Russell, Presupposition, and the Vicious-Circle Principle

Prompted by Poincaré, Russell put forward his celebrated vicious-circle principle (vcp) as the solution to the modern paradoxes. Ramsey, Gödel, and Quine, among others, have raised two salient objections against Russell's vcp. First, Gödel has claimed that Russell's various renderings of the vcp really express distinct principles and thus, distinct solutions to the paradoxes, a claim that gainsays one of Russell's positions on the nature of the solution to the paradoxes, namely, that such a solution be uniform. Secondly, Ramsey, Gödel, and Quine have protested that the vcp's proscription against impredicative specification is incompatible with a realistic conception of the domain of quantification, a conception that Russell certainly held. I examine Russell's vcp and defend it against these objections
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DOI 10.1305/ndjfl/1039096305
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