Predicativism about Classes

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Abstract

Classes are the objects of the second sort of second-order set theory. They have sets as their members and behave like sets, but paradoxes tell us that many classes cannot be sets. Then, what are classes? Predicativism about classes suggests that classes are predicates of sets, and this article investigates the question from the predicativist point of view in light of recent developments in the use of classes in set theory. Predicativism has been considered too restrictive and unable to accommodate the use of classes in set theory. This diagnosis, however, is only true of a certain specific type of predicativism. In this article, we propose a new type of predicativism, which we call liberal predicativism, and argue that predicativism is still a highly viable option, and our liberal version provides a sufficiently versatile and workable nominalist concept of classes for set theory.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Philosophy
Volume116
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

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