamental
formulae of the calculation with cardinal numbers.
[489]
5
The
Finite Cardinal
Numbers
We will next
show how the principles which we
have laid down, and on which later on the theory
of the actually infinite or transfinite cardinal numbers
*
[In English there Is an nmbiguity,]
of the Introduction.]
t [See Section
V
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
98
most natural, shortest,
and most rigorous foundation for the theory of
will be built, afford also the
finite
To
numbers.
a single thing
we subsume
if
,
concept of an aggregate
number what we
we have
cardinal
i
;
unionaggregate
E = (E
(2)
The
I
cardinal
denoted by 2
number
*i)
O>
another thing
so that
= (*o
of Ej
and
*i>
called
is
e lt
,
"two" and
is
:
= Er
2
(3)
By
.
E
EI}
Let us now unite with
call the
under the
corresponds as
"one" and denote by
call
=E
i
(1)
it
E = (),
addition of
new elements we get the
series of
aggregates
E2 = ( E
1>
E3 = ( E
es)>
which give us successively,
2>
*s)>
'
'
in unlimited sequence,
the other socalled "finite cardinal numbers" de
noted by
make
3,
4,
The
...
5,
use which
of these numbers as suffixes
is
we here
by
justified
number is only used as a suffix
has been defined as a cardinal number.
the fact that a
when
it
We have,
if
by
v
i
mediately preceding
is
understood the number im
v in
(4)
v=iUi,
(5)
E, =(&!,
the above series,
*v)
= (*
,
*!,... *).
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
From
the definition of a
sum
3 follows
in
99
:
RlLi+i;
(6)
to say, every cardinal number, except
the sum of the immediately preceding one and
that
is
Now, the following three theorems come
I,
is
i.
into the
foreground
A. The terms of the unlimited series of
:
cardinal
i,
are
2, 3,
.
.
.,
v,
.
.
.
from one another (that
different
all
finite
numbers
is
to say,
condition of equivalence established in
not fulfilled for the corresponding aggregates).
.the
i
is
[490] B. Every one of these numbers v is greater
than the preceding ones and less than the following
ones ( 2).
C.
There are
lie
magnitude,
v
and j/+i
We
(
no cardinal numbers which, in
between two consecutive numbers
2).
make the
proofs of these theorems r.est on
and E.
.shall, then,
the two following ones,
in the next
D
We
place, give the latter
theorems rigid
proofs,
D. If
M
is
an aggregate such that
it is
of equal
power with none of its parts, then the aggregate
by the addition of a
(M, *), which arises from
single new element e, has the same property of
being of equal power with none of its parts.
M
E.
If
number
N
v,
is
an aggregate with the finite cardinal
N x is any part of N, the cardinal
and
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEOR Y
TOO
number
Na
of
numbers
2,
I,
equal to one of the preceding
is
3,
.
.
v
.,
I.
Proof of D.
Suppose that the aggregate (M, <?)
is equivalent to one of its parts which we will call
Then two cases, both of which lead to a conN.
tradiction, are to be distinguished
:
The aggregate N contains e as element let
N = (M ls e) then Ml is a part of M because N is
As we saw in
a part of (M, e).
I, the law of
(a)
;
;
correspondence of the two equivalent aggregates
(M, e) and (M 1} e) can be so modified that the
element
element
are
e
of
the
one corresponds to the same
and Mj
by that, then,
the other
e of
referred
M
;
and univocally to one
reciprocally
But this contradicts the supposition that
not equivalent to its part Mj.
of (M, <?) does not contain e as
(b) The part N
another.
M
is
M
or a part of M.
In
element, so that N is either
the law of correspondence between (M, e) and N,
which lies at the basis of our supposition, to the
,
element
latter
e
of the former let the element
correspond.
N = (M x
Let
M
,
/)
;
f
of the
then the
is put in a reciprocally univocal relation
aggregate
with
r But MJ is a part of N and hence of M.
would be equivalent to one of its
So here too
M
M
parts,
and
contrary to the supposition.
this is
Proof of E. We will suppose the correctness
of the theorem up to a certain v and then conclude
its validity for the number j/+ I which immediately
We start from
follows, in the following manner
:
the aggregate
E = (*
p
,
* lf
.
.
.,
<?)
as an aggregate
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
101
with the cardinal number v+i.
If the theorem is
this aggregate, its truth for any other
1
aggregate with the same cardinal number v
true for
,
follows at once
by
Let E' be any part of
I.
we
distinguish the following cases
(a) E' does not contain e v as element, then
+
E
F
;
:
E
is
_!, and so has as
[491] or a part of
cardinal number either v or one of the numbers
either
J
>
2
i
true
_].
"I,
3>
the
for
number
because
we supposed
aggregate
_!,
our theorem
with the cardinal
v.
E' consists of the single element
(b)
en
then
E'=i.
(c)
E' consists of e v and an aggregate E", so that
E" is a part of
_! and has there
E' = (E", *).
by supposition as cardinal number one of the
i..
But now E s=E"+i,
numbers I, 2, 3,
.,
and thus the cardinal number of E' is one of the
numbers 2, 3,
., v.
Proof of A. Every one of the aggregates which
we have denoted by E v has the property of not
For if we
being equivalent to any of its parts.
fore
>
.
.
.
>/
.
so as far as a certain
suppose that this
is
from the theorem
D that
following number v+i.
once that the aggregate
to
any of
series
i,
the later,
2,
3,
.
E^j
follows
so for the immediately
For
v
E t = (*
I,
,
we
e^) is
recognize at
not equivalent
which are here <V ) and (ej.
any two numbers /* and v of the
then, if p is the earlier and v
is a part of
Thus E^i and
_!.
its parts,
Consider, now,
v, it
it is
.
.
;
102
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
E v _!
are
not
equivalent,
numbers
cardinal
u
/
=E
fl
and
accordingly
and
!/=_!
_i
their
not
are
equal.
If of the
Proof'of ft.
p and
v
the
later,
then
M=E
ft
first
< v.
/*
and
_i
N=
finite cardinal
numbers
For consider the two aggregates
_!; for them each of the two
M<N
2 for
conditions in
two
the earlier and the second the
is
is
fulfilled.
The
con
dition (a) is fulfilled because, by theorem E, a part
= EM _i can only have one of the cardinal
of
M
and therefore, by
numbers i, 2, 3,
i,
.,
yu
theorem A, cannot be equivalent to the aggregate
.
N=
is
The
_!.
itself is
.
condition
()
is
fulfilled
because
M
a part of N.
Proof of C. Let a be a cardinal number which
less than v+i.
Because of the condition (b) of
a part of E,, with the cardinal number
can only have one
E, a part of
Thus a is
of the cardinal numbers I, 2, 3,
., j/.
there
2,
a,
is
By theorem
.
.
.,
equal to one of the cardinal numbers I, 2, 3,
By theorem B, none of these is greater than
.
.
v.
v.
Consequently there is no cardinal number a which
is less than v + i and greater than v.
Of importance
theorem
F.
for
what follows
is
the following
:
If
K
is
any aggregate of
different
finite
cardinal numbers, there is one, KV amongst them
which is smaller than the rest, and therefore the
smallest of
all.
[492] Proof.
The aggregate
K
either contains
OF TRANSF1NITE NUMBERS
the number
or
I,
in
which case
103
the least,
is
it
<c
l
=
I,
does not.
it
aggregate of
all
In the latter case, let J be the
those cardinal numbers of our series,
which are smaller than those occurring
If a number v belongs to J, all numbers less
K.
than v belong to J.
But J must have one element
!}
2>
3>
in
and consequently all greater
v 1 such that v + 1
numbers, do not belong to J, because otherwise
J would contain all finite numbers, whereas the
,
numbers belonging to K are not contained in J.
Thus J is the segment (Abscknitt) (i, 2, 3,
., j/j).
The number ^ + I = K^ is necessarily an element of
K and smaller than the rest.
.
From F we conclude
.
:
Every aggregate K = {/c} of different finite
cardinal numbers can be brought into the form of
G.
a series
IV.
=
(jfj,
/C
2>
)
K$>
such that
6
The Smallest
Number
Transfinite Cardinal
AlephZero
Aggregates with
finite cardinal
"finite aggregates,"
all
others
numbers are called
we
will call
and their cardinal
"transfinite cardinal numbers."
finite
The
aggregates"
first
example of a
given by the totality of
"trans
numbers
transfinite aggregate
finite cardinal
numbers
is
v
;
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
104
we
number
call its cardinal
denote
it
by MO
thus
;
we
"
(
i)
Alephzero" and
define
NO=R.
(I)
That NO
a transfinite number, that is to say, is
not equal to any finite number /m, follows from the
simple fact that, if to the aggregate {v} is added a
is
new element
eQ)
the
unionaggregate
e )
({j/},
is
For we
equivalent to the .original aggregate {v}.
can think of this reciprocally univocal correspondence between them
:
to the element e
of the
first
corresponds the element I of the second, and to the
element v of the first corresponds the element v+ i of
the other.
By 3 we thus have
N O +I=NO
(2)
But we showed in
5 that ^ + 1 is always different
from fi, and therefore NO is not equal to any finite
number /*.
The number N O
(3)
is
greater than any
finite
number /*
:
Mo>M
.
[493] This follows, if we pay attention to
3,
from the three facts that yu = (i, 2, 3,
., ^,), that
no part of the aggregate (i, 2, 3,
., ^) is equiva,
.
lent to the aggregate
{j/},
and that
.
.
(i, 2, 3,
.
.
.,
/tt
)
a part of {v}.
On the other hand, NO is the least transfinite
cardinal number.
If a is any transfinite cardinal
is itself
number
(4)
different
from NO then
,
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
105
This rests on the following theorems
A. Every transfinite aggregate T has parts with
:
number NO
by any rule, we have taken away a
number of elements t lt tz ,...,t v . lt there
the cardinal
Proof.
finite
.
If,
always remains the possibility of taking away a
further element tv
The aggregate {}, where v
denotes any finite cardinal number, is a part of T
with the cardinal number N O because {t v }c\j{v} ( i).
.
,
B. If
S
number M O
S! = N O
is
,
a transfinite aggregate with the cardinal
and Sj is any transfinite part of S, then
.
Proof.
We have supposed that S oo {v}.
Choose
a definite law of correspondence between these
two
aggregates, and, with this law, denote by sv that
element of S which corresponds to the element v of
{j/
so that
The part S x of S consists of certain elements j*
of S, and the totality of numbers K forms a transof the aggregate {/}.
finite part
By theorem G
K
the aggregate
form of a series
of
5
where
consequently
we have
K
can be brought into the
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
106
Hence
follows that
From
A
regard to
From
S a ro
S,
and B the formula
and therefore S x = M O
(4) results, if we have
.
2.
(2)
we
conclude,
by adding
I
to both sides,
and, by repeating this
+"=
N
(5)
We have
<)
also
MO
(6)
[494] For, by
(i) of
+ NO = NO
3,
NO + N O
is tlie
cardinal
number
Now, obviously
and therefore
The equation
(6)
can also be written
MO
.
2 = NO
J
and, by adding MO repeatedly to both sides,
find that
v=v, NO NO
(7}
We
also
(3)
have
No
MO = NO
we
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
By
Proof.
(6) of
number of the aggregate
where
/&
and
N O NO
3,
.
of bindings
107
the cardinal
is
.
are any finite cardinal numbers which
v
are independent of one another.
If also X represents any finite cardinal number, so that {X}, {p},
and
{v} are
aggregate
only different notations for the same
all
o'f
finite
numbers, we have to show
that
(Ox,
)}
no
Let us denote ^ + v by p
numerical values
i
p
elements
(/A,
2,
3, 4,
v) for
.
;
.
{X.
then p takes
.,
which
all
and there are
/j.
+ v = p,
(I.pl), (2,p2),..., (pI,
the
in all
namely
:
I).
the elemental, i),
In this sequence imagine
for which p = 2, put, then the two elements for
first
which p 3, then the three elements for which
and so on. Thus we get all the elements
p = 4,
(fji,
v)
in
a simple series
:
and here, as we easily see, the element
at the Xth place, where
,
.
.,
v)
comes
X
(9)
The
(/*,
variable
once,
X takes every numerical value
Consequently, by means of
i,
2, 3i
(9),
a
io8
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
reciprocally univocal relation subsists
aggregates
{j/}
and
between the
{(/*, v)}.
[495] If both sides of the equation (8) are multi8
a =
by N we get No =
Noj and, by repeated
multiplications by NO we get the equation, valid
plied
,
,
for every finite cardinal
N
(10)
The theorems
on
finite
E
and
aggregates
number
"
v
:
= No
A of
5
lead to this theorem
:
C; Every finite aggregate
E
is
equivalent to none of its parts.
This theorem stands sharply
such that
it
is
opposed to the
following one for transfmite aggregates
D. Every transfinite aggregate T is such that
:
it
T1
which are equivalent to it.
Proof.
By theorem A of this paragraph there is
a part S = {tv } of T with the cardinal number
Let T = (S, U), so that U is composed of those
elements of T which are different from the elements
Let us put S 1 = {^ +1 } ^(Si, U) then T x is
/,.
has parts
.
)
;
a part of T, and, in fact, that part which arises out
of T ff we leave out the single element t^.
Since
S PVJ S lf by theorem B of this paragraph, and
UroU, we
have, by
i,
In these theorems C and
ence between
which
T no Tx
D the essential
.
differ
and
transfinite aggregates, to
I referred in the year 1 877, in volume Ixxxiv
finite
[1878] of Crelle's Journal, p.
242, appears in the
clearest way.
After
we have
introduced the least transfinite
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
cardinal
number
NO
and derived
its
109
properties that
the most readily to hand, the question arises
as to the higher cardinal numbers and how they
shall show that the transproceed from
lie
We
.
finite cardinal
numbers can be arranged according
to their magnitude, and, in this order, form, like
the finite numbers, a "wellordered aggregate" in
an extended sense of the words.
Out of
pro
by a definite law, the next greater cardinal
number & lt out of this by the same law the next
But even the unlimited
greater N 2 and so on.
sequence of cardinal numbers
ceeds,
,
does
not
exhaust
a cardinal
the
conception of transfinite
prove the existence of
We will
cardinal number.
number which we denote by
which shows
itself to
M
and
be the next greater to
all
the numbers N V
out of it proceeds in the same
way as M X out of M a next greater MW+ I, and so on,
;
without end.
[496] To every transfinite cardinal
there is a next greater proceeding out of
number
it
a
accord
ing to a unitary law, and also to every unlimitedly
ascending wellordered aggregate of transfinite
cardinal numbers, {a}, there is a next greater proceeding out of that aggregate in a unitary way.
For the rigorous foundation of this matter, disin 1882 and exposed in the pamphlet
covered
Grundlagen
lehre
einer allgemeinen Mannichfaltigkeits1883) and in volume xxi of the
(Leipzig,
no THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
Mathematiscke Annalen, we make use of the socalled
ordinal types " whose theory we have to
'
'
set forth in the following paragraphs.
7
The Ordinal Types
of Simply Ordered
Aggregates
We
call
definite
over
its
m
mt and m^
"
' '
higher
7# 2 ,
and
m%
is
The
i
' '
simply ordered
"
if
a
t
one takes the "lower" and the other the
rank,
m& m v
and so
say,
that, if of three
is
m
s.
relation of
formulae
mt
m
is
two elements m^ and
mv
,
then
m
t,
m
1}
and
of lower
.
has the lower rank
cedence and
elements
of lower rank than
of lower rank than
rank than
m
M
an aggregate
"
order of precedence (Rangordnung) rules
so that, of every two elements
elements
' '
*# a
in
which
the given order of prethe higher, is expressed by the
in
:
nti<mz
(i)
,
m^mv
Thus, for example, every aggregate P of points
defined on a straight line is a simply ordered
if, of every two points / x and p % belonging to it, that one whose coordinate (an origin and
a positive direction having been fixed upon) is the
aggregate
given the lower rank.
one and the same aggregate can
be "simply ordered" according to the most different
laws.
