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Set Theory and its Philosophy: A Critical Introduction

Oxford University Press (2004)

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  1. The Nature of Appearance in Kant’s Transcendentalism: A Seman- Tico-Cognitive Analysis.Sergey L. Katrechko - 2018 - Kantian Journal 37 (3):41-55.
  • The Graph Conception of Set.Luca Incurvati - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (1):181-208.
    The non-well-founded set theories described by Aczel (1988) have received attention from category theorists and computer scientists, but have been largely ignored by philosophers. At the root of this neglect might lie the impression that these theories do not embody a conception of set, but are rather of mere technical interest. This paper attempts to dispel this impression. I present a conception of set which may be taken as lying behind a non-well-founded set theory. I argue that the axiom AFA (...)
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  • Bi-Modal Naive Set Theory.John Wigglesworth - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Logic 15 (2):139-150.
    This paper describes a modal conception of sets, according to which sets are 'potential' with respect to their members. A modal theory is developed, which invokes a naive comprehension axiom schema, modified by adding `forward looking' and `backward looking' modal operators. We show that this `bi-modal' naive set theory can prove modalized interpretations of several ZFC axioms, including the axiom of infinity. We also show that the theory is consistent by providing an S5 Kripke model. The paper concludes with some (...)
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  • Rigour, Proof and Soundness.Oliver M. W. Tatton-Brown - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Bristol
    The initial motivating question for this thesis is what the standard of rigour in modern mathematics amounts to: what makes a proof rigorous, or fail to be rigorous? How is this judged? A new account of rigour is put forward, aiming to go some way to answering these questions. Some benefits of the norm of rigour on this account are discussed. The account is contrasted with other remarks that have been made about mathematical proof and its workings, and is tested (...)
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  • The Limits of Classical Mereology: Mixed Fusions and the Failures of Mereological Hybridism.Joshua Kelleher - 2020 - Dissertation, The University of Queensland
    In this thesis I argue against unrestricted mereological hybridism, the view that there are absolutely no constraints on wholes having parts from many different logical or ontological categories, an exemplar of which I take to be ‘mixed fusions’. These are composite entities which have parts from at least two different categories – the membered (as in classes) and the non-membered (as in individuals). As a result, mixed fusions can also be understood to represent a variety of cross-category summation such as (...)
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  • An Observation About Truth.David Kashtan - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Jerusalem
    Tarski's analysis of the concept of truth gives rise to a hierarchy of languages. Does this fragment the concept all the way to philosophical unacceptability? I argue it doesn't, drawing on a modification of Kaplan's theory of indexicals.
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  • Hilbert on Consistency as a Guide to Mathematical Reality.Fiona T. Doherty - 2017 - Logique Et Analyse 237:107-128.
  • What is Absolute Undecidability?†.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2013 - Noûs 47 (3):467-481.
    It is often alleged that, unlike typical axioms of mathematics, the Continuum Hypothesis (CH) is indeterminate. This position is normally defended on the ground that the CH is undecidable in a way that typical axioms are not. Call this kind of undecidability “absolute undecidability”. In this paper, I seek to understand what absolute undecidability could be such that one might hope to establish that (a) CH is absolutely undecidable, (b) typical axioms are not absolutely undecidable, and (c) if a mathematical (...)
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  • Set-Theoretic Pluralism and the Benacerraf Problem.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):2013-2030.
    Set-theoretic pluralism is an increasingly influential position in the philosophy of set theory (Balaguer [1998], Linksy and Zalta [1995], Hamkins [2012]). There is considerable room for debate about how best to formulate set-theoretic pluralism, and even about whether the view is coherent. But there is widespread agreement as to what there is to recommend the view (given that it can be formulated coherently). Unlike set-theoretic universalism, set-theoretic pluralism affords an answer to Benacerraf’s epistemological challenge. The purpose of this paper is (...)
