Bertrand Russell offered an influential paradox of propositions in Appendix B of The Principles of Mathematics, but there is little agreement as to what to conclude from it. We suggest that Russell'sparadox is best regarded as a limitative result on propositional granularity. Some propositions are, on pain of contradiction, unable to discriminate between classes with different members: whatever they predicate of one, they predicate of the other. When accepted, this remarkable fact should cast some doubt upon (...) some of the uses to which modern descendente of Russell'sparadox of propositions have been put in recent literature. (shrink)
Though the phrase 'x is true of x' is well formed grammatically, it does not express any predicate in the logical sense, because it does not satisfy the principle of reduction for statements containing 'x is true of'. recognition of this allows for solution of russell'sparadox without his restrictive theory of types.
In their correspondence in 1902 and 1903, after discussing the Russell paradox, Russell and Frege discussed the paradox of propositions considered informally in Appendix B of Russell’s Principles of Mathematics. It seems that the proposition, p, stating the logical product of the class w, namely, the class of all propositions stating the logical product of a class they are not in, is in w if and only if it is not. Frege believed that this paradox was avoided (...) within his philosophy due to his distinction between sense (Sinn) and reference (Bedeutung). However, I show that while the paradox as Russell formulates it is ill-formed with Frege’s extant logical system, if Frege’s system is expanded to contain the commitments of his philosophy of language, an analogue of this paradox is formulable. This and other concerns in Fregean intensional logic are discussed, and it is discovered that Frege’s logical system, even without its naive class theory embodied in its infamous Basic Law V, leads to inconsistencies when the theory of sense and reference is axiomatized therein. (shrink)
Russell's "new contradiction" about "the totality of propositions" has been connected with a number of modal paradoxes. M. Oksanen has recently shown how these modal paradoxes are resolved in the set theory NFU. Russell'sparadox of the totality of propositions was left unexplained, however. We reconstruct Russell's argument and explain how it is resolved in two intensional logics that are equiconsistent with NFU. We also show how different notions of possible worlds are represented in these intensional (...) logics. (shrink)
We provide an overview of consistent fragments of the theory of Frege’s Grundgesetze der Arithmetik that arise by restricting the second-order comprehension schema. We discuss how such theories avoid inconsistency and show how the reasoning underlying Russell’s paradox can be put to use in an investigation of these fragments.
Russell'sparadox represents either of two interrelated logical antinomies. The most commonly discussed form is a contradiction arising in the logic of sets or classes. Some classes (or sets) seem to be members of themselves, while some do not. The class of all classes is itself a class, and so it seems to be in itself. The null or empty class, however, must not be a member of itself. However, suppose that we can form a class of all (...) classes (or sets) that, like the null class, are not included in themselves. The paradox arises from asking the question of whether this class is in itself. It is if and only if it is not. The other form is a contradiction involving properties. Some properties seem to apply to themselves, while others do not. The property of being a property is itself a property, while the property of being a cat is not itself a cat. Consider the property that something has just in case it is a property (like that of being a cat ) that does not apply to itself. Does this property apply to itself? Once again, from either assumption, the opposite follows. The paradox was named after Bertrand Russell, who discovered it in 1901. (shrink)
Sobocinski in his paper on Leśniewski's solution to Russell'sparadox (1949b) argued that Leśniewski has succeeded in explaining it away. The general strategy of this alleged explanation is presented. The key element of this attempt is the distinction between the collective (mereological) and the distributive (set-theoretic) understanding of the set. The mereological part of the solution, although correct, is likely to fall short of providing foundations of mathematics. I argue that the remaining part of the solution which suggests (...) a specific reading of the distributive interpretation is unacceptable. It follows from it that every individual is an element of every individual. Finally, another Leśniewskian-style approach which uses so-called higher-order epsilon connectives is used and its weakness is indicated. (shrink)
The author argues that the primary lesson of the so-Called logical and semantical paradoxes is that certain entities do not exist, Entities of which we mistakenly but firmly believe that they must exist. In particular, Russell'sparadox teaches us that there is no such thing as the property which every property has if and only if it does not have itself. Why should anyone think that such a property must exist and, Hence, Conceive of russell's argument as (...) a paradox rather than a proof for the nonexistence of this property? the author traces this conviction to an uncritical acceptance of the so-Called principle of property abstraction and claims that this principle is false. It is simply not true, As one widely assumes, That propositional forms represent (complex) properties. Then it is argued, On independent grounds, That there are no complex properties, But only complex states of affairs. (shrink)
Zermelo once wrote that he had anticipated Russell's contradiction of the set of all sets that are not members of themselves. Is this sufficient for having anticipated Russell'sParadox — the paradox that revealed the untenability of the logical notion of a set as an extension? This paper argues that it is not sufficient and offers criteria that are necessary and sufficient for having discovered Russell'sParadox. It is shown that there is ample evidence (...) that Russell satisfied the criteria and that Zermelo did not. (shrink)
It is shown that two formally consistent type-free second-order systems, due to Cocchiarella, and based on the notion of homogeneous stratification, are subject to a contingent version of Russell'sparadox.