Thus, for example, with the aggregate R of
lesser
is
It is evident that
OP TRANSPINITE NUMBERS
all
1 I 1
numbers // (where/ and q are
prime integers) which are greater than o
than I, there is, firstly, their "natural"
positive rational
relatively
and
less
order according to magnitude
then they can be
arranged (and in this order we will denote the
;
aggregate by R ) so that, of two numbers pj^ and
f r which the sums # +
g 1 and / a + a have
1
A/?J
that
different values,
sponding sum
A + Q\ ~Pi +
numbers
a>
number
for
which the corre
lower rank, and, if
then the smaller of the two rational
is
less takes the
the lower.
[497] In this order of
precedence, our aggregate, since to one and the
same value of p + q only a finite number of rational
numbers p\q belongs, evidently has the form
is
RO = (^I.
where
Always,
ordered'
1
*2 .....
rm
..
.)
= (!
fc,
h
fr,
*, *, T. *.
)
then, when we speak of a "simply
aggregate M, we imagine laid down a
definite order or precedence of
its
elements, in the
sense explained above.
There are doubly, triply,
i/ply and aply ordered
aggregates, but for the present we will not consider
So in what follows we will use the shorter
them.
expression "ordered aggregate"
"
simply ordered aggregate.
when we mean
1 '
Every ordered aggregate M has a definite "ordinal
more shortly a definite "type," which we
type," or
will
denote by
(2)
M.
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
ii2
By
we understand the general concept which
M if we only abstract from the nature
this
results
from
of the elements m, and retain the order of precedence
is itself an
among them. Thus the ordinal type
M
ordered aggregate whose elements are units which
have the same order of precedence amongst one
another as the corresponding elements of M, from
which they are derived by abstraction.
We
M
and N
aggregates
they can be put into a biunivocal correspondence with one another in such
call
two
ordered
"similar" (ahnlich)
a manner that,
M and
if
and
if
m^ and
/# a are
any two elements
the corresponding elements of N,
in
then the relation of rank of ; x to
is the
z
of
x
a
m
M
Such a correspondence' of similar aggregates we call an "imaging"
In
(Abbildung) of these aggregates on one another.
same
as that of
x
to
a
in
N.
such an imaging, to every part which obviously
also appears as an ordered aggregate
Mj of
corresponds a similar part N x of N.
M
We
gates
express the similarity of two ordered aggreand N by the formula
M
:
M rvj N.
(3)
Every ordered aggregate is similar to itself.
If two ordered aggregates are similar to a
third,
they are similar to one another.
A
simple consideration shows that two
[498]
ordered aggregates have the same ordinal type if,
and only if, they are similar, so that, of the two
formulae
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
(4)
one
113
M = N, MooN,
always a consequence of the other.
with an ordinal type
we also abstract from
the order of precedence of the elements, we get ( i)
is
M
If,
number M of the ordered aggregate M,
same time, the cardinal number of
From M = N always follows
type M.
the cardinal
which
is,
at the
the ordinal
M = N,
that
to say, ordered aggregates of equal
is
always have the same power or cardinal
number from the similarity of ordered aggregates
types
;
On the other hand, two
be equivalent without being similar.
follows their equivalence.
aggregates
We
may
Greek alphabet
an ordinal type,
will use the small letters of the
to denote ordinal types.
If a
is
we understand by
5
(5)
corresponding cardinal number.
The ordinal types of finite ordered aggregates
For we easily convince
offer no special interest.
its
ourselves that, for one and the
number
same
finite
cardinal
simply ordered aggregates are similar
to one another, and thus have one and the same
type.
subject
v t all
Thus the finite simple
to the same laws as
numbers, and
it
is
ordinal
the
types are
finite
allowable to use the
cardinal
same signs
.,
j/,... for them, although they are
2, 3,
I,
conceptually different from the cardinal numbers.
The case is quite different with the transfinite
ordinal types for to one and the same cardinal
.
.
;
H4 THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
number belong innumerably many
different types of
simply ordered aggregates, which, in their totality,
"
class of types (Typenclasse).
constitute a particular
of
classes
one
of
these
types is, therefore,
Every
determined by the transfinite cardinal number a
' '
which
is
common
Thus we
class.
to
all
the types belonging to the
the class of types [a].
call it for short
.That class which naturally presents itself first to us,
and whose complete investigation must, accordingly,
be the next special aim of the theory of transfinite
aggregates, is the class of types [NO ] which embraces
the types with the least transfinite cardinal
all
number MO
From
.
the
[499]
latter
[a]
&
is
number which
cardinal
determines the class of types
tinguish that cardinal number
we "have
[a]
a'
which
determined by the class of types
number which
the cardinal
has, in
so
far
as
it
(
to dis
for its part
i)
[a].
The
the class
represents a welldefined
aggregate whose elements are all the types a with
the cardinal number a.
We will see that a' is
different from a, and indeed always greater than a.
M
If in an ordered aggregate
all the relations of
precedence of its elements are inverted, so that
"
"
"
lower becomes
higher and
higher becomes
"lower" everywhere, we again get an ordered
aggregate, which we will denote by
' '
' '
'
*M
(6)
and
call
the
ordinal type of
(7)
'
"inverse" of M.
*M,
if
a= M, by
We
denote the
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
It
that *a =
may happen
as, for
a,
example,
115
in
the
case of finite types or in that of the type of the
aggregate of all rational numbers which are greater
than o and
precedence.
the notation
We
than
less
in their natural
I
This type
we
order of
will investigate
under
rj.
remark further that two similarly ordered
aggregates can be imaged on one another either in
one manner or in many manners in the first case
;
the type in question is similar to itself in only one
Not only
way, in the second case in many ways.
all finite types, but the types of transfinite
wellc '
ordered aggregates," which will occupy us later
and which we call transfinite "ordinal numbers,"
are .such that they allow only a single imaging on
On the other hand, the type r\ is
themselves.
similar to itself hi
We will make
an
infinity of
ways.
by two simple
By & we understand the type of a wellexamples.
ordered aggregate
\
in
this difference clear
e \t
e z>
'
'
^vt
)>
which
ev
^
e v+i>
and where v represents all finite cardinal numbers
Another wellordered aggregate
turn.
in
with the condition
of the. same type
to
can obviously only be imaged
n6 THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
on the former
in
such a
way
that
ev
and
f
v
are
For e lt the lowest element
corresponding elements.
in rank of the first, must, in the process of imaging,
be correlated to the lowest element /[ of the second,
the next after
and so
e^ in
rank
(<? 2 )
to/2
,
the next afterj^,
[5]
Every other biunivocal correspondence of the two equivalent aggregates {e v } and
{fv } is not an "imaging" in the sense which we
on.
have fixed above
for the
On
the other hand,
aggregate of the form
theory of types.
an
let us take
ordered
K),
where
v
represents
integers, including o,
This
aggregate
element in rank.
a sum given in
It
is
positive and negative
and where likewise
all
has
Its
no lowest and no highest
type
is,
by the
definition of
8,
similar to itself in an infinity of ways.
let us consider
finite
For
an aggregate of the same type
{/*},
where
Then
the two ordered aggregates can be so imaged
on one another that, if we understand by v a
definite one of the numbers i/, to the element e^ of
'
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
the
first
117
the element f^'^ of the second corresponds.
is arbitrary, we have here an infinity of
'
Since
j/
imagings.
The concept of ordinal type " developed here,
when it is transferred in like manner to "multiply
' '
ordered aggregates," embraces, in conjunction with
the concept of "cardinal number" or "power"
introduced in
I,
of being
everything capable
numbered (Anzahlmassige)
that
is
thinkable,
and
sense cannot be further generalized.
It
contains nothing arbitrary, but is the natural exthis
in
It deserves to
tension of the concept of number.
be especially emphasized that the criterion of
equality (4) follows with absolute necessity from
the concept of ordinal type and consequently
The chief cause of the
permits of no alteration.
grave errors in G. Veronese's Grundziige der
Geometrie (German by A. Schepp, Leipzig, 1894)
the nonrecognition of this point.
is
On
page 30 the "number (Ansahl oder Zahl)
"
of an ordered group is defined in exactly the same
way as what we have called the "ordinal type of
a
simply
ordered
aggregate"
Transfiniten, Halle, 1890, pp.
from the Zeitschr. fiir Philos.
for
1887).
must make
(Zur Lehre vom
6875
und
;
reprinted
philos.
Kritik
[501] But Veronese thinks that he
an addition to the criterion of equality.
He says on page 31: "Numbers whose units
correspond to one another uniquely and in the
same order and of which the one is neither a part
of the other nor equal to a part of the other are
n8 THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
This definition of equality contains a
For what is
thus is meaningless.
not equal to a part of the
meaning of
equal."*
circle
and
' '
the
other
"
in this addition ?
we must
To answer
this question,
know when two numbers
are equal
or unequal.
Thus, apart from the arbitrariness
of his definition of equality, it presupposes a
first
definition of equality, and this again presupposes
a definition of equality, in which we must know
again what equal and unequal are, and so on ad
After Veronese has, so to speak, given
infinitum.
be
own free will the indispensable foundation
the comparison of numbers, we ought not to
surprised at the lawlessness with which, later
on,
he operates with
up
of his
for
and
his pseudotransfinite numbers,
ascribes properties to them which they cannot
possess simply because they themselves, in the
form imagined by him, have no existence except
on paper. Thus, too, the striking similarity of his
"numbers
"
to the very absurd "infinite
numbers
"
Gtomttrie de Plnfini (Paris, 1727)
becomes comprehensible.
Recently, W. Killing
has given welcome expression to his doubts concerning the foundation of Veronese's book in the
in
Foritenelle's
Index lectionum of the Munster Academy
for
1895
* In the
" Numeri
original Italian edition (p. 27) this passage runs
corrispondono univocamente e nel medesimo ordine,
1' uno non e
parte o uguale ad una parte deli' altro, sono uguali."
t [Veronese replied to this in Math. Arm., vol. xlvii, 1897, pp. 423:
le unitfc, deiquali si
e di cui
432.
Cf. Killing, ibid., vol. xlviii, 1897, pp.
425432.]
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
119
8
Addition and Multiplication of Ordinal Types
The unionaggregate (M, N)
M and N can,
M
and
of two aggregates
N
are ordered, be conceived
as an ordered aggregate in which the relations of
precedence of the elements of
among themselves
if
M
as well as the relations of precedence of the elements
of
among themselves remain the same as in
M
N
N
or
and
respectively,
lower rank than
all
elements of
the elements of N.
all
M
have a
If M' and
M
N' are two other ordered aggregates,
oo M' and
NooN', [502] then (M, N) c\> (M', N')T'so the
ordinal type of (M, N) depends only on the ordinal
M = a and N
types
/3.
Thus,
a+/8(M,
(1)
sum a + /3 we
we
define:
N).
"augend" and $ the
"addend."
For any three types we easily prove the associa
In the
tive
law
the
:
a + (/9 + y) = (a + /3) + y.
(2)
On
call a
the other hand, the commutative law is not
in general, for the addition of types.
We
valid,
see this
If
a)
by the following simple example.
is the type, already mentioned in
the wellordered aggregate
7,
of
120
then
THE FOUNDING Of THE THEORY
i
+
element,
eo
is
not equal to
we have by
(i)
+
I.
For,
if
/is a new
:
i+a^/E),
+i=(E77).
But the aggregate
(/,E) = (/*i,'2 ,.
is
similar to the aggregate E,
,*, ...)
and consequently
E
and (E, /) are
On the contrary, the aggregates
not similar, because the first has no term which is
highest in rank, but the second has the highest
Thus w+ I is different from o>= I +.
Out of two ordered aggregates M and N with
we can set up an ordered
the types a and
aggregate S by substituting for every element n of
N an ordered aggregate M w which has the same
type a as M, so that
term/!
(3)
M* = a;
and, for the order of precedence in
(4)
we make
S = {MJ
the two rules
:
Every two elements of S which belong to
one and the same aggregate M M are to retain in
S the same prder of precedence as in
w
(2) Every two elements of S which belong to two
and M^ have the same
different aggregates
W1
relation of precedence as x and a have in N.
(1)
M
M
;
OF TRANSFtNITE NUMBERS
The ordinal type of S depends, as
only on the types a and f$ we define
we
121
easily see,
\
(5)
/3
= S.
"
multiplicand
[503] In this product a is called the
and /3 the "multiplier."
M
"
M
on
In any definite imaging of
w let m n be the
element of
w that corresponds to the element m
of M; we can then also write
M
S {}.
(6)
Consider a third ordered aggregate P
the ordinal type P = y, then, by
a
.
18= {*,},
/3
.
y = {^},
(a
But the two ordered aggregates
are similar, and are
regard the elements
.
/3)
.
y=
From
(i)
with
{K",
and
{(#z ) }
(fi^)}
imaged on one another if we
(?), and MfnA as correspondrt
ing,
Consequently, for three types
the associative law
subsists.
= {p}
(5),
and
o, /8,
and
y
(5) follows easily the dis
tributive law
(8)
a.(/3+y) = a./3+a.y;
but only in this form, where the factor with two
terms is the multiplier.
On the contrary, in the multiplication of types
as in their addition, the commutative law is not
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
122
For example,
by (5),
generally valid.
different types
2
o>
.
and w
.
are
2
for,
;
2.u = (e lt f1
]
e z ,fz
...;
;
e vi
f
v
\
.
.
.)
=
;
while
a)
.
2
= (*!,
*a
,
...,,...;/!.,
/
z,
...,/...)
obviously different from <.
If we compare the definitions of the elementary
operations for cardinal numbers, given in
3, with
is
those established here for ordinal types, we easily
see that the cardinal number of the sum of two
types is equal to the sum of the cardinal numbers
of the single types, and that the cardinal number
of the product of two types is equal to the product of the cardinal numbers of the single types.
Every equation between ordinal types which proceeds from the two elementary operations remains
correct, therefore, if
by
their cardinal
[504]
we
replace in
it
all
the types
numbers.
9
The Ordinal Type ^ of the Aggregate R of all
Rational Numbers which are Greater than
o and Smaller than i, in their Natural
Order of Precedence
R
we understand, as in
7, the system of
numbers p\q (p and g being relatively
prime) which >o and <i, in their natural order
of precedence, where the magnitude of a number
By
all
rational
OF TRANSFIN1TR NUMBERS
determines
of
R
by
17
its
We
rank.
123
denote the ordinal type
:
fl=R.
(1)
But we have put the same aggregate
order of precedence in which we call it
order
is
the
in
determined,
first
another
in
R
This
.
place,
by the
magnitude of p + g, and in the second place for
numbers for which f + g has the same value
rational
rby the
R
is
magnitude of p\q
itself.
The aggregate
a wellordered aggregate of type
(2)
RaOi,
(3)
RO = *>
Both
R
and
ra>
R
.
.
.,
rf
,
.
.
.),
where
:
r,<yv +i,
have the same cardinal number
since they only differ in the order of precedence
of their elements, and r since we obviously have
R^N,,, we
also
have
R = = Mo
(4)
ij
.
Thus the type
n belongs to the class of types [MO ].
there is neither
Secondly, we remark that in
R
an element which
is
is highest in rank.
that between every
lowest in rank nor one which
Thirdly,
two of
its
R has the property
elements others lie.
This property we express by the words
"
everywhere dense (tiberalldichf).
:
R
is
' '
We
will
now
'show that these three properties
of R, so that we have the
17
characterize the type
following theorem
:
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
124
we have
If
that
(a)
(b)
_
MN
M has
a simply ordered aggregate
M such
;
no element which
and no highest
is everywhere dense
lowest in rank,
is
;
M
(c)
;
then the ordinal type of
M
is
^
:
M
can be
Because of the condition (a),
Proof.
brought into the form [505] of a wellordered
having fixed upon such a
aggregate of type w
and put
form, we denote it by
;
M
M
(5)
We
= (/!, m^
.
m
.,
v,
.
.
.).
MroR;
(6)
that
on
.
have now to show that
is
R
we must prove that M can be imaged
a way that the relation of precedence
to say,
in such
M
is the same
of any and every two elements in
as that of the two corresponding elements in R.
Let the element r1 in R be correlated to the
element
mt
in
M.
The element rz has a
relation of precedence to r
condition
(.),
R.
in
there are infinitely
many elements
*
of
M which have the same relation
in
M
to
m
:
as rz to r
in
R
;
of
of them
precedence
we choose
that one which has the smallest index in
m
definite
Because of the
M
0> let it
The element ra has
in R definite relations of precedence to r and rt
because of the conditions () and (c) there is an
be
t
and correlate
it
to rz
.