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  • Ontological Commitment.Daniel Durante Pereira Alves - 2018 - AL-Mukhatabat 1 (27):177-223.
    Disagreement over what exists is so fundamental that it tends to hinder or even to block dialogue among disputants. The various controversies between believers and atheists, or realists and nominalists, are only two kinds of examples. Interested in contributing to the intelligibility of the debate on ontology, in 1939 Willard van Orman Quine began a series of works which introduces the notion of ontological commitment and proposes an allegedly objective criterion to identify the exact conditions under which a theoretical discourse (...)
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  • Great Philosophy: Discovery, Invention, and the Uses of Error.Christopher Norris - 2014 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (3):349-379.
    In this essay I consider what is meant by the description ‘great’ philosophy and then offer some broadly applicable criteria by which to assess candidate thinkers or works. On the one hand are philosophers in whose case the epithet, even if contested, is not grossly misconceived or merely the product of doctrinal adherence on the part of those who apply it. On the other are those – however gifted, acute, or technically adroit – to whom its application is inappropriate because (...)
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  • Sets, Logic, Computation. An Open Introduction to Metalogic.Richard Zach - 2017 - Open Logic Project.
    An introductory textbook on metalogic. It covers naive set theory, first-order logic, sequent calculus and natural deduction, the completeness, compactness, and Löwenheim-Skolem theorems, Turing machines, and the undecidability of the halting problem and of first-order logic. The audience is undergraduate students with some background in formal logic.
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  • Intrinsic Justifications for Large-Cardinal Axioms.Rupert McCallum - forthcoming - Philosophia Mathematica:nkaa038.
    ABSTRACT The aim of the paper is to answer some arguments raised against mathematical structuralism developed by Michael Resnik. These arguments stress the abstractness of mathematical objects, especially their causal inertness, and conclude that mathematical objects, the structures posited by Resnik included, are inaccessible to human cognition. In the paper I introduce a distinction between abstract and ideal objects and argue that mathematical objects are primarily ideal. I reconstruct some aspects of the instrumental practice of mathematics, such as symbolic manipulations (...)
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  • Reason, Causation and Compatibility with the Phenomena.Basil Evangelidis - 2020 - Wilmington, Delaware, USA: Vernon Press.
    'Reason, Causation and Compatibility with the Phenomena' strives to give answers to the philosophical problem of the interplay between realism, explanation and experience. This book is a compilation of essays that recollect significant conceptions of rival terms such as determinism and freedom, reason and appearance, power and knowledge. This title discusses the progress made in epistemology and natural philosophy, especially the steps that led from the ancient theory of atomism to the modern quantum theory, and from mathematization to analytic philosophy. (...)
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  • Qual a motivação para se defender uma teoria causal da memória?César Schirmer Dos Santos - 2018 - In Juliano Santos do Carmo & Rogério F. Saucedo Corrêa (eds.), Linguagem e cognição. Pelotas: NEPFil. pp. 63-89.
    Este texto tem como objetivo apresentar a principal motivação filosófica para se defender uma teoria causal da memória, que é explicar como pode um evento que se deu no passado estar relacionado a uma experiência mnêmica que se dá no presente. Para tanto, iniciaremos apresentando a noção de memória de maneira informal e geral, para depois apresentar elementos mais detalhados. Finalizamos apresentando uma teoria causal da memória que se beneficia da noção de veritação (truthmaking).
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  • General Solution to All Philosophical Problems With Some Exceptions.Wayde Beasley - forthcoming - north of parallel 40: Numerous uncommitted.
    Philosophy is unsolved. My forthcoming book sets forth the final resolution, with some exceptions, to this 2,500 year crisis. I am currently close to finishing page 983.
     
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  • Modeling Mystery.William Wood - 2016 - Scientia et Fides 4 (1):39-59.
