Solution to Russel's Paradox

An analysis of the paradoxes to be avoided shows that they all result from a kind of vicious circle. The vicious circles in question arise from supposing that a collection of objects may contain members which can only be defined by means of the collection as a whole. Thus, for example, the collection of propositions will be supposed to contain a proposition stating that “all propositions are either true or false.” It would seem, however, that such a statement could not be legitimate unless “all propositions” referred to some already definite collection, which it cannot do if new propositions are created by statements about “all propositions.” We shall, therefore, have to say that statements about “all propositions” are meaningless.… The principle which enables us to avoid illegitimate totalities may be stated as follows: “Whatever involves all of a collection must not be one of the collection”; or, conversely: “If, provided a certain collection had a total, it would have members only definable in terms of that total, then the said collection has no total.” We shall call this the “vicious-circle principle,” because it enables us to avoid the vicious circles involved in the assumption of illegitimate totalities.


The paradox that a set of sets that do not contain themselves must contain itself.

Folksonomies: logic paradox

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 Principia mathematica
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Russell , Bertrand and Whitehead , Alfred North (1912), Principia mathematica, Retrieved on 2013-06-11
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  • Folksonomies: mathematics


    08 APR 2013

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