;
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
m
elements
infinity of
v
m
relation of precedence to
R
and rz to
;
M which
of
and
which has the smallest index
it
to r3
According to
.
of
process
m
them we choose
of
in
M
that
in
M
law
this
correlation
t
125
have the same
0)
as r8 to
let it
be
l
and correlate
we imagine
continued.
^
m
If
to
the
the
v
elements
ri> r%> ra>
of
R
i
rv
are correlated, as images, definite elements
which have the same relations of precedence amongst
one another in
as the corresponding elements in
R, then to the element ry+i of R is to be correlated
that element m
of
which has the smallest
tv+l
M
M
index in
M
of those which have the
same
relations
manner we have correlated
definite
of precedence to
in
M
In
as rv+1 to rl} rt
this
elements
m
lv
of
M
,
to
.
.
all
the elements mi v have in
,
,
rv in R.
the elements rv of R, and
M
the same order of pre
cedence as the corresponding elements rv in R.
But
we have still to show that the elements m lv include
all the
elements
m
v
of M, or, what
is
thing, that the series
*> 'a> 's>
[506]
is
>
l
v)
only a permutation of the series
i, 2, 3,
...',...
the
same
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEOR\
126
induction
we will
prove this by a complete
m v appear
that, if the elements m lt m z
in the imaging, that is also the case with the
following element m v+1
Let X be so great that, among the elements
We
:
show
,
.
.
.
,
.
the elements
;
7.2
1(
.
,
.
.,
m
v
,
which, by supposition, appear in the imaging, are
It may be that also ;/VH is found
contained.
among them then v+l appears in the imaging.
m
;
But
if
then
m v+l
is.
not
has with
;+!
ordinal
definite
the elements
among
respect
to
in
M
position
these elements a
;
infinitely
many
R
have the same ordinal position in R
with respect to rlt rzt
., r^
amongst which let
Then m v+l
;A+0 be that with the least index in R
elements
in
,
,
.
.
can easily make sure, the same ordinal
position with respect to
we
has, as
in
M
in R.
as
r^
ff
Since
has with respect to
mv m
2,
in the imaging, w,, +1
index
in
respect to
M
.
is
.
.
,
m
v
have already appeared
that element with the smallest
which has
this
ordinal position with
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
127
Consequently, according to our law of correlation,
Thus,
case too, the element ;+! appears in
is the element of R which is
in this
the imaging, and r^ +a
correlated to it.
.
We see, then, that by our manner of correlation,
the whole aggregate
is imaged on the whole
M
R
aggregate
;
M
R
and
are
similar
aggregates,
which was to be proved.
From
theorem which we have just proved
example, the following theorems
[507] The ordinal type of the aggregate of all
negative and positive rational numbers, including
the
result, for
:
zero, in their natural order of precedence,
The
ordinal type of the aggregate of
is y.
all
rational
numbers which are greater than a and less than #,
in their natural order of precedence, where a and b
are any real numbers, and a < d, is 97.
The
braic
ordinal type of the aggregate of all real algein their natural order of precedence is q.
numbers
The
ordinal type of the aggregate of all real algenumbers which are greater than a and less
than b, in their natural order of precedence, where
a and b are any real numbers and a < d, is y.
For all these ordered aggregates satisfy the three
conditions required in our theorem for M (see
braic
Crelle's Journal, vol. Ixxvii, p, 258).*
If we consider, further, aggregates with the types
8
written
according to the definitions given in
[* Cf. Section
V of the Introduction.]
THE POUNDING OF THE THEORY
128
(1+1)1, ( r +?+i>/> we find that
those three conditions are also fulfilled with them.
Thus we have the theorems
:
+ 1 = 1,
1
(?)
11
(8)
(1+1)1 = 1,
(10)
(1+11+1)*] =
(n)
finite
every
number
v
:
iv = ri,
(12)
1"
(13)
the other hand
(14)
>;
)/
Finally,
')
easily see that, for v> i, the
>7+i are different both
v.i, i
;.
We have
17+1 + = 91
17
.
+ +
=
we
+
types 1+1, 1+1,
from one another and from
but
,).
repeated application of (7) and (8) gives for
The
On
= 1,
(i+l)l = 1,
(9)
17,
for
it
(15)
v>
I, is
different
from
y.
deserves to be emphasized that
**,
=
*,.
10
[508]
The Fundamental
Series contained in
a
Transfinite Ordered Aggregate
Let us consider any simply ordered' transfinite
Every part of M is itself, an ordered
For the study of the type M, those
aggregate.
aggregate M.
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
129
M
which have the types w and *< appear to
be especially valuable we call them " fundamental
series of the first order contained in M," and the
former of type o> we call an "ascending" series,
parts of
;
the latter
we
of type
*o>
limit ourselves to
a
' c
descending
"
one.
Since
the consideration of funda
mental series of the first order (in later investigations fundamental series of higher order will also
occupy us), we will here simply call them "fundamental
series
series.
"
is
' '
' '
{},
letter
ascending fundamental
where
a,
descending fundamental
(2)
The
Thus an
{av }>
(1)
a
"
of the form
>/,
where
as well as
<,+!;
series
K, A,
bv
>
and
"
/*,
of the form
is
b v+l
.
has everywhere
an arbitrary
in our considerations the signification of
finite
cardinal
number
or of a finite type (a finite
ordinal number).
We call two ascending fundamental series
(afv \ in
M
"coherent" (ftusammengehorig),
M
(3)
if,
for every
II
{a v }
and
in signs
W,
element a v there are elements a\ such
that
and also
for
such that
every element
a' v
there are elements
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
130
Two
in
descending fundamental series {b v } and
"coherent," in signs
{*,}\\{V,},
(4)
if
{'}
M are said to be
for every element b v there are elements b\ such
that
and
for
every element
b' v
there are elements b^ such
that
*',>V
An
fundamental
series {a v } and a
descending one {d v } are said to be "coherent," in
ascending
signs
[509]
if
M\\M,
(5)
(a) for all values of v
and
/*,
M
and (6) in
exists at most one (thus either only
one or none at all) element mQ such that, for all v's,
Then we have the theorems
A. If two fundamental series are coherent to a
third, they are also coherent to one another.
B. Two fundamental series proceeding in the
:
same
direction of
which one
is
part of the other are
coherent.
If there exists in
M
an element
m
which has
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
131
such a position with respect to the ascending funda
mental series {#} that
(a) for every v
a*
:
<
MO
,
every element m of
there exists a certain number
()
a v > w,
then
we
will call
elemenf) of {a v } in
(Hauptelemenf) of
mQ
M
for
m
M
for
satisfied
{}
v>
' '
In the same
M."
in
m
a "limiting element (Grenz"
and also a
principal element
a " principal element of
element of
that precedes
such that
j/
M"
M"
way we
call
and also " limiting
these conditions are
if
:
(a) for
every
v
b*
(A) for
>W
m
every element
exists a certain
number
M
that follows
?;z
such that
j/
for
*#
,
of
i/
A
fundamental series can never have more than
but
one limiting element in
has, in general,
M
many
;
M
principal elements,
We perceive the truth
of the following theorems
a fundamental series has a limiting element
in M, all fundamental series coherent to it have the
same limiting element in M.
D. If two fundamental series (whether proceeding
C.
:
If
in the same or in opposite directions) have one and
the same limiting element in M, they are coherent.
1HE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
132
M
If
and M' are two similarly ordered aggregates,
so that
M = M',
(6)
and we
fix
we
then
upon any imaging of the two aggregates,
see that the following theorems
easily
hold:
M
[510] E. To every fundamental series in
corresponds as image a fundamental series in M',
and inversely to every ascending series an ascending
one, and to every descending series a descending
correone; to coherent fundamental series in
spond as images coherent fundamental series in M',
and inversely.
F. If to a fundamental series in
belongs a
;
M
M
M, then to the corresponding
fundamental series in M' belongs a limiting element
and these two limiting
in M', and inversely
limiting element in
;
elements are images of one another in the imaging.
G. To the principal elements of
correspond as
images principal elements of M', and inversely.
M
If
an aggregate
M consists
so that every one of
we
element,
'call it
mental series In
call
M
An
a
of principal elements,
is a principal
elements
an " aggregate which
in itself (insichdichte
we
its
M there
"dosed
is
dense
is
If to
every fundaa limiting element in M,
Menge)*
(abgeschlossene) aggregate."
both "dense in itself" and
aggregate which is
is called a "perfect aggregate."
If an
aggregate has one of these three predicates, every
similar aggregate 'has the same predicate
thus
"closed"
.
;
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
133
these predicates can also be ascribed to the corresponding ordinal types, and so there are
types
which are dense in themselves," "closed types,"
' '
"
1 '
perfect
types,
types" (9).
For example,
itself,"
and, as
rj
and
is
' '
also
everywheredense
a type which
we showed
in
9,
it
is
is
"dense
also
in
"every
wheredense," but it is not "closed." The types
and *a> have no principal elements, but <a + v and
a principal element, and are
v\*(o each have
to
"
The type o> 3 has two principal
closed
types.
"
the type o> 3 4 v
closed
elements, but is not
has three principal elements, and is "closed,"
' '
.
' '
.
;
of the Linear
The Ordinal Type
Continuum X
We
turn to the investigation of the ordinal type
= [x] of all real numbers x, such
of the aggregate
that X>.Q and <!, in their natural order of precedence, so that, with any two of its elements x
X
x<x
t
if
Let the notation
for this type
.
be
X0.
(i)
From
the elements of the theory of rational
and irrational numbers we know that every funda
[511]
mental series {xv } in
X, and that
X
has a limiting element x^ in
every element x of
also, inversely,
X
i
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
34
is
in
a limiting element of coherent fundamental series
is a "perfect
X.
aggregate"
Consequently
X
and is a "perfect type."
is not sufficiently characterized by that
But
besides that we must fix our attention on the
;
following property of X.
as part the aggregate
The aggregate
X contains
R
9,
gated in
two elements
We
will
of ordinal type rj investiand in such a way that, between any
XQ and xv of X, elements of R lie.
now show that these properties, taken
together, characterize the ordinal type 6 of the linear
in an exhaustive manner, so that we
continuum
X
have the theorem
is such that
If an ordered aggregate
(a) it is
"perfect," and (b) in it is contained an aggregate S
:
M
with the cardinal number S^NO and which bears
such a relation to
that, between any two elements
M
w
and
mt
of
M
elements of S
lie,
then
M = 0.
S had a lowest or a highest element,
these elements, by (), would bear the same character
we could remove them from S
as elements of
without S losing thereby the relation to
exThus, we suppose that S is without
pressed in (b}.
If
Proof.
M
;
M
lowest or highest element, so that, by
9, it has
For since S is a part of M,
the ordinal type rj.
between any two elements s and s1 of S other
elements of S must, by (b\
have S = N O
' '
similar
"
.
lie.
Besides,
by () we
Thus the aggregates S and
to one another.
SroR.
R
are
OF TRANSFJN1TE NUMBERS
We
on any
following
manner
that
' '
M
it
Let
135
"
imaging of R on S, and assert
"
"
in the
gives a definite
imaging of X on
fix
all
:
elements of
X
which, at the same time,
belong to the aggregate R correspond as images to
those elements of
which are, at the same time,
M
elements of S and, in the supposed imaging of
R on S, correspond to the said elements of R.
But if XQ is an element of X which does not belong
x may be regarded as a limiting element of
a fundamental series {xv } contained in X, and this
to R,
series can be replaced
by a coherent fundamental
series {rKi/ } contained in R.
To
this [512] corre
sponds as image a fundamental series {jXv } in S and
M, which, because of (a), is limited by an element
mQ
of
this
M that does not
element
E, C, and
belong to S (F,
10).
Let
m of M (which remains the same, by
D of 10, if the fundamental series
{xv } and {rKv } are replaced by others limited by the
same element x in X) be the image of x in X.
ti
M
which does not
Inversely, to every element # of
occur in S belongs a quite definite element x of
and of which
is the
which does .not belong to
X
m
R
image.
In this
manner a biunivocal correspondence
is set up,
and we have now
between X and
"
of these
to show that it gives an
imaging
M
' '
aggregates.
for those elements of
is, of course, the case
which belong to R, and for those elements of
This
X
M
TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
136
which belong to S. Let us compare an element r
of R with an element .% of X which does not belong
to R
let the corresponding elements of
be s
and T#O
If r<x0i there is an ascending fundamental series {rKv } which is limited by XQ and, from
M
;
.
t
a certain
VQ
on,
r<rKv
The
image of
mental
of
s
{?}
series {s^},
in
for
M
which
V
>v
.
an ascending fundabe limited by an m
is
will
M, and we have ( 10) s^ < m for every v, and
for i/^/
Thus ( 7) s < m
X(
If r>xQ we conclude similarly that s ^> m
Let us consider, finally, two elements x^ and x'Q
<J
.
.
,
.
,
not belonging to R and the elements m Q and m' Q
then we show, by
corresponding to them in
an analogous consideration, that, if xQ <xfQ> then
w'
M
w
<
;
.
The proof of the similarity of
finished, and we thus have
HALLE, March
1895,
X
and
M
is
now
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE
FOUNDING OF THE THEORY OF
TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
[207]
(SECOND ARTICLE)
12
WeilOrdered Aggregates
AMONG
simply ordered aggregates "wellordered
"
deserve a special place
their ordinal
aggregates
;
types, which we call
natural material for
ordinal numbers, " form the
an exact definition of the
' '
a
higher transfinite cardinal numbers or powers,
definition which is throughout conformable to that
which was given us for the least transfinite cardinal
number Alephzero by the system of all finite
numbers v ( 6).
We call a simply ordered aggregate F ( 7)
wellordered " if its elements f ascend in a definite
succession from a lowest f^ in such a way that
I. There is in F an element /i which is lowest in
' '
:
rank.
II.
If F' is
any part of F and
if
F
has one or
of higher rank than all elements
then there is an element /' of F which
many elements
of
F',
follows
immediately
after
the
totality
F',
so
138
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
no elements in rank between /' and F' occur
F.*
In particular, to every single element f of F, if
it is not the
highest, follows in rank as next higher
another definite element
this results from the
condition II if for F' we put the single element f.
Further, if, for example, an infinite series of con
that
in
f
;
secutive elements
F in such a way, however, that there
elements of [208] higher rank than all
elements e^\ then, by the second condition, putting
for F' the totality [e^} there must exist an element
is
contained
are also in
in
F
}
f such that not only
for all
g in F
f>
* (I
is no element
v, but that also there
which satisfies the two conditions
values of
values of v
Thus, for example, the three aggregates
for all
.
where
* This definition of "wellordered
aggregates," apart from the
of the
wording, is identical with that which was introduced in vol. xxi
Math. Ann., p. 548 (Gnmdlagm einer allgemeinen Mannichfaltig[See Section VII of the Introduction.]
Juitslehre, p. 4).
OF TRANS FINITE NUMBERS
The two
are wellordered.
139
have no highest
element, the third has the highest element cd in
the second and third b immediately follows all
the elements a v) in the third ^ immediately follows
all the elements a v and
b^.
first
;
In the following
we
will
extend the use of the
signs < and > explained in
7, and there used
to express the ordinal relation of two elements, to
,
groups of elements, so that the formulae
M<;N,
M>N
are the expression for the fact that in a given order
all the elements of the aggregate
have a lower,
M
or higher, respectively, rank than
the aggregate N.
A. Every part
Fx
all
elements of
F
of a wellordered aggregate
has a lowest element.
If the lowest
Proof.
Ft
,
then
it
is
element^ of F belongs
also the lowest element of
the other case, let F' be the totality of
of F' which have a lower rank than
all
all
Fx
.
to
In
elements
elements
F 1?
then, for this reason, no element of F lies between
F' and Fr
Thus, if/' follows (II) next after F',
then it belongs necessarily to F and here takes the
lowest rank.
B.
both
simply ordered aggregate F is such that
and every one of its parts have a lowest
If a
F
element, then
F
[209] Proof.
the condition I
is
a wellordered aggregate.
F has a lowest element,
Since
is
satisfied.
