Cantor and the Burali-Forti Paradox

The Monist 67 (1):92-107 (1984)
In studying the early history of mathematical logic and set theory one typically reads that Georg Cantor discovered the so-called Burali-Forti (BF) paradox sometime in 1895, and that he offered his solution to it in his famous 1899 letter to Dedekind. This account, however, leaves it something of a mystery why Cantor never discussed the paradox in his writings. Far from regarding the foundations of set theory to be shaken, he showed no apparent concern over the paradox and its implications whatever. Against this account, I will argue here that in fact Cantor never saw any paradox at all, but that his conception of set at that time, and already as far back as 1883, was one in which the paradoxes cannot arise.
Keywords Burali-Forti paradox  Georg Cantor  proper classes
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,217
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Barkley Rosser (1942). The Burali-Forti Paradox. Journal of Symbolic Logic 7 (1):1-17.
Irving M. Copi (1958). The Burali-Forti Paradox. Philosophy of Science 25 (4):281-286.
Gregory Landini (2009). Russell's Schema, Not Priest's Inclosure. History and Philosophy of Logic 30 (2):105-139.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

85 ( #55,558 of 1,932,454 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

27 ( #18,951 of 1,932,454 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.