The subject of my article is the principle of characterization – the most controversial principle of Meinong’s Theory of Objects. The aim of this text is twofold. First of all, I would like to show that Russell’s well-known objection to Meinong’s Theory of Objects can be reformulated against a new modal interpretation of Meinongianism that is presented mostly by Graham Priest. Secondly, I would like to propose a strategy which gives uncontroversial restriction to the principle of characterization and which allows (...) to avoid Russell’s argument. The strategy is based on the distinction between object- and metalanguage, and it applies to modal Meinongianism as well as to other so-called Meinongian theories. (shrink)
I attempt to rescue Frege's naive conception of a set according to which there is a set for every property by redefining the technical concept of degree of an open sentence. Instead of making degree a function of the number of free variables, I make it a function of free variable occurrences. What Russell proved, then, is that there is not a relation-in-extension for every relation-in-intension. In a brief paper it is not possible to discuss how redefining the function-argument correlation (...) affects Frege's system. (shrink)
Edmund Husserl’s engagement with Bertrand Russell’s paradox stands in a continuum of reciprocal reception and discussions about impossible objects in the School of Brentano. Against this broader context, we will focus on Husserl’s discussion of Russell’s paradox in his manuscript A I 35α from 1912. This highly interesting and revealing manuscript has unfortunately remained unpublished, which probably explains the scant attention it has received. I will examine Husserl’s approach in A I 35α by relating it to earlier discussions (...) of relevant topics in his manuscripts and the broader historical context of the School of Brentano and early phenomenology. (shrink)
outrageous remarks about contradictions. Perhaps the most striking remark he makes is that they are not false. This claim first appears in his early notebooks (Wittgenstein 1960, p.108). In the Tractatus, Wittgenstein argued that contradictions (like tautologies) are not statements (Sätze) and hence are not false (or true). This is a consequence of his theory that genuine statements are pictures.
Working in the fragment of Martin-Löfs extensional type theory  which has products (but not sums) of dependent types, we consider two additional assumptions: firstly, that there are (strong) equality types; and secondly, that there is a type which is universal in the sense that terms of that type name all types, up to isomorphism. For such a type theory, we give a version of Russell'sparadox showing that each type possesses a closed term and (hence) that all (...) terms of each type are provably equal. We consider the kind of category theoretic structure which corresponds to this kind of type theory and obtain a categorical version of the paradox. A special case of this result is the degeneracy of a locally cartesian closed category with a morphism which is generic in the sense that every other morphism in the category can be obtained from it via pullback. (shrink)
I present the traditional debate about the so called explanation of Russell’s paradox and propose a new way to solve the contradiction that arises in Frege’s system. I briefly examine two alternative explanatory proposals—the Predicativist explanation and the Cantorian one—presupposed by almost all the proposed solutions of Russell’s Paradox. From the discussion about these proposals a controversial conclusion emerges. Then, I examine some particular zig zag solutions and I propose a third explanation, presupposed by them, in which I (...) emphasise the role of an implicit premise in the derivation of the paradox. In conclusion, I propose a different zig zag solution obtained by the adoption of a negative free logic. (shrink)
Russell’s way out of his paradox via the impredicative theory of types has roughly the same logical power as Zermelo set theory - which supplanted it as a far more flexible and workable axiomatic foundation for mathematics. We discuss some new formalisms that are conceptually close to Russell, yet simpler, and have the same logical power as higher set theory - as represented by the far more powerful Zermelo-Frankel set theory and beyond. END.