Let F' be a part of
F
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
140
F
such that there are in
which follow F'
elements and
f
obviously/'
one or more elements
F1
be the totality of all these
the lowest element of Flt then
let
;
the element of
is
F
which follows next
Consequently, the condition II is also satisand therefore F is a wellordered aggregate.
to F'.
fied,
C. Every part F" of a wellordered aggregate
also a wellordered aggregate.
is
By theorem A,
Proof.
as every part
has
F" of
the aggregate F' as well
is also a part of F)
F' (since it
a lowest element
;
thus by theorem
aggregate F' is wellordered.
D. Every aggregate G which
ordered aggregate
If
Proof.
element,
concept
is
is
is
B, the
similar to a well
also a wellordered aggregate.
an aggregate which has a lowest
then, as immediately follows from the
of similarity (
every aggregate
7),
similar to
we
M
F
F
N
it
has a lowest element
G
are to have
\j F,
and
F
Since, now,
has, since it is a
wellordered aggregate, a lowest element, the same
Thus also every part G' of G has a
holds of G.
lowest element
;
for in
an imaging of
G
on F, to
the aggregate G' corresponds a part F' of
image, so that
F
as
G'ooF'.
But, by theorem A, F' has a lowest element, and
therefore also G' has.
Thus, both G and every
part of G have lowest elements.
By theorem B,
consequently, G is a wellordered aggregate.
E. If in a wellordered aggregate G, in place of
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
its
elements
g
wellordered aggregates
stituted in such a
way
if
that,
14
are
Ff and F^
1
sub
are the
wellordered
aggregates which occupy the places
g and g' and ff^g ', then also
the aggregate H, arising by comFg. < F^, then
bination in this mariner of the elements of all the
of the elements
1
is
aggregates F^,
Both
wellordered.
H
H
H
and every part
have
a of
lowest elements, and by theorem B this characterizes
as a wellordered aggregate.
For, if g^ is the
Proof.
H
lowest element of G, the lowest element of
further,
we have
a part
H
1
of H,
its
is
F^.
same time the lowest element of H.
at the
If,
elements
belong to definite aggregates F^. which form, when
taken together, a part of the wellordered aggregate
is
{Fj.},
which consists of the elements
similar to the aggregate G.
If,
say,
Ff
F^.
and
is
the
lowest element of this part, then the lowest element
of the part of
is at the same
t contained in
H
F^
time the lowest element of H,
13
[210]
The Segments
If
gate
then
f
F
of WellOrdered Aggregates
any element of the wellordered aggrewhich is different from the initial element f^
is
we will call the aggregate A of all elements
Which precede /a "segment (Abschnitf) of F,"
the segment of F which is defined
or, more fully,
by the element./" On the other hand, the aggreof
F
' '
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
142
gate
is a
R
of
all
the other elements of F, including f,
"remainder of F," and, more fully, "the
remainder which is determined by the element f."
The aggregates A and R are, by theorem C of
8 and
12,
12, wellordered, and we may, by
write
:
(1)
F = (A,
R),
(2)
R = (/,
R'),
A
(3)
f
< R.
R
which follows the initial element
the part of
and reduces to o if
has, besides f, no other
R'
is
R
element.
For example,
in the wellordered
aggregate
the segment
(*i> *a)
and the corresponding remainder
(<z 3 ,
a4)
.
.
.
a v+z
are determined
,
.
.
.
b^ b2 ... b^
by the element as
a
(u
.
,
.
lt
ct , c9 )
the segment
;
..,<*,.
>
.
)
and the corresponding remainder
(*D
are determined
^a>

>
&p



c
c\>
by the element b
;
>
ca)
and the segment
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
143
and the corresponding segment
ta, ca)
by the element c2
If A and A' are two segments of F,/and/'
determining elements, and
.
/'
(4)
then A'
and
A
is
the
</,
a segment of A.
"
' '
greater
their
We
call
segment of F
A' the "less,"
:
A'<A.
(5)
Correspondingly we may say of every
it is "less" than F itself
A
of
F
that
:
A<F.
F
.
[21 1] A. If two similar wellordered aggregates
are imaged on one another, then to every
and
G
segment A of F corresponds a similar segment B of
G, and to every segment B of G corresponds a
similar segment A of F, and the elements / and g
of F and G by which the corresponding segments
A and B are determined also correspond to one
another in the imaging.
Proof.
If
we have two
similar simply ordered
M and N .imaged on one
another, m and
n are two corresponding elements, and M' is the
which precede m
aggregate of all elements of
and N' is the aggregate of all elements of N which
precede n, then in the imaging M' and N' correspond
to one another.
For, to every element m' of
that precedes m must correspond, by 7> an element
aggregates
M
M
144
n'
of
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
N
If we apply
#, and inversely.
theorem to the wellordered aggregates
we get what is to be proved.
that precedes
this general
F and G
B.
A
wellordered aggregate
F
is
not similar to
segments A.
Let us suppose that F r\j A, then we will
Proof.
By theorem
imagine an imaging of F on A set up.
A the segment A' of A corresponds to the segment
A of Fj so that A' (\j A. Thus also we would have
A' r\j F and A' < A.
From A 7 would result, in the
any of
its
same manner, a smaller segment A" of F, such that
A" X) F and A" < A' and so on.' Thus we would
;
obtain an infinite series
of segments of F, which continually become smaller
We will
and all similar to the aggregate F.
f
denote by t /', /",
/<*>, ... the elements of
F which determine these segments then we would
have
.
.
.
,
;
f>f >/">
We
>/M >/
would therefore have an
("
+1)
.
infinite part
F in which no element takes the lowest rank.
12 such parts of F are not
But by theorem A of
Thus the supposition of an imaging F on
possible.
one of its segments leads to a contradiction, and
of
consequently the aggregate
of its segments.
F
is
not similar to any
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
Though by theorem B
F is not similar to any of
infinite,
which
is
F
its segments, yet, if F is
there are always [212] other parts of F to
is similar.
Thus, for example, the aggregate
similar to every
Consequently,
side of
145
a wellordered aggregate
one of
it is
its
remainders
important that we can put by the
theorem B the following
:
A
wellordered aggregate F is similar to no
part of any one of its segments A.
Let us suppose that F' is a part of a
Proof.
Q.
We imagine an
segment A of F and F' oo F.
imaging of F on F' then, by theorem A, to a
segment A. of the wellordered aggregate F corresponds as image the segment F" of F' let this
of F'.
segment be determined by the element
is also an element of A, and deThe element
termines a segment A' of A of which F" is a part,
;
;
f
f
A
of F
supposition of a part F' of a segment
F7 oo F leads us consequently to a part F"
such that F" oo A. The same
of a segment A' of
The
such that
A
manner of conclusion gives us a part F'" of a
segment
thus,
we
A"
oo A'. Proceeding
proof of theorem B, an
of A' such that F'"
get,
infinite series
as in the
of segments of
become smaller
F which
:
'
A>A'>A".
.
,
continually
146
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
and thus an
infinite series of
these segments
in
which
is
no lowest element, and
A of 12.
segment A of F such
by theorem
of a
D.
Two
elements determining
:
different
this
Thus there
is
is
impossible
no part F'
that F' r\j F.
segments
A
and A' of a
well
F are not similar to one another.
A'<A, then A' is a segment of the
ordered aggregate
If
Proof,
wellordered aggregate A, and thus, by theorem B,
cannot be similar to A.
E. Two similar wellordered aggregates F and G
can be imaged on one another only in a single
manner.
Let us suppose that there are two different
Proof.
imagings of F on G, and let /"be an element of F to
which in the two imagings different images g and gf
in G correspond.
Let A be the segment of F that
is
determined byf, and
that are determined
both
Aj^B
by
[213] and
B and
g
and
A r\j
B' the segments of
f
g
.
B',
G
By theorem A,
and consequently
BooB', contrary to theorem D.
F. If F and G are two wellordered aggregates,
a segment A of F can have at most one segment
B in G which is similar to it.
If the segment A of F could have two
Proof.
segments B and B' in G which were similar to it, B
and B' would be similar to one another, which is
impossible by theorem D.
G. If A and B are similar segments of two well
OF TRANSFIN1TR NUMBERS
ordered
aggregates
F and
F there
A'<A of
G and for every
segment
is
a similar segment
B'
<B
G
a similar segment A' < A
The proof follows from theorem
of
147
every smaller
for
G,
smaller segment B'
of F.
A
<B
of
applied to the
A
similar aggregates
and B.
H. If
and A' are two
A
segments of a well
ordered aggregate F, B and B' are two segments
similar to those of a wellordered aggregate G, and
A'<A, then B'<B.
The proof
follows from the theorems
F and
G.
segment B of a wellordered aggregate G
is similar to no
segment of a wellordered aggregate
F, then both every segment B' > B of D and G itself
are similar neither to a segment of F nor F itself.
The proof follows from theorem G.
I.
If a
K.
If
for
aggregate
F
any segment
there
is
A
of
a
a similar segment
wellordered
B
of another
wellordered aggregate G, and also inversely, for
of F,
every segment B of G a similar segment
then F c\j G.
A
We
Proof.
can image
F and G on one
another
to the following law
Let the lowest
element./^ of F correspond to the lowest element
of G.
If f^fi is any other element of F, it
according
:
^
.
determines a segment A of F.
To this segment
belongs by supposition a definite similar segment
B of G, and let the element g of G which determines
the segment B be the image of F.
And if g is any
element of
segment
B
G
that
follows
of G, to which
by
g^
it
determines a
supposition a similar
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
H8
segment
A
of
F
belongs.
Let the element / which
It
determines this segment A be the image of g.
easily follows that the biunivocal correspondence of
F and G
B
7.
and gf [214] the corresponding elements of
and A' the segments determined by / and /',
and B' those determined by g and gf and if, say,
of F,
G,
manner is an imaging in the
For if/ and/' are any two elements
defined in this
sense of
g
A
,
then
A'<A.
By theorem H,
then,
we have
B'<B,
and consequently
L.
If
for
every segment
A
of a
wellordered
a similar segment B of another
wellordered aggregate G, but if, on the other hand,
aggregate
F there
is
is at least one segment of G for which there is
no similar segment of F, then there exists a definite
segment B x of G such that Bj^ooF.
Consider the totality of segments of G for
Proof.
which there are no similar segments in F. Amongst
them there must be a least segment which we will call
This follows from the fact that, by theorem A
B!.
there
of
12, the
aggregate of
all
the elements determin
the
segments has a lowest element
segment E 1 of G determined by that element is the
least of that totality.
By theorem 1, every segment
ing
these
;
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
of
G which is greater than B
149
such that no segment
similar to it is present in F.
Thus the segments
B of G which correspond to similar segments of F
must
x
is
be less than B,, and to every segment
belongs a similar segment A of F, because
B is the least segment of G among those to which
no similar segments in F correspond. Thus, for
every segment A of F there is a similar segment B of
B<B
all
X
B 1} and
segment
for every
A
of F.
segment B of B x there is a similar
By theorem K, we thus have
M. If the wellordered aggregate G has at least
one segment for which there is no similar segment
in the wellordered
aggregate F,, then every segment
have a segment B similar to it in G..
Let B x be the least of all those segments
Proof.
of G for which there are no similar segments in F. *
If there were segments in F for which there were no
A
of
F must
corresponding segments in G, amongst these, one,
For
which we will call A x would be the least.
every segment of A x would then exist a similar
segment of Bj, and also for every segment of B x a
similar segment of A r
Thus, by theorem K, we
would have
,
B!OJAV
[215] But this contradicts the datum that for B x
there is no similar segment of F.
Consequently,
there cannot be in F a segment to which a similar
segment
in
G
does not correspond.
* See the above
proof of L.
150
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
N. If
F and G
are
any two wellordered aggre
gates, then either
are similar to
(a) F and
:
G
a definite
(#) there is
one another, or
segment E 1 of G to which
F
is
there
is
a definite segment
G
is
similar
similar, or
Ax
F
to
which
and each of these three cases excludes the two
others.
(c)
Proof.
the three
The
of
;
relation of
F
to
G
can be any one of
:
every segment A of F there belongs a
segment B of G, and inversely, to every
segment B of G belongs a similar one A of F
A of F belongs a similar
(b) To every segment
segment B of G, but there is at least one segment
of G to which no similar segment in F corresponds
B of G belongs a similar
(c) To every segment
segment A of F, but there is at least one segment of
F to which no similar segment in G corresponds.
The case that there is both a segment of F to
which no similar segment in G corresponds and a
segment of G to which no similar segment in F
(a)
To
similar
;
;
corresponds
is
not possible
theorem M.
By theorem K,
;
it
in the first case
F
is
excluded
by
we have
f\jG.
In the second case there is, by theorem L, a definite
B such that
segment Bj of
B 1 ojF;
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
and
in the third case there
F
of
is
151
a definite segment
Ax
such that
A oo G.
We cannot have F c\j G and F oo B x simultaneously,
x
for then
B
F
;
we would have G 00
and, for the
r\j
both
from
G
and
G
same
c\>
A
B.,,
Also
x.
contrary to theorem
we cannot have both
reason,
F oo B a and G oo Aj,
F oo B! would follow
it
impossible that
is
by theorem A,
for,
the
existence
of a
segment B' x of Bj such that A oo B'j. Thus we
would have G oo B'.,, contrary to theorem B.
F
is
similar to
F
O. If a part F' of a wellordered aggregate
not similar to any segment of F,
it is
itself.
Proof.
By theorem C
of
12, F' is a
wellordered
were similar neither to a segment
F itself, there would be, by theorem N,
a segment F'x of F' which is similar to F.
But F 1
is a part of that segment A of F which [216] is
determined by the same element as the segment F\
of F'.
Thus the aggregate F would have to be
similar to a part of one of its segments, and this
contradicts .the theorem C.
aggregate.
of F nor to
If F'
f
The Ordinal Numbers
of WeilOrdered
Aggregates
By
7,
every simply ordered aggregate
definite ordinal type
M
;
this
type
is
M has a
the general con
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
152
M
if we abstract from the
cept which results from
nature of its elements while retaining their order of
out of them proceed units
precedence, so that
in a definite relation of pre(Einsen) which stand
All aggregates which are
cedence to one another.
similar to one another, and only such, have one and
call the ordinal type of
the same ordinal type.
" ordinal number. "
a wellordered aggregate F its
If a and ft are any two ordinal numbers, one can
We
stand to the other in one of three possible relations.
For
if
F
and
such that
G
are
two wellordered aggregates
_
_
G=&
Fo,
N
of
then, by theorem
clusive cases are possible
(c)
three mutually ex
FooG;
(a)
(V)
I3>
:
There
is
There
is
a definite segment Bj of G such that
a definite segment
Gr\j
A
of
F
such that
Ar
As we easily see, each of these cases still .subsists
F and G are replaced by aggregates respectively
similar to them.
Accordingly, we have to do with
if
three mutually exclusive relations of the types a
In the first case a = /3; in
and $ to one another.
the second
that
a>j&
we say
that ct<j8; in the third
Thus we have the theorem
;
we
say
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
A. If a and
have either a = ft
From
If
B.
if
a
<
of minority
the definition
follows easily
we
and majority
:
we have
and
153
are any two ordinal numbers,
or a < /8 or a > ft.
ft
ft
three ordinal numbers
< y,
a, /&,
y,
and
then a < y.
Thus the ordinal numbers form, when arranged
magnitude, a simply ordered aggregate
appear later that it is a wellordered aggre
in order of
it
will
;
gate.
[217] The operations of addition and multiplication of the ordinal types of any simply ordered
8, are, of course, applicable
aggregates, defined in
If a = F and /3 = G, where
two wellordered aggregates, then
to the ordinal numbers.
F
and
G
are
a+/8(F,G).
(1)
The aggregate of union
wellordered
theorem
C.
G)
(F,
too
aggregate
;
thus
is
obviously a
the
we have
:
The sum of two
ordinal
numbers
is
also
an
ordinal number.
In the
ft
sum n+/9, a
is
called the
"augend" and
the "addend."
Since
(2)
F
is
a segment of (F, G),
we have always
a<a + /3.
the other hand, G is not a segment but a remainder of (F, G), and may thus, as we saw in
On

13,
be similar to the aggregate (F, G).
If this
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
154
G
not the case,
is
to a
segment of
by theorem
is,
O
of
13, similar
Thus
(F, G).
<a+/3.
