Definition:Set Theory/Historical Note

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Historical Note on Set Theory

Set theory arose from an attempt to comprehend the question: "What is a number?"

The main initial development of the subject was in fact not directly generated as a result of trying to answer this question, but as a result of Georg Cantor's work around $1870$ to understand the nature of infinite series and related subjects.

As a result of this he began to consider the nature of infinite collections of general object, not just numbers.

Cantor usually considered the founder of set theory as a mathematical discipline ...
-- Patrick Suppes: Axiomatic Set Theory (1960, 2nd ed. 1972)