Copi, Quine and van Heijenoort have each claimed that there are two fundamentally different kinds of logical paradox; namely, genuine paradoxes like Russell's and pseudo-paradoxes like the Barber of Seville. I want to contest this claim and will present my case in three stages. Firstly, I will characterize the logical paradoxes; state standard versions of three of them; and demonstrate that a symbolic formulation of each leads to a formal contradiction. Secondly, I will discuss the reasons Copi, Quine (...) and van Heijenoort have given for the distinction between genuine and pseudo-paradoxes. Thirdly, I will attempt to explain why there is no such class as the class of all and only those classes which are not members of themselves. (shrink)
In these articles, I describe Cantor’s power-class theorem, as well as a number of logical and philosophical paradoxes that stem from it, many of which were discovered or considered (implicitly or explicitly) in Bertrand Russell’s work. These include Russell’s paradox of the class of all classes not members of themselves, as well as others involving properties, propositions, descriptive senses, class-intensions, and equivalence classes of coextensional properties. Part I focuses on Cantor’s theorem, its proof, how it can be used to (...) manufacture paradoxes, Frege’s diagnosis of the core difficulty, and several broad categories of strategies for offering solutions to these paradoxes. (shrink)
Sequel to Part I. In these articles, I describe Cantor’s power-class theorem, as well as a number of logical and philosophical paradoxes that stem from it, many of which were discovered or considered (implicitly or explicitly) in Bertrand Russell’s work. These include Russell’s paradox of the class of all classes not members of themselves, as well as others involving properties, propositions, descriptive senses, class-intensions and equivalence classes of coextensional properties. Part II addresses Russell’s own various attempts to solve these (...) paradoxes, including strategies that he considered and rejected (limitation of size, the zigzag theory, etc.), as well as his own final views whereupon many purported entities that, if reified, lead to these contradictions, must not be genuine entities, but ‘logical fictions’ or ‘logical constructions’ instead. (shrink)
Russell discovered the classes version of Russell'sParadox in spring 1901, and the predicates version near the same time. There is a problem, however, in dating the discovery of the propositional functions version. In 1906, Russell claimed he discovered it after May 1903, but this conflicts with the widespread belief that the functions version appears in The Principles of Mathematics, finished in late 1902. I argue that Russell's dating was accurate, and that the functions version does not (...) appear in the Principles. I distinguish the functions and predicates versions, give a novel reading of the Principles, section 85, as a paradox dealing with what Russell calls assertions, and show that Russell's logical notation in 1902 had no way of even formulating the functions version. The propositional functions version had its origins in the summer of 1903, soon after Russell's notation had changed in such a way as to make a formulation possible. (shrink)
In ‘The Mind's I is Illiterate’, G. S. Miller discusses several paradoxes and paradoxical sentences which Miller claims are related by a common abuse of language. The Whiteley sentence ‘Lucas cannot consistently believe this sentence’ fails to be meaningful for want of a referent outside of the sentence for the phrase ‘this sentence’; the Liar Paradox when formulated as ‘I am lying’ is similarly disposed of when it is seen that the verb is defective and the sentence fails to (...) refer to anything outside of itself. The same point is made concerning the Russell Paradox of the set of all sets that do not belong to themselves. The moral made is that philosophers are simply to be more careful about the laneuaee that thev are usine and then the paradoxes will go away. (shrink)
This paper sets out a predicative response to the Russell-Myhill paradox of propositions within the framework of Church’s intensional logic. A predicative response places restrictions on the full comprehension schema, which asserts that every formula determines a higher-order entity. In addition to motivating the restriction on the comprehension schema from intuitions about the stability of reference, this paper contains a consistency proof for the predicative response to the Russell-Myhill paradox. The models used to establish this consistency also model (...) other axioms of Church’s intensional logic that have been criticized by Parsons and Klement: this, it turns out, is due to resources which also permit an interpretation of a fragment of Gallin’s intensional logic. Finally, the relation between the predicative response to the Russell-Myhill paradox of propositions and the Russell paradox of sets is discussed, and it is shown that the predicative conception of set induced by this predicative intensional logic allows one to respond to the Wehmeier problem of many non-extensions. (shrink)