(3)
Consequently we have
D. The sum of the two ordinal numbers
:
is
always
greater than the augend, but greater than or equal
to the addend.
If we have a + /8 = a + y, we always
have jQ = y.
In general a + ft and fi+a are not equal.
the other hand,
we
have,
if
y
is
a
third
On
ordinal
number,
(a+/3) + y
(4)
That
to say
is
= a + C6ry).
:
In the addition of ordinal numbers the associa
E.
law always holds.
tive
we
If
aggregate
every element g of the
an aggregate Ff of type a,
substitute
for
G
ft
of type
12, a wellordered
by theorem E of
H whose type is completely determined
by the types a and ^6 and will be called the product
we
get,
aggregate
a. ft:
F,*
(5)
a.j8 = H.
(6)
The product of two
F.
ordinal numbers
is
also
an ordinal number.
In the product a .{3, a is
ft the "multiplier."
"
"
called the
multiplicand
and
In general a
have
(
8)
.
ft
and
ft
.
a are not equal.
But we
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
155
(a./3).y = a.08.y).
(7)
That
is to say
[2l8] G. In the multiplication of ordinal numbers
the associative law holds.
:
The
distributive' law
is
only in the following form
valid,
in
general
(
8),
:
a.(/3 + y) = a./3 + a.y.
(8)
With reference to the magnitude of the product,
the following theorem, as we easily see, holds
H. If the multiplier is greater than I, the product
of two ordinal numbers is always greater than
:
the multiplicand, but greater than or equal to the
If we have ct./3 = a.y, then it always
multiplier.
follows that
= y.
the other hand,
(9)
a.
We
have
is
now
If a
traction.
a
/3
On
less
1
=
evidently have
1
.a = a.
to consider the operation of sub
and
than
we
,
ft
are
two
ordinal
number which we
satisfies
the equation
we
will
call
$
a,
and
definite
which
a+08a)/3.
(10)
For
ordinal numbers,
there always exists a
has a segment B such that B = a
Gs=$,
the corresponding remainder S, and have
if
call
G
;
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
156
and therefore
a = S.
(11)
The determinateness
of
the fact that the segment
definite one (theorem D of
also
S
B
a appears clearly from
of G is a completely
and consequently
13),
is
We
uniquely given.
emphasize the following
follow from
and (10)
(4), (8),
formulae,
which
:
(12)
It
is
to
important
is
summed
infinity
of
sum
so that their
a definite ordinal number which depends on the
sequence of the summands.
is
an
that
reflect
ordinal numbers can be
any simply
infinite series
If
of ordinal numbers, and
we have
A,= G,,
(14)
[219] then, by theorem
G = (G
(15)
is
also
a
G,,
lf
E
.
wellordered
.
of
.,
I2,
G,,
t
.
.
.)
aggregate whose ordinal
number represents the sum of the numbers
We have,
(16)
and,
as
product,
fi v .
then,
ft+&+

.
.
+&+
we easily see from
we always have
.
.
.
the
=G = fr
definition
of a
OF TRANS FINITE NUMBERS
07)
If
we
y
157
<
put
(18)
then
(19)
We
a,
= (G G
ls
f
.
.
.
G,,).
have
(20)
by (10), we can express the numbers
the numbers a v as follows
and,
f$ v
by
:
(21)
The
/3i
= aj;
/8+i
av
a^+i
.
series
i>
aa
^>
>
thus represents any infinite series of ordinal numbers
which satisfy the condition (20) ; we will call it a
"fundamental series" of ordinal numbers ( 10).
Between it and ($ subsists a relation which can be
expressed in the following manner
(a) The number /3 is greater than <* for every
because the aggregate (G^ G2
.,
G,,), whose
ordinal number is a v) is a segment of the aggregate
G which has the ordinal number /6
(b) If ft is any ordinal number less than ft, then,
:
/,
.
,
.
;
from a certain
For,
since &'
v
onwards,
< /3,
there
we always have
is
a segment B' of the
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORV
'
158
f
The element of
aggregate G which is of type (3
G which determines this segment must belong to
.
But
one of the parts G v we will call this part G VQ
is also a
and
.,
segment of (G lt G a
G^),
Thus
consequently /3' < a v
.
;
then B'
.
,
.
.
for
v^v
.
Thus
fi is
number which follows next
the ordinal
order of magnitude after all the numbers a v
accordingly we will call it the "limit" (Grense) of
in
;
the numbers a v for increasing v and denote
Lim a v so that, by (16) a*nd (21)
by
it
:
,
V
(22)
Lim a ,= a 1 + (
2
a 1 ) +
.
.
.
V
We may
[220]
following theorem
+ (a,,+i a,) +
.
.
.
express what precedes in the
:
To every fundamental series {<*} of ordinal
1.
numbers belongs an ordinal number Lim a v which
V
follows next, in order of magnitude, after all the
numbers a v ; it is represented by the formula (22).
If by y we understand any constant ordinal
number, we easily prove, by the aid of the formula:
( I2 )> (13)1 and (i7), the theorems contained in the
formulae
:
(23)
Lim
(y
+ a ) = y + Lim
v
V
(24)
We have
Lim y
V
a,,
;
V
.
av
=y
.
Lim
'
av
.
v
already mentioned in
; that
all
simply
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
159
ordered aggregates of given finite cardinal number
This may
v have one and the same ordinal type.
be proved here as follows.
Every simply ordered
aggregate of finite cardinal number is a wellordered
aggregate for it, and every one of its parts, must
;
have a lowest element,
and
this,
by theorem
B
as a wellordered aggregate.
The types of finite simply ordered aggregates are
But
thus none otlier than finite ordinal numbers.
of
12,
two
different ordinal
to the
characterizes
same
it
numbers a and /3 cannot belong
For if, say,
number
finite cardinal
j/.
a</3 and G = j3, then, as we know, there exists a
segment B of G such that B = a. Thus the aggregate G and its part B would have the same finite
cardinal number v.
But this, by theorem C of 6,
is impossible.
Thus the finite ordinal numbers
coincide in their properties with the finite cardinal
numbers.
The
case
is
quite
different
with the transfinite
numbers to one and the same transfinite
cardinal number a belong an infinity of ordinal
numbers which form a unitary and connected
We will call this system the "numbersystem.
class Z(a)," and it is a part of the class of types
ordinal
[a]
of
;
7.
The next
object of our consideration
is
the
Z(N O ), which we will call
second numberclass." For in this connexion we
"
understand by
the first numberclass the totality
( '
the numberclass
' '
{v} of finite ordinal
numbers.
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
160
15
[221]
The Numbers
of the Second NumberClass Z( MO )
The second numberclass Z(MO ) is the totality {a}
of ordinal types a of wellordered aggregates of
the cardinal number N O ( 6).
A. The second numberclass has a least number
V
Proof.
By a> we understand
wellordered aggregate
FO
(1)
where
v
= (/I.
f^ ...,/
runs through
all finite
(
).
ordinal
numbers and
7)
">
(3)
(
type of the
/,</,+!
(2)
Therefore
and
the
=F
,
6)
(4)
S^NoThus o) is a number of the second numberclass,
and indeed the least. For if y is any ordinal
number less than w, it must ( 14) be the type of
a segment of
F
But
.
F
has only segments
A = (fit f&
with
finite ordinal
number
>
j/.
fore there are
no
transfinite
are less than
w,
and thus w
By
the
definition
of
Lim
V
obviously have
o)=Lim
v.
fv)>
Thus y = v. Thereordinal numbers which
is
the least of them.
a v given in
14,
we
OF TRANSPINITE NUMBERS
B. If a
161
any number of the second numberclass,
is
the number
a+i
follows
as
it
the next greater
number of the same numberclass.
F
Let
Proof.
be a wellordered aggregate of
the type a and of the cardinal number MO
(5)
F=
(6)
a = Mo
We
have, where
Since
F
by
g
,
a segment of (F,
is
.
understood a
is
:
new
element,
g\ we have
o+i>a.
(8)
We also
have
Therefore the number
a+l
belongs to the second
Between o and a+ I there are no
ordinal numbers for every number y [222] which
is less than a+i corresponds, as type, to a segment
of (F, g), and such a segment can only be either
numberclass.
;
F
or a
segment of
to or less than
C,
If a X
j
aa
,
.
.
.,
of numbers of the
the
Therefore
F.
y
is
either equal
a.
number Lim
av
,
first
<*
(
.
.
.
is
any fundamental
series
or second numberclass, then
14) following
them next
in
V
order of magnitude belongs to the second numberclass.
Proof.
By
14 there results from the funda
1
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
62
mental series
number Lim
{<*} the
<*
if
we
set
up
V
another series
$i
=
Pa
i5
/?...,&,..., where
jS lt
then, Gj, G a
gates such that
If,
<*a
.
,
.
~
i
i>
G
.,
.
v,
.
.
@v+i
Gtp+i
.
.
.
,
are wellordered aggre
'
G, = #,,
then also
G(G
Ga ...,&,..
lf
,
is
a wellordered aggregate and
It
only remains to prove that
Lim
.)
a v = G.
V
Since the numbers {3^
the
&,...,$,,... belong
we have
to
or second numberclass,
first
G,<
i
and thus
But, in
any
so the case
G
case,
G<
is
We will call two
of numbers of the
' (
coherent,
(9)
if
"
is
a transfinite aggregate,
fundamental series {av } and
or second numberclass (
{a' v }
first
in signs
10)
:
{o,}ll{a',},
for every v there are finite
numbers X
such that
(10)
and
excluded.
a\>a v
,
X>X
OJ
and
^
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
163
and
(n)
<v>a',,,
[223] D.
/A^LjUo
The limiting numbers Lim
a v and
Lim d v
V
V
belonging respectively to two fundamental series
{a v } and {dv } are equal when, and only when,
{a,}
II
{a',}.
For the sake
Proof,
Lim a v = /3, Lim a' v = y.
of
shortness
We
will
first
we
put
suppose
V
V\
For
then, we assert that /3 = y.
{a'v }
{a,,}
were not equal to y, one of these two numbers
would have to be the smaller. Suppose that /3 < y.
From a certain v onwards we would have d v >{$
(
14), and consequently, by (n), from a certain
But this is
onwards we would have a >/S.
IL
Thus for all /x's
impossible because jS = Lim a v
that

;
if j8
)X
.
V
we have a^fB.
If,
we suppose
we must conclude
inversely,
av <y,
that
/3
= y,
that,
then, because
from a certain \
and, because a'v <8, we must
onwards, a\>a
conclude that, from a certain /* onwards, e^. ><*'.
tf
That
E.
class
i/
is
ct
to say, {a,}
If a
and
+ =
,
ct,
Proof.
is
j/

fa'v }.
any number of the second numberany finite ordinal number, we have
and consequently also a
We
the correctness of the theorem
have
j/
= a.
will first of all convince ourselves of
when a = <a.
We
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
164
and consequently
But
a > w,
if
we have
a
+a=
j/o
F.
/
.
0)
If
=
i/o
is
(j/
+ (a
a>
+ u) + (a
any
CD),
w + (a
to)
ordinal
finite
<)
= a.
we have
number,
ft>.
Pi oof. In order to obtain an aggregate of the
type i/o (a we have to substitute for the single
elements / of the aggregate (/x /a ...,/....)
.
,
aggregates (gv v gv 2
thus obtain the aggregate
,
,
CSi,
u
^i,
.
,
v
S\,
ai
.
.
,
^"a,
g
v>
VQ)
,
of the type
u
>
a. v0>
is
/>
{fv }.
>/
.
o>
>
j/
ft)
>/.
V
the other hand,
{"<,*}
IIM>
and consequently
Lim
f
i/o
>
= w.
The same result is obtained more shortly as
By (24) of 14 we have, since o>=Lim y,
V
= Lim
v
so that
^"v, i
>
Consequently
On
We
,
obviously similar to the aggregate
^"v, a>
which
.
^V,
VQ
v= Lim y = a>
^
;
follows.
OF TRANSFfNITE NUMBERS
[224] G.
We
165
have always
where a is a number of the second numberclass
and
a number of the first numberclass.
i/
We
Proof.
have
Lim v =
to.
V
By
(24) of
14
we
(a
have, consequently,
+ >/) = Lim
(a
+ VQ)V.
12
But
(
+ )=
(a
+ i/oHCa + VoH..
2
I
12
**S
'
\^f
afa+
Now we
have, as
is
easy to
.
.
see,
and consequently
Lim (a+v >=Lim
(av+j/
)Lim av
H. If a is any number of the second numberthen the totality {a'} of numbers a' of the
first and second numberclasses
which are less than
class,
a form, in their order of
magnitude, a wellordered
aggregate of type a,
1
66
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
F
'Let
be a wellordered aggregate such
If
let/j be the lowest element of F.
ordinal number which is less than a, then,
^J'
that
F = a and
a
any
is
by
,
there
14,
segment A' of
is a definite
F
such
that
AW,
and inversely
every segment A' determines by its
ct' a
type A'
number a'<a of the first or second
=
numberclass.
For, since F = NO A' can only be
either a finite cardinal number or MO
The segment
A' is determined by an element/'
and
x of F,
,
.
>/
every element/' >^/x of F determines a
segment A' of F.
If/' and/" are two elements of
F which follow /j in rank, A' and A" are the
inversely
"
segments of F determined by them, a and a are
their ordinal types, and, say/' </", then, by
13,
A'<A" and consequently a < a". [225] If, then,
'
'
we put
F = (j^,
f
F'),
we
obtain,
when we make
the
element
of F' correspond to the element a of {a'},
an imaging of these two aggregates.
Thus we have
a=
But F' =s a
I
,
and, by theorem E, a
I
= a.
Con
sequently
= a.
= M we also have {a'} =
thus we have
theorems
The aggregate {a'} of numbers a' of the
I.
first and second numberclasses which are smaller
Since a
the
,
;
:
OF TRANSFIN1TE NUMBERS
167
than a number a of the second numberclass has
the cardinal
is
number N O
.
K. Every number a of the second numberclass
either such that (a) it arises out of the next
smaller
number a_j by the addition
of
I
:
or (b) there is a fundamental series {<*} of numbers
of the first or second numberclass such that
a=
Lim
av ,
V
Proof.
Let a = F.
If
F
g which
A is
We
has an element
highest in rank, we have F = (A, g), where
the segment of F which is determined by g.
is
have then the
There
which
But
first
therefore,
that called 'a r
exists,
is
if
case, namely,
F
number
a next smaller
has no highest element, consider the
numbers of the first and second
totality {a'} of
numberclasses which are smaller than a.
By
theorem H, the aggregate {a'}, arranged in order of
magnitude, is similar to the aggregate F among
the numbers a', consequently, none is greatest.
By
;
theorem I, the aggregate {a'} can be brought into
the form {<'} of a simply infinite series.
If we set
out from a'u the next following elements a'2 a'8
in this order, which is different from the order of
,
,
.
magnitude, will, in general, be smaller than a'x
but in every case, in the further course of the
;
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
168
which are greater than a\
cannot be greater than all other terms,
no
because among the numbers {a'v } there is
Let that number a'v which has the least
occur
process, terms will
;
for a'x
greatest.
Similarly,
index of those greater than a'x be a'Pa
be that number of the series {<*'} which has the
By
least index of those which are greater than
.
let a'p
a^.
we get an infinite series of
proceeding in this way,
series in fact,
increasing numbers, a fundamental
[226]
We have
K
p9
< p8 <
V < a'pv
and since obviously
.
<p
.
.
^p
OL'V
v,
p < p'v
if
always
v
;
we always have
^i &p v

.
Hence we see that every number <*', and conseexceeded by numbers
quently every number a'<a,'is
a' p
for sufficiently great values of
number which,
follows
all
in respect of
the numbers
the next greater
therefore,
we
a',
respect to
BB!
,
But a
is
and consequently
number with
put a\ = a1
v.
the
magnitude, immediately
a/> I ,
a=Lim
+1
av
<VH)
is
all a'
Pv
.
also
If,
we h ave
.
V
From
that the
is evident
the theorems B, C,
., K it
numbers of the second numberclass result
.
.