    The practice of model-building is very common in analytic philosophical theology. Yet many other theologians worry that any attempt to model God must be hubristic and idolatrous. A better understanding of scientific modeling can set the stage for a more fruitful engagement between analytic theologians and their critics. I first present an account of scientific modeling that draws on recent work in the philosophy of science. I then apply that account to a prominent analytic model of the trinity, Michael Rea (...)
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  • Mathematics and Its Applications, A Transcendental-Idealist Perspective.Jairo Da Silva - 2017 - Springer.
    This monograph offers a fresh perspective on the applicability of mathematics in science. It explores what mathematics must be so that its applications to the empirical world do not constitute a mystery. In the process, readers are presented with a new version of mathematical structuralism. The author details a philosophy of mathematics in which the problem of its applicability, particularly in physics, in all its forms can be explained and justified. Chapters cover: mathematics as a formal science, mathematical ontology: what (...)
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  • Intuitive and Regressive Justifications†.Michael Potter - 2020 - Philosophia Mathematica 28 (3):385-394.
    In his recent book, Quine, New Foundations, and the Philosophy of Set Theory, Sean Morris attempts to rehabilitate Quine’s NF as a possible foundation for mathematics. I explain why he does not succeed.
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  • Modal Objectivity.Clarke-Doane Justin - forthcoming - Noûs.
    It is widely agreed that the intelligibility of modal metaphysics has been vindicated. Quine's arguments to the contrary supposedly confused analyticity with metaphysical necessity, and rigid with non-rigid designators.2 But even if modal metaphysics is intelligible, it could be misconceived. It could be that metaphysical necessity is not absolute necessity – the strictest real notion of necessity – and that no proposition of traditional metaphysical interest is necessary in every real sense. If there were nothing otherwise “uniquely metaphysically significant” about (...)
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  • The Origin of the Theory of Types.Ryo Ito - 2018 - Annals of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 27:27-44.
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  • Conceptual Metaphors and Mathematical Practice: On Cognitive Studies of Historical Developments in Mathematics.Dirk Schlimm - 2013 - Topics in Cognitive Science 5 (2):283-298.
    This article looks at recent work in cognitive science on mathematical cognition from the perspective of history and philosophy of mathematical practice. The discussion is focused on the work of Lakoff and Núñez, because this is the first comprehensive account of mathematical cognition that also addresses advanced mathematics and its history. Building on a distinction between mathematics as it is presented in textbooks and as it presents itself to the researcher, it is argued that the focus of cognitive analyses of (...)
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  • Sophist or Antiphilosopher? [REVIEW]Christopher Norris - 2012 - Journal of Critical Realism 11 (4):487-498.
    This essay takes Badiou’s recently published book as an opportunity to discuss not only his complex approach to Wittgenstein but also his evolving critical stance in relation to various other movements in present-day philosophical thought. In particular it examines his distinction between ‘sophistics’ and ‘anti-philosophy’, as developed very largely through his series of encounters with Wittgenstein. Beyond that, I offer some brief remarks about the role of set-theoretical concepts in Badiou’s thinking and the vexed question of their bearing on his (...)
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  • The Deflationary Theory of Ontological Dependence.David Mark Kovacs - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (272):481-502.
    When an entity ontologically depends on another entity, the former ‘presupposes’ or ‘requires’ the latter in some metaphysical sense. This paper defends a novel view, Dependence Deflationism, according to which ontological dependence is what I call an aggregative cluster concept: a concept which can be understood, but not fully analysed, as a ‘weighted total’ of constructive and modal relations. The view has several benefits: it accounts for clear cases of ontological dependence as well as the source of disagreement in controversial (...)
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  • Objectivity and Reliability.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (6):841-855.
    Scanlon’s Being Realistic about Reasons (BRR) is a beautiful book – sleek, sophisticated, and programmatic. One of its key aims is to demystify knowledge of normative and mathematical truths. In this article, I develop an epistemological problem that Scanlon fails to explicitly address. I argue that his “metaphysical pluralism” can be understood as a response to that problem. However, it resolves the problem only if it undercuts the objectivity of normative and mathematical inquiry.
