Husserl on Sets and the Causes of the Set-theoretical Paradoxes

Abstract

Few realize that Edmund Husserl theorized about sets and the causes of the set-theoretical paradoxes. Interpreted here are his statements that: 1) the paradoxes show that his contemporaries did not yet have the real and genuine concept of set needed; 2) that if one is clear and distinct with respect to meaning, one readily sees the contradiction involved in the set-theoretical paradoxes; 3) that the solution to them would lie in demonstrating the shift in meaning that makes it that one is not immediately aware of the contradiction and that, once it is perceived, one cannot indicate wherein it lies. I study these convictions in connection with Frege’s and Russell’s ideas about sets and the conclusions that they came to regarding the causes of the paradoxes derivable within Frege’s system.

Keywords: Husserl, Frege, Russell, Set Theory, Set-theoretical Paradoxes, Meaning


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