[FOM] Quotation of Poincare on Cantor

Alasdair Urquhart urquhart at cs.toronto.edu
Thu Sep 8 15:07:06 EDT 2005

Adrian Matthias is right -- there is a quotation by Poincare
in his 1908 address describing Cantorian mathematics as
a kind of disease.  Surprisingly, the address is easily available
online (in English translation) at:


In Section IX of that address, entitled "Cantorism" he says
(after various negative remarks about Cantorian mathematics):

"I think, and I am not the only one who does, that it is important
never to introduce any conception which may not be 
completely defined by a finite number of words.
Whatever may be the remedy adopted, we can promise
ourselves the joy of the physician called in to follow a beautiful
pathological case."

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