You might have missed Jacob Plotkin’s comment a week ago about about a reference (by me!) to “Cantor’s back-and-forth proof”:
Cantor did not invent/discover or use this method of proof. That honor belongs independently to Felix Hausdorff and E.V. Huntington.
Jacob gave a reference to the short paper where he spells out the evidence. I’ve now had a chance to read it, and it is interesting and instructive (and after all, it is always better to get our history right rather than wrong). So let me add a link to where you can find the paper!
3 thoughts on “Going back and forth”
A link to your original post would be welcome by those of us who are extraordinarily lazy.
Shouldn’t the method be attributed to Roland Fraïssé?
One question is who first uses a certain proof idea; it’s a different question who distinctively develops and puts the idea to different uses.