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|Description: Russell's Paradox.
Proposition 4.14 of [TakeutiZaring] p.
In the late 1800s, Frege's Axiom of (unrestricted) Comprehension, expressed in our notation as , asserted that any collection of sets is a set i.e. belongs to the universe of all sets. In particular, by substituting (the "Russell class") for , it asserted , meaning that the "collection of all sets which are not members of themselves" is a set. However, here we prove . This contradiction was discovered by Russell in 1901 (published in 1903), invalidating the Comprehension Axiom and leading to the collapse of Frege's system.
In 1908, Zermelo rectified this fatal flaw by replacing Comprehension with a weaker Subset (or Separation) Axiom ssex 4302 asserting that is a set only when it is smaller than some other set . However, Zermelo was then faced with a "chicken and egg" problem of how to show is a set, leading him to introduce the set-building axioms of Null Set 0ex 4294, Pairing prex 4361, Union uniex 4659, Power Set pwex 4337, and Infinity omex 7545 to give him some starting sets to work with (all of which, before Russell's Paradox, were immediate consequences of Frege's Comprehension). In 1922 Fraenkel strengthened the Subset Axiom with our present Replacement Axiom funimaex 5485 (whose modern formalization is due to Skolem, also in 1922). Thus, in a very real sense Russell's Paradox spawned the invention of ZF set theory and completely revised the foundations of mathematics!
Another mainstream formalization of set theory, devised by von Neumann, Bernays, and Goedel, uses class variables rather than set variables as its primitives. The axiom system NBG in [Mendelson] p. 225 is suitable for a Metamath encoding. NBG is a conservative extension of ZF in that it proves exactly the same theorems as ZF that are expressible in the language of ZF. An advantage of NBG is that it is finitely axiomatizable - the Axiom of Replacement can be broken down into a finite set of formulas that eliminate its wff metavariable. Finite axiomatizability is required by some proof languages (although not by Metamath). There is a stronger version of NBG called Morse-Kelley (axiom system MK in [Mendelson] p. 287).
Russell himself continued in a different direction, avoiding the paradox with his "theory of types." Quine extended Russell's ideas to formulate his New Foundations set theory (axiom system NF of [Quine] p. 331). In NF, the collection of all sets is a set, contradicting ZF and NBG set theories, and it has other bizarre consequences: when sets become too huge (beyond the size of those used in standard mathematics), the Axiom of Choice ac4 8302 and Cantor's Theorem canth 6489 are provably false! (See ncanth 6490 for some intuition behind the latter.) Recent results (as of 2014) seem to show that NF is equiconsistent to Z (ZF in which ax-sep 4285 replaces ax-rep 4275) with ax-sep 4285 restricted to only bounded quantifiers. NF is finitely axiomatizable and can be encoded in Metamath using the axioms from T. Hailperin, "A set of axioms for logic," J. Symb. Logic 9:1-19 (1944).
Under our ZF set theory, every set is a member of the Russell class by elirrv 7512 (derived from the Axiom of Regularity), so for us the Russell class equals the universe (theorem ruv 7515). See ruALT 7516 for an alternate proof of ru 3117 derived from that fact. (Contributed by NM, 7-Aug-1994.)
|1||pm5.19 350||. . . . . 6|
|2||eleq1 2461||. . . . . . . 8|
|3||df-nel 2567||. . . . . . . . 9|
|4||id 20||. . . . . . . . . . 11|
|5||4, 4||eleq12d 2469||. . . . . . . . . 10|
|6||5||notbid 286||. . . . . . . . 9|
|7||3, 6||syl5bb 249||. . . . . . . 8|
|8||2, 7||bibi12d 313||. . . . . . 7|
|9||8||spv 1963||. . . . . 6|
|10||1, 9||mto 169||. . . . 5|
|11||abeq2 2506||. . . . 5|
|12||10, 11||mtbir 291||. . . 4|
|13||12||nex 1561||. . 3|
|14||isset 2917||. . 3|
|15||13, 14||mtbir 291||. 2|
|16||df-nel 2567||. 2|
|17||15, 16||mpbir 201||1|
|Colors of variables: wff set class|
|Syntax hints: wn 3 wb 177 wal 1546 wex 1547 wceq 1649 wcel 1721 cab 2387 wnel 2565 cvv 2913|
|This theorem was proved from axioms: ax-1 5 ax-2 6 ax-3 7 ax-mp 8 ax-gen 1552 ax-5 1563 ax-17 1623 ax-9 1662 ax-8 1683 ax-6 1740 ax-7 1745 ax-11 1757 ax-12 1946 ax-ext 2382|
|This theorem depends on definitions: df-bi 178 df-an 361 df-tru 1325 df-ex 1548 df-nf 1551 df-sb 1656 df-clab 2388 df-cleq 2394 df-clel 2397 df-nel 2567 df-v 2915|
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