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  • Composition and Identities.Manuel Lechthaler - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Otago
    Composition as Identity is the view that an object is identical to its parts taken collectively. I elaborate and defend a theory based on this idea: composition is a kind of identity. Since this claim is best presented within a plural logic, I develop a formal system of plural logic. The principles of this system differ from the standard views on plural logic because one of my central claims is that identity is a relation which comes in a variety of (...)
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  • Arithmetic, Set Theory, Reduction and Explanation.William D’Alessandro - 2018 - Synthese 195 (11):5059-5089.
    Philosophers of science since Nagel have been interested in the links between intertheoretic reduction and explanation, understanding and other forms of epistemic progress. Although intertheoretic reduction is widely agreed to occur in pure mathematics as well as empirical science, the relationship between reduction and explanation in the mathematical setting has rarely been investigated in a similarly serious way. This paper examines an important particular case: the reduction of arithmetic to set theory. I claim that the reduction is unexplanatory. In defense (...)
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  • Indefinite Divisibility.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (3):239-263.
    Some hold that the lesson of Russell’s paradox and its relatives is that mathematical reality does not form a ‘definite totality’ but rather is ‘indefinitely extensible’. There can always be more sets than there ever are. I argue that certain contact puzzles are analogous to Russell’s paradox this way: they similarly motivate a vision of physical reality as iteratively generated. In this picture, the divisions of the continuum into smaller parts are ‘potential’ rather than ‘actual’. Besides the intrinsic interest of (...)
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  • Quantification and Paradox.Edward Ferrier - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    I argue that absolutism, the view that absolutely unrestricted quantification is possible, is to blame for both the paradoxes that arise in naive set theory and variants of these paradoxes that arise in plural logic and in semantics. The solution is restrictivism, the view that absolutely unrestricted quantification is not possible. -/- It is generally thought that absolutism is true and that restrictivism is not only false, but inexpressible. As a result, the paradoxes are blamed, not on illicit quantification, but (...)
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  • A Trivialist's Travails†.Thomas Donaldson - 2014 - Philosophia Mathematica 22 (3):380-401.
    This paper is an exposition and evaluation of the Agustín Rayo's views about the epistemology and metaphysics of mathematics, as they are presented in his book The Construction of Logical Space.
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  • Antireductionism and Ordinals.Beau Madison Mount - 2019 - Philosophia Mathematica 27 (1):105-124.
    I develop a novel argument against the claim that ordinals are sets. In contrast to Benacerraf’s antireductionist argument, I make no use of covert epistemic assumptions. Instead, my argument uses considerations of ontological dependence. I draw on the datum that sets depend immediately and asymmetrically on their elements and argue that this datum is incompatible with reductionism, given plausible assumptions about the dependence profile of ordinals. In addition, I show that a structurally similar argument can be made against the claim (...)
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  • The Indifference Principle, its Paradoxes and Kolmogorov's Probability Space.Dan D. November - unknown
    In this paper I show that the validity of the Indifference Principle in light of its related paradoxes, is still an open question. I do so by offering an analysis of IP and its related paradoxes in the way they are manifested within the framework of Kolmogorov's probability theory. I describe the conditions that any mathematical formalization of IP must satisfy. Consequently, I show that IP's mathematical formalization has to be a set of constrains on probability spaces which mathematically describe (...)
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  • Set-Theoretic Dependence.John Wigglesworth - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Logic 12 (3):159-176.
    In this paper, we explore the idea that sets depend on, or are grounded in, their members. It is said that a set depends on each of its members, and not vice versa. Members do not depend on the sets that they belong to. We show that the intuitive modal truth conditions for dependence, given in terms of possible worlds, do not accurately capture asymmetric dependence relations between sets and their members. We extend the modal truth conditions to include impossible (...)
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  • Platitudes in Mathematics.Thomas Donaldson - 2015 - Synthese 192 (6):1799-1820.