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
169
from smaller numbers in two ways. Some numbers,
which we call
numbers of the first kind (Art), " are
from
a
next
smaller number ai by addition of i
got
' '
according to the formula
The other numbers, which we call numbers of the
second kind," are such that for any one of them
there is not a next smaller number o_ l5 but they
' '
fundamental
from
arise
series
{a v }
as
limiting
numbers according to the formula
Here a
is
the
number which
of magnitude to
call these
We
all
follows next in order
the numbers
two ways
<*.
which greater numbers
proceed out of smaller ones "the first and the
second principle of generation of numbers of the
in
second numberclass."*
16
The Power
of the
Second Number Class
is
equal
Second Greatest Transfmite Cardinal
to the
Number AlephOne
Before
we
turn to the
more
detailed considera
tions in the following paragraphs of the numbers of
the second numberclass and of the laws which
we
rule them,
*
will
answer the question as to the
ICf. Section
VII of
the Introduction.]
170
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
cardinal
number which
Z(MO)={}
of
all
is possessed by the aggregate
these numbers.
[227] A. The totality {a} of all numbers a of
the second numberclass forms, when arranged in
order of magnitude, a wellordered aggregate.
the totality of
If we denote by A
Proof.
numbers of the second numberclass which are
smaller than a given number a, arranged in order
tt
of magnitude, then
of type a
a>.
A a is
a wellordered aggregate
H of 14.
This results from theorem
The aggregate of numbers a of the first and second
numberclass which was there denoted by {a'}, is
compounded out of
{v}
{<*'}
and
A
= ({},
a)
so that
A.).
Thus
and since
{a}=a,
{ !>}=&>,
we have
Aa =rt
CD.
Let J be any part of {a} such that there are
numbers in {a} which are greater than all the
numbers of J. Let, say, a be one of these numbers.
Then J is also a part of A^+i, and indeed such a
part that at least the
than
all
number
the numbers of
J.
a of
o
A ao+1 is
greater
A^+i is a wella number a' of A
afl+1
Since
ordered aggregate, by
12
and therefore also of {a}, must 'follow next to all
Thus the condition II of 12 is
the numbers of J.
,
OF TRANSFIN1TE NUMBERS
fulfilled in
is
the case of {a}
;
the condition
I
171
of
12
also fulfilled because {a} has the least number &>.
Now, if we apply to the wellordered aggregate
{a} the theorems
following theorems
A
and C of
12,
we
get the
:
B. Every totality of different numbers of the first
and second numberclasses has a least number.
C. Every totality of different numbers of the first
and second numberclasses arranged in their order of
magnitude forms a wellordered aggregate.
We will now show that the power of the second
numberclass is different from that o'f the first, which
is
NO
.
D. The power of the totality {a} of all numbers
a of the second numberclass is not equal to MO
.
Proof.
were equal to NO we could bring
{a} into the form of a simply infinite
If {c[y
the totality
,
series
Vi.
such
that
V*
.
.
would
{y,,}
.,
y,,
.
..
represent
the totality of
numbers of the second [228] numberclass in an
order which is different from the order of magnitude, and {y,,} would contain, like {a}, no greatest
number.
Starting from
y^
let
yp
be the term of the series
which has the least index of those greater than yx
yp the term which has the least index of those
,
and so on.
greater than yp
series of increasing numbers,
,
We
get an infinite
172
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
such that
.
By theorem C
of
<pv <pv+ i<
.
15,
.
.
.,
there would be a definite
number
8 .of the second numberclass, namely,
which
greater than
is
all
numbers yp
Consequently
.
we would have
But {yv } contains all numbers of the
every v.
second numberclass, and consequently also the
number 8 thus we would have, for a definite v
for
,
;
which equation
S>
yVo
.
is
inconsistent with
The supposition
{a}
the
relation
= MO consequently leads
to a contradiction.
E.
Any
totality {($} of different
the second numberclass has,
the cardinal
if it
number NO or the
is
numbers
{3
of
infinite, either
cardinal
number
{a.}
of the second numberclass.
Proof.
The aggregate
when arranged
{ft},
in its
order of magnitude, is, since it is a part of the wellordered aggregate {a}, by theorem O of
13,
similar either to a segment
which is the totality
A0o
,
OF TRANSFrNITE NUMBERS
of
all
less
173
numbers of the same numberclass which are
than
oo,
arranged
in their order of
or to the totality {a} itself.
proof of theorem A, we have
Thus we have
either {/8}
consequently {$}
But
ft>
is
is
=a
w
or {$}
in
a>
or {a}.
number or
The first case
either a finite cardinal
aggregate.
15).
is
Thus the
the
= {a}, and
equal to c^
either
equal to NO (theorem I of
here excluded because {fi}
infinite
magnitude,
As was shown
is
is
supposed to be an
number
cardinal
{ft}
either equal to NO or {a}.
F. The power of the second numberclass {a} is
the second greatest transfinite cardinal number
is
Alephone.
[229] Proof.
There
is
no cardinal number a
For if
greater than NO and less than {a}.
not, there would have to be,, by
2, an infinite part
which
is
=
of {a} such that{}
But by the theorem
a.
just proved, the part \/3] has either the cardinal
{ft}
E
number N O
cardinal
or the cardinal
number
{a}
is
number
Thus the
{a}.
necessarily
number .which immediately follows MD
we call this new cardinal number HI*
the
in
cardinal
magnitude
;
In the second numberclass Z(MO ) we possess,
the natural representative for the
consequently,
second greatest transfinite cardinal number Alephone.
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
174
17
The Numbers
Form
of the
M
0^1/0+ a
+v
"V+
make
ourselves familiar, in the
first place, with those numbers of Z(N O ) which are
whole algebraic functions of finite degree of a.
It
convenient to
is
Every such number can be brought
into the form
in only one way
J
f/
(i)
where
i^ "a
that
,
j/
/u.,
.
.
.,
and
may be
zero.
v^
+V
=^"o + w^"\+
are finite
and brought
different
from
zero,
but
This rests on the fact
(2)
P</JL and
have
if
v>o
)
i/>o.
For, by. (8) of
14,
we
af'v
and, by theorem
E
V
of
15,
+ W* ~ ^ V = tiP ~ M
1
V'
Thus, in an aggregate of the form
those terms which are followed towards the right
by terms of higher degree in <a may be omitted.
This method may be continued until the form given
all
in (i)
(3)
is
reached.
We
will also
emphasize that
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
with a number
Compare, now, the number
same kind
the
of
\ff
:
Vr = a>
(4)
i;S
%+
0)A
~1
/J
i+
+/*
we have by
and therefore <! ^.
[230] If a = X, vc and /> are different, and, say,
"o < PQ> we have by (2)
If
/*
and X are
+
(2)
\ff
=
different and, say, /*<X,
i/r,
,
/
and therefore
If,
finally,
fJ.
but
= \,
VO=PQ>
is
j/o.
have by
J/
1
different
=/0 1
,
from
/>,
and,
say,
v9
<p
a)
we
(2)
and therefore again
Thus, we see that only
in the case of
identity of the expressions
represented by
The
result
them be
addition of
and
i/r
complete
can the numbers
equal.
leads to the following
\js
and
:
(a) If /x<X, then, as
we have remarked
If/zX, then we have
above,
THE POUNDING OF THE THEORV
176
If
(c)
fji
> X, we
have
In order to carry out the multiplication of and ^,
that, if p is a finite number which is
we remark
different
(5)
from zero, we have the formula
<j>p
=
:
(*
It easily results from the carrying out of the sum
.
+ 0. By means
consisting of p terms
of
of the repeated application of the theorem
+ 0+
.
.
G
we
15
of
get, further,
remembering the theorem
F
15,
(6)
and consequently
also
(7)
By
the distributive law,
numbered
(8)
of
14,
we have
Thus the formulae
result
(a)
(4), (5),
and
(7) give the following
:
Ifpx =o, we have
If px is
not equal to zero,
we have
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
We
[231]
177
arrive at a remarkable resolution of
in the following
the numbers
Let
manner.
^
(8)
where
and KQ) K V
different from
.
.
.,
Kr
zero.
are
finite
numbers which are
Then we have
the repeated application of this formula
By
= ftAKT(a/
lT  1 ~'*T
we get
*rlf l)(o)^3^lKT _2+l).
.
.
(*'%+ 1).
But, now,
if
*
is
a
so that
<9)
The
finite
number which
is
different
from zero
;
:
^ = ufTKfai+'i*' + iXiCw^a^i + I Ks


.
o^+i which occur here are all irreand a number ^ can be represented in this
If ^=0, then
productform in only one way,
factors
soluble,
<J>
is
of the
first
kind, in all other cases
it
is
of th
second kind.
The apparent deviation of the formulae of this
paragraph from those which were given in Math.
Ann., vol. xxi, p. 585 (or Gruwttage*, p, 41), is
merely a consequence of the different writing of the
product of two numbers; we
now
put the multi
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
178
plicand on the left and the multiplicator on the
right, but then we put them in the contrary way.
18
The Power *
y* in the
Domain
of the Second
Number Class
Let be a variable whose domain consists of the
numbers of the first and second numberclasses inLet y and S be two constants belongcluding zero.
ing to the same domain, and let
We
can then assert the following theorem
is
one wholly determined onevalued
:
A. There
function f(g) of the variable
such that
:
/(o) = 6\
(a)
(b) If
g
and f" are any two values of
,
and
f<r,
then
/(f)</(f)
is
For every value of
[232]
(c)
(d) If
{,} is any fundamental
and if we have
one
we have
series,
then
also,
then
*
[Here obviously
it is
Potenz and not McUhtigkeit,]
if
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
By
Proof.
and, because
and
(a)
8>o
(c\
and
179
we have
y>
we have
I,
Thus the function ./() is wholly determined for the
domain <
Let us now suppose that the theorem
.
which are
valid for all values of
is
where a
is
then
is
first
it
kind,
less
than
a,
any number of the second numberclass,
also valid for
we have from
For
<.a.
(c)
if
a
is
of the
:
/(a)=/(a!)y>/(ai);
so that the conditions
for
^a.
But
if
a
is
(If),
(c),
and (d) are
satisfied
of the second kind and
a fundamental series such that
Lim
{a,,} is
a v = a, then
V
it
'
follows from (b) that also {/(a,,)} is a fundamental
If we
series, and from' (d) that /(a) = Lim /(a v).
V
take another fundamental series
Lim
a
v
= a,
then, 'because of (b\
{<*'}
such that
the two funda
V
mental series (f(a v )} and {/(</)} are coherent, and
thus also /( a ) = Lim f(d v).
The value of /(a) is,
V
consequently, uniquely determined in this case also.
If a' is any number less than a, we easily convince
ourselves that f(a)<f(a).
The conditions (b\ (c),
and (d} are also satisfied for <f a. Hence follows
the validity of the theorem for all values of
For
if there were exceptional values of
for which it
did not hold, then, by theorem
B
of
16,
one of
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
i8o
them, which
we
will call a,
would have to be the
Then the theorem would be
least.
< a,
valid for
^a, and this would be in contradiction
with what we have proved.
Thus there is for the
but not for
whole domain of
one and only one function f(g)
which satisfies the conditions (a) to (*/).
[233] If we attribute to the constant S the value
i
and then denote the function /() by
**.
we can
formulate the following theorem
B. If y is any constant greater than
:
which
I
belongs to the first or second numberclass, there
such that
is a wholly definite function y* of
:
M/I;
(b) Iff <f then yf<yf;
For every value of we have y* + 1 = y*y
f
(d) If {} is a fundamental series, then {y *}
such a series, and we have, if =Lim
the
(c)
is
;
,
V
equation
We can
C.
in
also assert the
theorem i
of which is characterized
If /() is the function
theorem A, we have
Proof.
we
If
we pay
attention to (24)
of
14,
easily convince ourselves that the function <Jy*
satisfies,
not only the conditions (a\ (), and (c)
also? the condition
(</} of this
of theorem A, but
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
On
theorem.
account of the uniqueness of the
must therefore be identical with
a and j3 are any two numbers of the
function /(),
D. If
it
or second numberclass, including zero,
We
Proof,
the
consider
Paying attention to the
of
181
14,
Lim (a +
we
recognize that
conditions
function
fact that,
<5yf
first
we have
#()
y*
+ *.
by formula (23)
&=a
0()
satisfies the
following four
:
= y;
(a) 0(0)
For every value of we have </(+ 1) =
{gv } is a fundamental series such that
Lim = we have
(c)
(d) If
,
= Lim
By theorem C we
have,
when we put
5
= y,
= yy.
^()
If
we
put
in this,
=/3
E. If a and
/8
are
we have
any two numbers of the first or
we have
second numberclass, including zero,
Let us consider the
and remark that, by (24) of
[234] Proof.
*
tt
s=:y
function
14,
we
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
182
always have
Lim a, = o Lim
,,
then we can, by
V
V
theorem D, assert the following
(a)
V<o)=i;
(c)
For every value of
:
we have
^(+ i)
then
(J) If {,} is a fundamental series,
also such a series, and we have, if
=Lim,,
the
V
equation
Vr (^)/() = Lim
v
Thus, by theorem C,
and
if
we
substitute in
it
I
for 8
y*.for y,
On the magnitude of y* in comparison with ^
can assert the following theorem
F. If y > i, we have, for every value of
we
:
,
Proof.
is
In the cases
immediately evident.
holds for
all
=o and =i the theorem
We now show that, if it
values of ^ which are smaller than a
given number a> I, it also holds for =a.
If a is of the first kind, we have, by supposition,
and consequently
a i7
<y a 'yy"
Hence
Since both a_ x and y
a.j+issa, we have
i
are at least equal to
y>a.
i,
and
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
If,
on the other hand, a
of the second kind and
is
= Lim
a
183
av
,
V
then, because
< a, we
<*
have by supposition
,</".
Consequently
Lim
av
^ Lim
is
y"",
V
V
that
to say,
a<y.
now, there were values of
If,
one of them, by theorem B of
be the least.
If this number
would have,
for
16,
is
would have to
denoted by
a,
we
<a,
ir^y
[235]
which
for
f
;
but
which contradicts what we have
Thus we have for all values of
proved
above.
19
The Normal Form
of the
Numbers
of the
Second NumberClass
Let a be any number of the sec9nd numberclass.
The power
o>*
will be, for sufficiently great values
1
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
84
of
,
greater than
By theorem F
a.
>a
always the case for
happen for smaller values of
By theorem B of 16, there must
for which
values of
one which
is
We
the least.
will
we easily convince ourselves
number of the second kind.
we would
have, since
J3 V
of
but in general
;
be,
1
it
8,
this is
will also
among
the
denote it by ft, and
it cannot be a
that
If,
indeed,
we had
< (3,
<CGl
>
and consequently
Lim
to
<f a.
V
Thus we would have
o>^ a,
we have
whereas
Therefore
by
OQ,
so
/3 is
that
first
/3
kind.
first
= a +i, and
We denote
is
the two conditions
:
(l)
From
/3_j
consequently can
a wholly determined number oo
or second numberclass which satisfies
assert that there
of the
of the
the second condition
a
eoj'
.
a
we conclude
that
OF TRANS FINITE NUMBERS
does not hold for
all finite
values of
185
did
v,
for
if it
Because of
(i),
we have
we would have
Lim w
= %>
a
j/
<. a.
V
The
least finite
number
v>a
a>
will
[236] There
number
we
is,
KQ of the
(2)
If
+
be denoted by
wao/f
put a
1.
therefore, a wholly determined
numberclass such that
first
ft)"o/r
^a,
flfftr
= a', we
+!)>
have
+ a'
a
a*=
(3)
which
v for
a
ox:
and
O <.a
(4)
< <oa
o,
But a can be represented
o < KO
< (a
in the
form
.
(3)
under the
For from (3)
conditions (4) in only a single way.
and (4) follow inversely the conditions (2) and thence
But only the number a = /8_i
the. conditions (i).
satisfies
(2) the
From
the conditions
(i)
theorem
number
finite
F
and
of
(4) follows,
is
uniquely determined.
by paying attention to
18, that
a'
Thus we can
and by the conditions
(i),
:
< a,
Oo^a.
assert the following
theorem
:
A. Every number a of the second numberclass
1
86
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
can be brought, and brought in only one way, into
the form
a = tta<Mc + a '>
where
O<.d' < ft)0,
and a
than or equal to
If a'
is
O < KQ <
always smaller than
is
a
a,
ft),
but a
is
smaller
a.
number
can apply theorem
of the second numberclass,
to it, and we have
we
A
a'dlKi + a",
(5)
where
o^a" < w
a
i,
o < *!
and
In general
equations
we
*"**, + a'",
(6)
a"'
(7)
But
get a further sequence of analogous
:
this
sequence cannot be
necessarily break
off.
decrease in magnitude
but must
infinite,
For the numbers
a, a', a",
.
