On the nature of math — abstraction

Abstraction is such a central part of modern mathematics that one forgets that it was not until Frechet’s 1906 thesis that sets of points with no a priori underlying structure (not assumed points in or functions on \Re^{n}) are considered and given a structure a posteriori (Frechet first defined abstract metric spaces). And after its success in analysis, abstraction took over significant parts of algebra, geometry, topology and logic.

Cheers,

Nalin Pithwa.

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