    The term ‘continuous’ in real analysis wasn’t given an adequate formal definition until 1817. However, important theorems about continuity were proven long before that. How was this possible? In this paper, I introduce and refine a proposed answer to this question, derived from the work of Frank Jackson, David Lewis and other proponents of the ‘Canberra plan’. In brief, the proposal is that before 1817 the meaning of the term ‘continuous’ was determined by a number of ‘platitudes’ which had some (...)
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  • Structure and Categoricity: Determinacy of Reference and Truth Value in the Philosophy of Mathematics.Tim Button & Sean Walsh - 2016 - Philosophia Mathematica 24 (3):283-307.
    This article surveys recent literature by Parsons, McGee, Shapiro and others on the significance of categoricity arguments in the philosophy of mathematics. After discussing whether categoricity arguments are sufficient to secure reference to mathematical structures up to isomorphism, we assess what exactly is achieved by recent ‘internal’ renditions of the famous categoricity arguments for arithmetic and set theory.
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  • Against the Iterative Conception of Set.Edward Ferrier - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (10):2681-2703.
    According to the iterative conception of set, each set is a collection of sets formed prior to it. The notion of priority here plays an essential role in explanations of why contradiction-inducing sets, such as the Russell set, do not exist. Consequently, these explanations are successful only to the extent that a satisfactory priority relation is made out. I argue that attempts to do this have fallen short: understanding priority in a straightforwardly constructivist sense threatens the coherence of the empty (...)
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  • The Search for New Axioms in the Hyperuniverse Programme.Claudio Ternullo & Sy-David Friedman - 2016 - In Andrea Sereni & Francesca Boccuni (eds.), Objectivity, Realism, and Proof. FilMat Studies in the Philosophy of Mathematics. Berlin: Springer. pp. 165-188.
    The Hyperuniverse Programme, introduced in Arrigoni and Friedman (2013), fosters the search for new set-theoretic axioms. In this paper, we present the procedure envisaged by the programme to find new axioms and the conceptual framework behind it. The procedure comes in several steps. Intrinsically motivated axioms are those statements which are suggested by the standard concept of set, i.e. the `maximal iterative concept', and the programme identi fies higher-order statements motivated by the maximal iterative concept. The satisfaction of these statements (...)
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  • Ipotesi del Continuo.Claudio Ternullo - 2017 - Aphex 16.
    L’Ipotesi del Continuo, formulata da Cantor nel 1878, è una delle congetture più note della teoria degli insiemi. Il Problema del Continuo, che ad essa è collegato, fu collocato da Hilbert, nel 1900, fra i principali problemi insoluti della matematica. A seguito della dimostrazione di indipendenza dell’Ipotesi del Continuo dagli assiomi della teoria degli insiemi, lo status attuale del problema è controverso. In anni più recenti, la ricerca di una soluzione del Problema del Continuo è stata anche una delle ragioni (...)
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  • Plurals.Agustín Rayo - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (3):411–427.
    Forthcoming in Philosophical Compass. I explain why plural quantifiers and predicates have been thought to be philosophically significant.
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  • The Metamathematics of Putnam’s Model-Theoretic Arguments.Tim Button - 2011 - Erkenntnis 74 (3):321-349.
    Putnam famously attempted to use model theory to draw metaphysical conclusions. His Skolemisation argument sought to show metaphysical realists that their favourite theories have countable models. His permutation argument sought to show that they have permuted models. His constructivisation argument sought to show that any empirical evidence is compatible with the Axiom of Constructibility. Here, I examine the metamathematics of all three model-theoretic arguments, and I argue against Bays (2001, 2007) that Putnam is largely immune to metamathematical challenges.
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  • Abstraction and Additional Nature.Bob Hale & Crispin Wright - 2008 - Philosophia Mathematica 16 (2):182-208.
