[FOM] Fwd: Re: Why ZF as foundation of mathematics?

A J Franco de Oliveira francoli at kqnet.pt
Tue Nov 12 12:31:50 EST 2013

Hello Foms
E. Nelson's Internal Set Theor a conservative extension of ZFC, provides
other examples of "non-element" classes, namely, the class ("external 
set" in Nelson's terminology) of all
standard natural numbers, the class of infinitesimal reals, etc., 
which have the peculiarity
of not being "too big" (like the class of all ordinals, etc.).
Regards from sunny Lisbon
At 23:36 11-11-2013, Harry Deutsch wrote:

>-------- Original Message --------
>Subject: Re: [FOM] Why ZF as foundation of mathematics?
>Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2013 09:09:42 -0600
>From: Harry Deutsch <mailto:hdeutsch at ilstu.edu><hdeutsch at ilstu.edu>
>To: Zuhair Abdul Ghafoor Al-Johar 
><mailto:zaljohar at yahoo.com><zaljohar at yahoo.com>, Foundations of 
>Mathematics <mailto:fom at cs.nyu.edu><fom at cs.nyu.edu>
>On 11/10/13 4:36 PM, Zuhair Abdul Ghafoor Al-Johar wrote:
> > Dear Sirs,
> >
> > ZFC is been mentioned as the foundation theory of mathematics:
> >
> > Some quotes:
> >
> > "Today ZFC is the standard form of axiomatic set theory and as 
> such is the most common foundation of mathematics" [Wikipedia]
> >
> > "Russell's Paradox can be avoided by a careful choice of 
> construction principles, so that one has the expressive power 
> needed for *usual mathematical arguments* while preventing the 
> existence of paradoxical sets. See the supplement on 
> Zermelo-Fraenkel Set Theory" [Thomas Jech: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy]
> >
> > Also Thomas Jech in his "Introduction to Set Theory" makes 
> similar remarks about ZF role in codifying mainstream mathematics.
> >
> > On the other hand it is well known that most of mainstream 
> mathematics can be formalized in second order arithmetic, which is 
> way weaker than ZF.
> >
> > So why ZF is mentioned for that purpose if much weak class\set 
> theories can do the job of formalizing mainstream mathematics in set theory?
> >
> > I suggest a simple alternative class\set theory in mono-sorted 
> first order logic language with a single extra-logical symbol, that 
> of class membership, all objects are classes. The followings are the axioms:
> >
> > [1] Given a property there exists a class of all sets(i.e., 
> elements of classes) that satisfy that property.
> > [2] for any "singleton or empty" classes A,B; the class
> > {x|set(x) & (x=A or x=B)} is a set.
> > [3] Extensionality over all classes.
> >
> > This has the strength of second order arithmetic, has much 
> simpler structure than ZF (proves only classes of hereditarily 
> 'empty or singleton' sets and classes of pairs of those sets), and 
> the axioms are dead simple.
> >
> > Best Regards,
> >
> > Zuhair Al-Johar
> > _______________________________________________
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> > <mailto:FOM at cs.nyu.edu>FOM at cs.nyu.edu
> > http://www.cs.nyu.edu/mailman/listinfo/fom
>It seems that you are using von Neumann's distinction between "elements"
>and "non-elements" to avoid paradox.  Von Neumann's method is powerful
>and neglected to some extent.  Fraenkel, Bar-Hillel and Levy
>(Foundations of Set Theory, p.142) say this about this method (of
>avoiding paradox): "His addition of proper classes to the universe of
>set theory results from his discovery that it is not the existence of
>certain classes that leads to the antinomies, but rather the assumption
>of their elementhood, i.e., their being members of other classes.  In an
>early edition of Foundations, these authors describe von Neumann's idea
>as "daring." But they also note that it has the "peculiar" consequence
>that while proper classes are "real objects, collections of proper
>classes [even finite collections] do not exist."  Does this latter fact
>have any effect on your version of second order arithmetic?"  Von
>Neumann's method is very flexible.  I have used it recently to resolve
>some long standing paradoxes of propositions, such as Russell's Appendix
>B (of Principles of Mathematics) paradox and Kaplan's paradox.
>("Resolution of some paradoxes of propositions" forthcoming in Analysis.)
>Best Regards,
>Harry Deutsch
>FOM mailing list
>FOM at cs.nyu.edu
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