Philosophy of Set Theory Seminar
11 March – 10 June, 2021
Since its inception set theory has presented a tantalising subject matter for philosophers. As an attempt to treat infinity in a rigorous mathematical theory, its early study was beset by paradoxes before being adopted as a foundational theory—a theory in which all known mathematical objects could be coded and compared. Since then, it has evolved into a multifaceted discipline with both mathematical and philosophical applications. In philosophy it is often used in metaphysics to provide models for various phenomena, provides a testing ground for responses to the paradoxes of absolute generality, and can be used in underwriting various formal systems. As mathematical theory it provides a data point for philosophers of mathematics and science, constitutes one of our best theories of infinity, is a candidate for treatment via non-classical logics, and is a resource for those studying the limitations of human thought and knowledge (e.g. with respect to the independence phenomenon).
In the last ten years set theory has received renewed philosophical interest with the development of several novel applications and foundational programmes. Contributing to these developments are a fresh crop of young researchers in the field, engaged with the philosophical import of the study of sets. This seminar series and subsequent volume will bring together some of these up-and-coming scholars to present new research and possible future developments, with a special focus on the philosophical implications of set theory.
For more information, please write to bartonna [you know what] gmail [you know what] com