    What is wrong with abstraction’, Michael Potter and Peter Sullivan explain a further objection to the abstractionist programme in the foundations of mathematics which they first presented in their ‘Hale on Caesar’ and which they believe our discussion in The Reason's Proper Study misunderstood. The aims of the present note are: To get the character of this objection into sharper focus; To explore further certain of the assumptions—primarily, about reference-fixing in mathematics, about certain putative limitations of abstractionist set theory, and (...)
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  • Boolos on the Justification of Set Theory.Alexander Paseau - 2007 - Philosophia Mathematica 15 (1):30-53.
    George Boolos has argued that the iterative conception of set justifies most, but not all, the ZFC axioms, and that a second conception of set, the Frege-von Neumann conception (FN), justifies the remaining axioms. This article challenges Boolos's claim that FN does better than the iterative conception at justifying the axioms in question.
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  • What is Wrong with Cantor's Diagonal Argument?R. T. Brady & P. A. Rush - 2008 - Logique Et Analyse 51 (1):185-219..
    We first consider the entailment logic MC, based on meaning containment, which contains neither the Law of Excluded Middle (LEM) nor the Disjunctive Syllogism (DS). We then argue that the DS may be assumed at least on a similar basis as the assumption of the LEM, which is then justified over a finite domain or for a recursive property over an infinite domain. In the latter case, use is made of Mathematical Induction. We then show that an instance of the (...)
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  • O comprometimento da identidade com a individuação nas teorias formais clássicas.Jaison Schinaider - 2015 - Filosofia Unisinos 16 (1).
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  • Naturalising Badiou: Mathematical Ontology and Structural Realism.Fabio Gironi - unknown
    This thesis offers a naturalist revision of Alain Badiou’s philosophy. This goal is pursued through an encounter of Badiou’s mathematical ontology and theory of truth with contemporary trends in philosophy of mathematics and philosophy of science. I take issue with Badiou’s inability to elucidate the link between the empirical and the ontological, and his residual reliance on a Heideggerian project of fundamental ontology, which undermines his own immanentist principles. I will argue for both a bottom-up naturalisation of Badiou’s philosophical approach (...)
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  • What Is Wrong with Abstraction?Michael Potter & Peter Sullivan - 2005 - Philosophia Mathematica 13 (2):187-193.
    We correct a misunderstanding by Hale and Wright of an objection we raised earlier to their abstractionist programme for rehabilitating logicism in the foundations of mathematics.
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  • Essential Properties - Analysis and Extension.Nathan Wildman - 2011 - Dissertation, Cambridge
  • Epistemology of Quasi-Sets.Adonai Sant'Anna - unknown
    I briefly discuss the epistemological role of quasi-set theory in mathematics and theoretical physics. Quasi-set theory is a first order theory, based on Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory with Urelemente. Nevertheless, quasi-set theory allows us to cope with certain collections of objects where the usual notion of identity is not applicable, in the sense that $x = x$ is not a formula, if $x$ is an arbitrary term. Basically, quasi-set theory offers us some sort of logical apparatus for questioning the need for (...)
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  • The Significance of the Mathematics of Infinity for Realism: Norris on Badiou.Jamie Morgan - 2011 - Journal of Critical Realism 10 (2):243-270.
    The following essay sets out the background developments in mathematics and set theory that inform Alain Badiou’s Being and Event in order to provide some context both for the original text and for comment on Chris Norris’s excellent exploration of Badiou’s work. I also provide a summary of Badiou’s overall approach.
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  • Grammar and Sets.B. H. Slater - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (1):59 – 73.
    'Philosophy arises through misconceptions of grammar', said Wittgenstein. Few people have believed him, and probably none, therefore, working in the area of the philosophy of mathematics. Yet his assertion is most evidently the case in the philosophy of Set Theory, as this paper demonstrates (see also Rodych 2000). The motivation for twentieth century Set Theory has rested on the belief that everything in Mathematics can be defined in terms of sets [Maddy 1994: 4]. But not only are there notable items (...)
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