.
.
:
If a series of decreasing transfinite numbers were
infinite,
is
then no term would be the least
impossible
we must
by theorem B of
16.
;
and
this
Consequently
have, for a certain finite numerical value r,
 0,
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
187
we now
connect the equations (3), (5),
theorem
(6), and (7) with one another, we get the
B. Every number a of the second numberclass
[237] If
:
can be represented, and represented in only one
way, in the form
where
a,,,
ax
.
,
.
.
numbers of the
a r are
first
or
second numberclass, such that:
OQ
>
tt
> Og >
.
.
> 0,
.
>. O,
numbers of the first
T+I
numberclass which are different from zero.
The form of numbers of the second numberclass
normal
which is here shown will be called their
form"; OQ is called the "degree" and a,, the
"exponent" of a. For r=o, degree and exponent
while KO KV
.
.
.
*TJ
are
' '
are equal to one another.
According as the exponent
a,,
is
equal to or greater
than zero, a is a number of the first or second kind.
Let us take another number /Q in the normal
form
:
(8)
The
0=
formulae
:
(9)
(10)
wV + ^Y'^Y',
a'<a",
where K, K', K" here denote finite numbers, serve
both for the comparison of a with ft and for the
1
THE FOUNDING. OF THE THEORY
88
These are
carrying out of their sum and difference.
generalizations of the formulae (2) and (3) of
17.
For the formation of the product
formulae
come
into consideration
(11)
aX = toOffoXH aF/dH
(12)
ao>=ft)
a
.
.
+
.
a/3,
the following
:
ar
O<X<a>;
jcT>
+1
;
(13) aaP^a'o+P,
/3'>0.
The exponentiation
c^ can be easily carried out
on the basis of the following .formulae
:
(14)
a
A>
=
The terms not
a
to
x
/c
+
.
.
o<\<eo.
.,
written on the right have a lower
Hence follows readily that
degree than the first.
the fundamental series {ax } and {w ^} are coherent,
so that
a^eo""",
(15)
ao>0.
Thus, in consequence of theorem
have
E
of
18,
we
:
(16)
By
0*^ =
0)^
o >o,
ft'>o.
the help of these formulae
following theorems
[238] C. If the
we can
prove the
:
first terms ta*K
w^Xo of the
normal forms of the two numbers a and ft are not
equal, then a is less or greater than ft according as
is less or greater than oA\
But if we have
,
.
and
a
is
+l
if
w^+^p+i is less or greater than o/P \f+lt then
correspondingly less or greater than ft.
OF TRANS FINITE NUMBERS
D. If the degree c^ of a
A> of
/3,
=
If 00
But
189
than the degree
less
is
we have
then
,
if
,
.
.
.
ap > /8
,
ap +i
,
< /3
,
then
E. If
of the second kind
/3 is
a S = wao + ' ox 4 c ,'o+^X 1 +
.
.
.
/
But
if
F.
But
is
If
if
of the
is
where
G. Every
:
and we have
first
]8'
is
number
can be represented,
form
>o), then
(/3o.
+w o+^X
= o), then
(r
of the second kind (/^XD), then
of the
is
kind
first
(jS ff
a
J
kind
(^ = 0),
and indeed
of the second kind,
we have:
a of the second numberclass
in
only one way,
.in
the product
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
190
KT have the same denotation as
normal form. The factors aP+i are all
whilst K0i K I}
the
in
.
.
.
irresoluble.
H. Every number a of the second kind which
belongs to the second numberclass can be represented,
and represented
in
only one way, in the
form
where y >o and a
which belongs to the
[239]
I.
is
a
first
number
of the
first
kind
or second numberclass.
In order that two numbers a and
ft
of
the second numberclass should satisfy the relation
necessary and sufficient that they should have
the form
= yvt
a
yfi,
ft
it is
where p and v are numbers of the first numberclass.
K. In order that two numbers a and ft of the
second numberclass, which are both of the first
kind, should satisfy the relation
aft=fta,
it is
necessary and sufficient that they should have
the form
where ^ and
v
are
numbers of the
first
numberclass,
In order to exemplify the extent of the normal
form dealt with and the productform immediately
connected with it, of the numbers of the second
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
191
numberclass, the proofs, which are founded on
them, of the two last theorems, I and K, may here
follow.
From
we
first
the supposition
of a must be
conclude that the degree a
equal to the degree
$
of $.
For
if,
say, a
< /# we
,
would have, by theorem D,
and consequently
which
is
not possible, since, by (2) of
14,
Thus we may put
where the degrees of the numbers a' and /3' are less
than oo> and
and v are infinite numbers which are
different from zero.
Now, by theorem D we have
/x.
and consequently
o^Cu + v) + $' = O>^(M + v) + a'.
By theorem
D
of
14
we have consequently
/?
Thus we have
= a'.
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
192
[240] and
if
we
put
a
a)
we
have,
by (n)
+a' = 7
:
a = y/uL,
ft
= yv.
Let us suppose, on the other hand, that a and (3 are
two numbers which belong to the second numberclass, are of the first kind, and satisfy the condition
a/3
= (3a,
and we suppose that
a>p.
We
will
imagine both numbers, by theorem G, in
and
their productform,
where a and
ft'
i) at
end.
the
left
let
= Co.
JJ
a.
O
'
}
p
are without a
We have
'SQ r
op
,
common factor (besides
then
and
All the numbers which occur here and farther on
are of the
a and
first
kind, because this
was supposed of
ft.
The
last equation,
shows that a and
when we
ft'
refer to
theorem G,
cannot be both
transfinite,
because, in this case, there would be a common
factor at the left end.
Neither can they be both
finite
;
for then 8
would be transfinite, and, if K is
left end of 8, we would have
the finite factor at the
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
193
and thus
a'?.
Thus
there remains only the possibility that
a >&)
But the
finite
(y<ta.
nutnber f# must be
i
:
/3'=i,
because otherwise
the
We
it
would be contained as part
iti
factor at the left end of a '.
finite
arrive at the result that
/3
=
<S,
consequently
a = pa',
where
a'
number belonging
a
is
numberclass, which
be
less
than a
of the
is
first
to
the
kind,
second
and must
:
a'<a.
Between a and
/3
the relation
a'ft=pa
subsists,
[241] Consequently if also a>f$, we conclude in
the same way the existence of a transfmite number
of the
first
If also a"
a"
less
kind a" which
is
greater than
a'",
less
j6,
than a and such that
there
is
such a number
than a", such that
The
and so on,
a",
is
.
.
.,
series of decreasing numbers, a, a',
must, by theorem B of
16, break
194
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEOR Y
off.
Thus, for a definite
index p
finite
,
we must
have
a<"o
<j3.
If
a<*>A
we have
the theorem
K
would then be proved, and we would
have
y=&
But
then
M = A+i,
v=i.
if
we
put
and have
Thus there
is
In general,
we have analogously
and so
on.
/Q> ^3,
off.
If
The
number
such that
:
series of decreasing
numbers
$
1}
by theorem B of
16, break
exists a finite number K such that
also must,
Thus there
we put
then
also a finite
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
where
y.
and
195
are numerator and denominator of
v
the continued fraction.
_
v
P
20
[242]
The eNumbers
The degree
of the Second NumberClass
oo of
a number a
evident from the normal form
(l)
a = o>a
/c
+
a
a> i/c }.
1
when we pay attention
.
.,
a
is,
as
is
immediately
:
>a 1 >..., O<K
to theorem
F
of
1
8,
V
<(O,
never
greater than a but it is a question whether there
In such a case
are not numbers for which oo = a.
;
the normal form of a would reduce to the
and this term would be equal to Q>*, that
o would be a root of the equation
<o*
(2)
On
first
is
term,
to say,
=
the other hand, every root a of this equation
would have the normal form
be equal to
a
eo
;
its
degree would
itself.
The numbers
of the second numberclass
which
degree coincide, therefore, with
It is our problem to
the roots of the equation (2).
are equal to their
To disdetermine these roots in their totality.
other numbers we will call
tinguish them from all
them the "enumbers of the second numberclass."
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
196
That there are such enumbers
following theorem
A.
If
any number of the
is
y
results from
the
:
first
second
or
numberclass which does not satisfy the equation
(2), it determines a fundamental series {y} by means
of the equations
The
is
Lim y = E(y)
V
limit
of this fundamental series
v
always an enumber.
Since y is not an enumber, we have
Proof.
Thus, by theorem B
o)>>y, that is to say, 7r >y.
1 8, we have also a>n>u?, that is to say,
of
ya >yj ;
same way follows that ys > ya and so
and
in the
on.
The
We
denote
,
series {y,,} is thus a
which
its limit,
E(y) and have
is
series.
by
y,
:
wE<y) = Lim
= Lim yF+1 = E(y).
V
o>?
V
is
Consequently E(y)
B.
fundamental
a function of
The number
e
an enumber.
= E(i) = Lim
<, where
V
** 0,
!
is
ft)a
=
the least of
^3
w<l">
== G>"a
>
Let
e'
1
>
<a,
we have
Similarly of >
We have in
1
a)**
. j
)
be any enumber, so that
of
e'
&v = ft)"" 1
>
the enumbers.
all
[243] Proof.
Since
*
,
1
of
that
general
=
e'.
> fo",
is
that
to say,
is
e"
to say,
> wa
,
e'
> o^.
and so
on.
OF TRANS FINITE NUMBERS
197
and consequently
that
is
to say,
e^e
Thus
<r
= E(i)
is
.
the least of
all
enumbers.
any enumber, e" is the next greater
enumber, and y is any number which lies between
them
e'<y<e",
C.
If e
is
:
then E(y) = e".
Proof.
From
<='<y<e"
follows
f
uf
that
is
'
/
<uff<af
t
to say,
Similarly
we conclude
e'
and so
on.
We
have, in general,
e'<y,,<e",
and thus
e '<E(y)<e".
Since e" is
an enumber.
e next in order of magnitude, E(y) cannot be less than e", and thus we
must have
By theorem
A, E(y)
is
the enumber which follows
Since e'+ I is not an enumber, simply because ail
enumbers, as follows from the equation of definition
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
198
=10*, are of the
than
.
second kind, e'+
is
I
certainly less
and thus we have the following theorem
r
e is any enumber, then E(e' + i) is the next
e",
:
D. If
greater enumber.
To the least enumber,
e
follows, then, the next
,
greater one:
[244] to this the next greater number
:
on.
Quite generally, we have for the
enumber in order of magnitude the formula
and so
(i/+ i)th
of recursion
e^E^.x+i).
(3)
But that the
infinite series
e
,
et ,
.
.
ev ,
.
.
.
.
by no means embraces the totality of enumbers
results from the following theorem
:
E.
If
e,
e,
...
e",
any
is
infinite
series
of
enumbers such that
e<e'<e".
then
Lim
e*"J
is
.
.
e
an enumber, and, in
fact,
the
V
enumber which follows next
to
all
the numbers
in order of
e(l<) .
Proof.
Lim<">
w
"
= Lim
()
W*
= Lim
e (l
,
magnitude
OF TRANS FINITE NUMBERS
That Lim
<?<">
is
the enumber which follows next
V
in order of
from the
199
magnitude to
fact that
^
the numbers
all
Lim
e<">
is
results
the number of the
V
second numberclass which follows next in order of
magnitude to
F.
The
all
the numbers
of
totality
numberclass
forms,
e (v \
enumbers
the second
t>f
when arranged
in
order of
magnitude, a wellordered aggregate of the type
of the second numberclass in its order of magnitude,
and has thus the power Alephone.
The totality of enumbers of the second
Proof.
numberclass,
tude, forms,
aggregate
(4)
when arranged
in their order of
by theorem C of
16,
magni
a wellordered
:
fy,
ex ,
...,,...
eu +ij
.
.
.
Co?
.
.
.,
whose law of formation is expressed in the theorems
D and E. Now, if the index a did not successively
take all the numerical values of the second numberclass, there would be a least number a which it did
not reach.
But this would contradict the theorem
D, if a were of the first kind, and theorem E, if a
were of the second kind. Thus a takes all numerical
values of the second numberclass.
If
by
we denote the type
ft,
the type of (4)
[245] But since
u>
of the second numberclass
is
+ o>a =
2
o>
,
we have
THE FOUNDING OF THE THEORY
200
_
and consequently
G.
the
If e
first
_
any enumber and a
is
any number of
is
or second numberclass which
is
less
than
e
:
a<e,
then
the three equations
e satisfies
:
If ao is the degree of a, we have oo^la, and
Proof.
consequently, because of a < e, we also have a < e.
But the degree of e = <o* is e thus a has a less
',
degree than
e.
by theorem
Consequently,
19,
D
of
a + e = e,
and thus
a
On
the other hand,
19,
ae
+e = e.
we
= aw* =
have,
+e
a>
by formula (13) of
= of = e,
and thus
Finally,
paying attention to the formula (16) of
19,
ae = aw' = u>a
H.
If a is
any number
!
u?
the equation
<
has no other
greater than
roots
a.
= w" =
'
a)'
=
e.
of the. second numberclass,
=f
than the enumbers which are
OF TRANSFINITE NUMBERS
Proof.
Let
ft
201
be a root of the equation
**
=
,
so that
o*0.
Then,
in
the
first place,
,
from
formula follows
this
that
On
the other, hand,
since, if not,
/3
must be of the second kind,
we would have
Thus we have, by theorem
aP =
and consequently
[246]
By theorem F
w^ =
of
F
of
19,
oP
iQ.
19,
we have
and thus
But
(3
cannot be greater than
oo/3
;
consequently
a oj# = fr
and thus
Therefore
^
j3 is
HALLE, March
an enumber which
1897.
is
greater than
a.
NOTES
IN a sense the most fundamental advance made in
the theoretical arithmetic of finite and transfinite
numbers is the purely logical definition of the
Whereas Cantor (see pp. 74,
numberconcept.
86, 112 above) defined "cardinal number" and
' '
ordinal type " as general concepts which arise by
activity, that is to say, as
means of our mental
psychological entities, Gottlob Frege had, in his
Grttndlagen der Arithmetik of 1884, defined the
" number
"
(Ansahf) of a class u as the class of all
those classes which are equivalent (in the sense of
86 above) to
Frege remarked that his
as what Cantor (see pp.
40, 74, 86 above) had called "powers," and that
"
there was no reason for restricting ' numbers
to
be finite. Although Frege worked out, in the first
volume (1893) of his Grundgesetise der Arithmetik^
an important part of arithmetic, with a logical
PP 75i
"numbers"
are the
u.
same
'
accuracy previously unknown and for years afterwards almost unknown, his ideas did not become at
all widely known until Bertrand Russell, who had
arrived independently at this logical definition of
" cardinal
number," gave prominence to them in his
NOTES
203
The two chief
Principles of Mathematics of 1903.*
reasons in favour of this definition are that it
by
avoids,
a construction of
fundamental entities of
there are certain
' '
numbers "
;
new
and that
number
of the
the assumption that
and undefined entities called
it
allows us to deduce at
once that the class defined
the cardinal
"numbers" out
logic,
not empty, so that
the sense
is
of u "exists" in
defined in logic
in fact, since u is equivalent to
the cardinal number of
has u at least as a
:
itself,
member.
for
ordinal
Russell also gave an analogous definition
types or the more general "relation
numbers. " f
An account of much that has been done
the
in
theory of aggregates since 1897 ma 7 De gathered
from A. Schoenflies's reports
Die Entwickelung
der Lehre von den Punktmannigfaltigkeiten, Leipzig,
:
A
second edition
ii,
Leipzig, 1908.
part was published at Leipzig and Berlin
in 1913, in collaboration with H. Harm, under the
title
Entwickelung der Mengenlehre und ihrer
1900
;
of the
'part
first
:
These three books will be cited
Anwendungen.
by their respective dates of publication, and, when
references to relevant contributions not mentioned
in these reports are made, full references to the
original place of publication will be given.
*
Pp. 519, 1 1 1116.
