On the structure of paradoxes

Archive for Mathematical Logic 31 (6):397-406 (1992)
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Paradox is a logical phenomenon. Usually, it is produced in type theory, on a type Ω of “truth values”. A formula Ψ (i.e., a term of type Ω) is presented, such that Ψ↔¬Ψ (with negation as a term¬∶Ω→Ω)-whereupon everything can be proved: In Sect. 1 we describe a general pattern which many constructions of the formula Ψ follow: for example, the well known arguments of Cantor, Russell, and Gödel. The structure uncovered behind these paradoxes is generalized in Sect. 2. This allows us to show that Reynolds' [R] construction of a typeA ≃℘℘A in polymorphic λ-calculus cannot be extended, as conjectured, to give a fixed point ofevery variable type derived from the exponentiation: for some (contravariant) types, such a fixed point causes a paradox.Pursueing the idea that $$\frac{{{\text{type theory}}}}{{{\text{categorical interpretation}}}} = \frac{{{\text{(propositional) logic}}}}{{{\text{Lindebaum algebra}}}}$$ the language of categories appears here as a natural medium for logical structures. It allows us to abstract from the specific predicates that appear in particular paradoxes, and to display the underlying constructions in “pure state”. The essential role of cartesian closed categories in this context has been pointed out in [L]. The paradoxes studied here remain within the limits of the cartesian closed structure of types, as sketched in this Lawvere's seminal paper — and do not depend on any logical operations on the type Ω. Our results can be translated in simply typed λ-calculus in a straightforward way (although some of them do become a bit messy)



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Citations of this work

Abstract Logical Structuralism.Jean-Pierre Marquis - 2020 - Philosophical Problems in Science 69:67-110.
A Brief Critique of Pure Hypercomputation.Paolo Cotogno - 2009 - Minds and Machines 19 (3):391-405.

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References found in this work

Self-Reference and Modal Logic.George Boolos & C. Smorynski - 1988 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 53 (1):306.
Self-Reference and Modal Logic.[author unknown] - 1987 - Studia Logica 46 (4):395-398.

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