This paper presents a type-free property-theoretic system in the spirit of a framework proposed by Menzel and then supplements it with a theory of truth and exemplification. The notions of a truth-relevantly complex (simple) sentence and of a truth-relevant subsentence are introduced and then used in order to motivate the proposed theory. Finally, it is shown how the theory avoids Russell'sparadox and similar problems. Some potential applications to the foundations of mathematics and to natural language semantics are (...) sketched in the introduction. (shrink)
Influenced by G. E. Moore, Russell broke with Idealism towards the end of 1898; but in later years he characterized his meeting Peano in August 1900 as ?the most important event? in ?the most important year in my intellectual life?. While Russell discovered his paradox during his post-Peano period, the question arises whether he was already committed, during his pre-Peano Moorean period, to assumptions from which his paradox may be derived. Peter Hylton has argued that the pre-Peano Russell (...) was thus vulnerable to (at least one version of) Russell'sparadox and hence that the paradox exposes a pre-existing difficulty in Russell's Moorean philosophy. Contrary to Hylton, I argue that the Moorean Russell adhered to views which insulated him against the paradox. Further, I argue that Russell became vulnerable to his paradox as a result of changes in his Moorean position occasioned, first, by his acceptance of Cantor's theory of the transfinite, and, second, by his correspondence with Frege. I conclude with some general comments regarding Russell's acceptance of naïve set theory. (shrink)
In Appendix B of Russell's The Principles of Mathematics occurs a paradox, the paradox of propositions, which a simple theory of types is unable to resolve. This fact is frequently taken to be one of the principal reasons for calling ramification onto the Russellian stage. The paper presents a detaiFled exposition of the paradox and its discussion in the correspondence between Frege and Russell. It is argued that Russell finally adopted a very simple solution to the (...)paradox. This solution had nothing to do with ramified types but marked an important shift in his theory of propositions. (shrink)
Russell claims in his autobiography and elsewhere that he discovered his 1905 theory of descriptions while attempting to solve the logical and semantic paradoxes plaguing his work on the foundations of mathematics. In this paper, I hope to make the connection between his work on the paradoxes and the theory of descriptions and his theory of incomplete symbols generally clearer. In particular, I argue that the theory of descriptions arose from the realization that not only can a class not be (...) thought of as a single thing, neither can the meaning/intension of any expression capable of singling out one collection (class) of things as opposed to another. If this is right, it shows that Russell’s method of solving the logical paradoxes is wholly incompatible with anything like a Fregean dualism between sense and reference or meaning and denotation. I also discuss how this realization lead to modifications in his understanding of propositions and propositional functions, and suggest that Russell’s confrontation with these issues may be instructive for ongoing research. (shrink)
Prawitz observed that Russell’s paradox in naive set theory yields a derivation of absurdity whose reduction sequence loops. Building on this observation, and based on numerous examples, Tennant claimed that this looping feature, or more generally, the fact that derivations of absurdity do not normalize, is characteristic of the paradoxes. Striking results by Ekman show that looping reduction sequences are already obtained in minimal propositional logic, when certain reduction steps, which are prima facie plausible, are considered in addition to (...) the standard ones. This shows that the notion of reduction is in need of clarification. Referring to the notion of identity of proofs in general proof theory, we argue that reduction steps should not merely remove redundancies, but must respect the identity of proofs. Consequentially, we propose to modify Tennant’s paradoxicality test by basing it on this refined notion of reduction. (shrink)