Cf. Whitehead, Amer. foum. of Math. vol.
For a more modern form of the doctrine, see
xxiv, 1902, p. 378.
Whitehead and Russell, Principia McUhematica, vol. ii, Cambridge,
,
1912, pp. 4, 13.
t Principles,
473510.
pp.
262,
321
;
and
Principia^ vol.
ii,
pp.
330,
NOTES
204
Leaving aside the applications of the theory of
numbers to geometry and the theory of
functions, the most important advances since 1897
transfinite
are as follows
(1)
:
The proof given independently by Ernst
Schroder (1896) and Felix Bernstein (1898) of the
theorem B on p. 91 above, without the supposition
that one of the three relations of magnitude must
hold between any two cardinal numbers (1900, pp.
1908, pp. 1012).
1618; 1913, pp. 3441
(2) The giving of exactly expressed definitions
of arithmetical operations with cardinal numbers
;
and of proofs of the laws of arithmetic for them by
Ai N. Whitehead (Amer. Journ. of Math., vol.
367394).
xxiv, 1902, pp.
pp.
A
117120.
Whitehead
.
and
Cf.
Russell, Principles,
more modern form
is
Russell's
vol.
Prindpia,
given, in
ii,
pp.
66186.
(3) Investigations on the question as to whether
any aggregate can be brought into the form of
This question Cantor
1900, p. 49; 1913, p. 170; and p. 63 above)
believed could be answered in the affirmative.
a wellordered aggregate.
(cf.
The
postulate lying at the bottom of this theorem
was brought forward in the most definite manner
by E. Zermelo and E. Schmidt in 1904, and
Zermelo afterwards gave this postulate the form of
an "axiom of selection" (1913* pp.
16,
170184;
Whitehead and Russell have
1908, pp. 3336).
dealt with great precision with the subject in their
Principia>
vol.
i,
Cambridge,
1910, pp.
500568.
NOTES
It
205
may be remarked
that Cantor, in his proof of
105 above, and in that of theorem
theorem A on p.
C on pp. 161162 above,* unconsciously used this
axiom of infinite selection. Also G. H. Hardy
in 1903 (1908, pp.
2223) use d this axiom, unconsciously at first, in a proof that it is possible to
have an aggregate of cardinal number M X in the
continuum of real numbers.
But there is another and wholly different question
which crops up in attempts at a proof that any
Cesare BuraliForti
aggregate can be well ordered.
had in 1897 pointed out that the series of all ordinal
numbers, which is easily seen to be well ordered,
must have the greatest of all ordinal numbers as its
Yet the type of the above series of ordinal
type.
numbers followed by its type must be a greater
ordinal number, for ft+ 1
Forti concluded that we
is
greater than
/3.
Burali
must deny Cantor's funda
A different
mental theorem in his memoir of 1897.
use of an argument analogous to BuraliForti's was
made by
Philip E. B. Jourdain in a paper written in
1903 and published in 1904 (Philosophical Magazine,
6th series, vol. vii, pp. 6175).
The chief interest
of this paper is that it contains a proof which is
independent
discovered
*
of,
but practically identical with, that
in 1895, an d of which some
by Cantor
Indeed, we have here to prove that any enumerable aggregate of
any enumerable aggregates gives an enumerable aggregate of the
elements last referred to. To prove that No Ko= No, it is not enough to
prove the above theorem for particular aggregates. And in the general
case we have to pick one element out of each of an infinity of classes,
no element in each class being distinguished from the others.
NOTES
206
trace
and
is
in
preserved in the passage on
the remark on the theorem
p.
A
109 above
of
90.
p.
This proof of Cantor's and Jourdain's consists of
two parts. In the first part 'it is established that
every cardinal number is either an Aleph or is greater
than all Alephs.
This part requires the use of
Zermelo's axiom; and Jourdain took the "proof"
of this part of the theorem directly from Hardy's
Cantor assumed
paper of 1903 referred to above.
the result required, and indeed the result seems very
plausible.
The second part of the theorem consists in the
proof that the supposition that a cardinal number
is greater than all Alephs is impossible.
By a slight
modification of BuraliForti's
argument, in which
proved that there cannot be a
greatest Aleph, the conclusion seems to follow that
no cardinal number can be other than an Aleph.
modification
The
it
is
contradiction
discovered by BuraliForti is
but the simplest
contradiction was discovered * by Russell (Principles,.
the best
known
to mathematicians
;
pp. 364368, 101107) from an application to "the
"
cardinal number of all things of Cantor's argument
of 1892 referred to on pp. 99100 above.
Russell's
contradiction can be reduced to the following
If
:
w is
the class of
member
a
plain that
of
x
w
is
>
member
member of w.
not a
*
all
those terms
if
then,
not a
of w,
The
w
is
a
member
x such
that
x
is
member
of
w
;
of w,
while if
not
it is
w
w
is
is a
equally plain that
treatment and final solution of
it
is
This argument was discovered in 1900 (see Mortist Jan. 1912).
t
NOTES
207
these paradoxes, which concern the foundations of
logic and which are closely allied to the logical
"the Epimenides, " * has been
attempted unsuccessfully by very many mathematicians, and successfully by Russell (cf. Principles,
puzzle
known
as
j
PP 5 2 35 2 8
;
Principia, vol.
The theorem
A
pp. 2631, 3990).
i,
required (see theorem
on p. 1 08) in the proof that the two definitions
of infinity coincide.
On this point, cf. Principles^
on
p.
105
is
D
pp.
121123
;
Principle
vol.
i,
pp.
569666;
vol.
ii,
pp. 187298.
(4) Investigation
of numberclasses
in
general,
and the arithmetic of Alephs by Jourdain in 1904
and 1908, and G. Hessenberg in 1906^ (1913,
pp. 131136; 1908, pp. 1314)(5) The definition, by Felix Hausdorff in 19041907, of the product .of an infinity of ordinal types
This
hence of exponentiation by a type.
definition is analogous to Cantor's definition of
and
exponeritiation for cardinal numbers on p. 95
above.
Cf. 1913, pp. 7580
1908, pp. 4245(6) Theorems due to J. Konig (1904) on the
;
*
Epimenides was a Cretan who said that all Cretans were liars.
if his statement were true he was a liar.
The remark of a
" I am
says,
lying," is even more analogous to Russell's w.
t Thus Schoenflies, in his Reports of 1908 and 1913, devotes an
"
undue amount of space to his "solution of the paradoxes here referred
to.
This " solution" really consists in saying that these paradoxes do
not belong to mathematics but to "philosophy." It may be remarked
that Schoenflies seems never to have grasped the meaning and* extent of
Zermelo's axiom, which Russell has called the " multiplicative axiom."
t Just as in the proof that the multiplication of K by itself gives &*,
the more general theorem here considered involves the multiplicative
axiom.
Cf, Jourdain, Mess, of Math. (2), vol. xxxvi, May 1906, pp, 1316.
Obviously
man who
208
.
inequality
NOTES
of certain cardinal numbers
;
aiid
the
independent generalization of these theorems,
together with one of Cantor's (see pp. 8182
above), by Zermelo and Jourdain in 1908 (1908,
1617; 1913, PP. 6567).
HausdorfPs contributions from 1906 to 1908
to the theory of linear ordered aggregates (1913*
pp.
(7)
pp.
185205; 1908, pp. 4071).
The investigation of the ordinal types of
(8)
multiply ordered infinite aggregates by F. Riess
in 1903,
and Brouwer
in
1913 (1913, pp. 8587).
INDEX
Abel, Niels Henrike, 10.
Abelian functions, 10, it.
Absolute infinity, 62, 63.
Actuality of numbers, 67.
Addition of cardinal numbers, So,
91 ff.
Cantor, Georg, v,
'
of ordinal types, 81, 119 ff.
of transfinite numbers, 63, 66,
Adherences, 73.
Aggregate, definition
of, 46,
47,
54, 74, 85
of bindings, 92.
of union, 50, 91.
vi, vii, 3, 9, 10,
13, 18, 22, 24, 25, 26, 28,
29i 3, 3 2 . 33. 34, 3S, 3,
37, 38, 41, 42, 45, 40, 47,
48, 49, 5 1 , 52, 53, 54, 55,
62 6 3, 64.
56, 57, 59, 60,
68, 69, 70; 72, 73, 74, 76,
77, 79, 80, 8r, 82, 202,
204, 205, 206, 208,
Dedekind axiom, 30.
Cardinal number ( see also Power),
74, 79 ff., 85 ft, 202.
97
finite,
ff.
Aristotle, 55, 70.
smallest transfinite, 103 ff.
numbers,
operations
with, 204.
series of transfinite, 109.
Cauchy, Augustin Louis, 2, 3, 4, 6,
Arithmetic, foundations of, with
Weierstrass, 12.
with Frege and Russell, 202,
203.
8,12, 14,15, 16,17,22,24.
Class of types, 114.
Closed aggregates, 132.
types, 133
Arzela, 73.
Associative
Coherences, 73.
Cardinal
Alembert, Jean Lerond d', 4.
Algebraic numbers, 38 ff., 127.
Aquinas, Thomas, 70.
law with transfinite
numbers, 92, 93, 119, 121,
154, ISS
Baire, Rend, 73.
Bendixson, Ivar, 73.
Berkeley, George, 55.
9, 48, 49
Connected aggregates, 72.
Content of aggregates, 73.
Bernoulli, Daniel, 4,
Bernstein, Felix, 204.
BoisReymond, Pauldu, 22,34,
51.
Bolzano, Bernard, 13, 14, 17, 21,
2>, 41. 55. 72Borel, Emile, 73.
Bouquet,
Coherent series, 129, 130.
Commutative law with transflnite
92,
93,
numbers,
66,
119 ff., 190 ff.
Condensation of singularities, 3,
Contentless, 51.
Continuity, of a function,
Continuous motion in
64,
7.
Briot, 7.
Brodte, 73.
Brouwer, 208.
BuraliForti, Cesare, 205, 206.
i.
discontinuous space, 37.
Continuum, 33, 37, 41 ff., 47, 48,
70
ff.,
96,203.
Contradiction, Russell's, 206, 207.
Convergence of series, i, 15, 16,
17, 20, 24.
Cords, vibrating, problem
209
of, 4.
INDEX
2IO
D'Alembert
J.
L.
(see
,.
Alembert,
Hankel, Hermann,
49,
d').
Dedekind, Richard,
vii,
23, 41,
47, 49, 73
3, 7, 8, 9, 17,
7
Hardy, G. H., 205, 206.
Harnack, Axel, 51, 73.
Definition of aggregate, 37.
Hausdorff, Felix, 207, 208.
Democritus, 70.
Morgan, Augustus, 41.
Density in itself, 132.
Derivatives of point aggregates,
Heine, H. E. 3, 26, 69.
Helmholtz,. H. von, 42, 70, 81.
Hessenberg, Gerhard, 207.
De
3.
30
ff.,
Gustav "Lejeune,
2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9. 22, 35Discrete aggregates, 51.
Distributive law with transfinite
Dirichlet, Peter
numbers, 66, 93, 121, 155.
Enumerability, 32, 38ff.,47, 50 ff.,
62.
55.
Imaginaries, 6.
Induction, mathematical, 207.
Infinite, definition of, 41, 61, 62.
Infinitesimals, 64, 81.
Infinity, proper and improper, 55,
79
Integrability,
ditions
Riemann's
con
or, 8.
Integrable aggregates, 51.
Inverse types, 114.
Irrational numbers, 3, 14
Enumeral, 52, 62.
Epicurus, 70.
Epirnenides, 207.
Equivalence of aggregates,
86
40,
ff.
Euler, Leonhard, 4, 5, 9, 10.
Everywheredense aggregates, 33,
35. 37,
3.
types, 133.
of
transfinite
Exponentiation
numbers, 82, 94 ff., 207.
Fontenelle, 118.
Formalism in mathematics, 70, 81.
Fourier, Jean Baptiste Joseph, i,
2,
6, 8, 24.
Freedom
in mathematics, 67 ff.
Frege, Gottlob, 23, 70, 202.
Function, conception of, I.
Functions, theory of analytic,
6,
Hobbes, Thomas,
37
Descartes, Rene, 55.
75,
f
7,
10,
11,
12,
2,
13, 22,
ff., 26 ff.
analogy of transfinite numbers
with, 77 ff.
Isolated aggregate, 49.
point, 30.
G.
Tacobi, C.
T., 10.
Jordan, Camille, 73.
Jourdain, Philip E.
B., 4, 6, 20,
32, 52, 205, 206, 207, 208,
Killing,
W.,
118.
Kind of a pointaggregate, 32.
Kirchhoff, G., 69.
Ko'nig, Julius, 207.
Kronecker, L., 70, 81.
Kummer, E. E. , 69.
Lagrange,
J.
Leibniz, G.
L..S,
W.
14
von, 55.
Leucippus, 70.
73
Limitation, principle of, 60.
Limiting element of an aggregate,
arbitrary, 4, 6, 34.
theory of real, 2, 8, o, 73.
series, 26, 128
Fundamental
ff.
131Limitpoint, 30.
Gauss, Carl Friedrich, 6, 12, 14.
Generation, principles of, 56, 57.
Limits with transfinite numbers,
77 ff., 131 ff., 58 ff.
Gudermann,
Liouville, L, 40.
LipschitZj R., 6.
10.
Haim, H., 203.
Haller, Albrecht von, 62.
Locke,
J., 55.
Lucretius, 70,
INDEX
Mach, Ernst, 69.
Maximum
of a function, 22.
MittagLeffler, Gosta, 11.
Mutliplication of cardinal numbers, 80, 91 fE
of ordinal types 81, 119 ft, 154.
of transfinite numbers, 63, 64,
66, 176 ff.
Kiess, F., 208.
Russell, Bertrand, 20, 23, 53, 202,
203, 204, 206, 207.
Schepp, A., 117.
Schmidt, E., 204.
Schoenflies, A., 73, 203, 207.
Schwarz,
8, 12.
Second
numberclass,
Numberconcept, logical definition
of, 169 ff.
epsilonnumbers of the, 195
exponentiation in, 178 ff.
normal form of numbers
202, 203.
183
number
Ordinal
also
(see
Enumeral), 75, ii ff.
numbers, finite, 113, 158, 159.
type, 75, 79 ff., noff.
type of aggregate of rational
numbers, I22ff., 202.
types of multiply ordered aggregates, 8 1, 208.
Osgood,
W.
141
vi.
and
Physical conceptions
modem
mathematics, I.
Pointaggregates, Cantor's
early
ff.,
Unextended aggregates,
Upper
on, v, vi.
20
Teubner, B. G., vii.
Transfinite numbers, 4, 32, 36,
50 ff., 52 ff.
Trigonometrical developments, 2,
3,4, 5,6, 7, 8, 24ff., 31.
30
ff.,
51.
limit, 21.
64,
73Potential, theory of, 7.
Veronese, G., 117, 118.
Power, second, 64 ff. 169 ff.
of an aggregate, 32, 37, 40,
52 ft, 60, 62.
Prime numbers, transfinite, 64, 66..
Principal element of an aggregate,
Weierstrass, Karl,
,
13*
Puiseux, V.,
103,
66, 155, 156
Philosophical revolution brought
about by Cantor's work,
of, 3,
60,
ff.
Selections, 204 ff.
Similarity, 76, H2ff.
Species of a pointaggregate, 31.
Spinoza, B., 55.
Steiner, J., 40.
Stolz, O., 17, 73Subtraction of transfinite numbers,
F., 73.
Perfect aggregates, 72, 132.
types, 133.
work
ft
of,
ff.
numbers of, 160 ff.
Segment of a series,
Peano, G., 23.
theory
cardinal
number
Newton, Sir Isaac, 15.
Nominalism, Cantor's, 69, 70.
of,
211
7.
vi, vii, 2, 3,
10,
H, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19,
20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 30,
48.
Wellordered aggregates, 60, 61,
75 ff., 137 ff.
Wellordering, 204 ff.
Whitehead, A. N., 203, 204.
Reducible aggregates, 71.
Relation numbers, 203.
Riemann, G. F. B., 3, 7, 8, 9, 10,
T2, 25, 42.
Zeno, 15.
Zermelo, E., 204, 206, 207, 208.
Zermelo's axiom, 204 ff.
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