...When a mathematician created a set by naming it, he was giving a birth to a new mathematical being. The naming of sets was a mathematical act, just as the naming of G-d was a religious one...
I've never suspected that neo-Nominalism played such a prominent role in the emergence of the Moscow School of Mathematics. The thesis of this article is that French mathematicians (Lebesgue, Borel, Baire, Du Bois-Reymond, Brouwer) being Carthesians, believed that if one cannot think of an object, it cannot exist (if one cannot imagine transfinite numbers, these do not exist). But Imyaslav mathematicians in Russia believed that by naming a mathematical object it automatically comes into existence, and so they were fully open to German advances in the set theory. They had no conceptual problem with, say, proving the existence of an object that cannot be properly defined. Their open mind allowed Egorov and Luzin to found a new school of mathematics. I wonder how much of this is true.
PS: Graham and Kantor just published a book on this topic, "Naming Infinity"
...At the core of this book is the contest between French and Russian mathematicians who sought new answers to one of the oldest puzzles in math: the nature of infinity. The French school chased rationalist solutions. The Russian mathematicians, notably Dmitri Egorov and Nikolai Luzin — who founded the famous Moscow School of Mathematics—were inspired by mystical insights attained during Name Worshipping. Their religious practice appears to have opened to them visions into the infinite—and led to the founding of descriptive set theory.
see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imiaslavie#Imiaslavie_and_mathematics