more from Charles Chihara

Single Idea 9550

[catalogued under 4. Formal Logic / F. Set Theory ST / 3. Types of Set / b. Empty (Null) Set]

Full Idea

Everything we know about the empty set is relational; we know that nothing is the membership relation to it. But what do we know about its 'intrinsic properties'?

Gist of Idea

We only know relational facts about the empty set, but nothing intrinsic


Charles Chihara (A Structural Account of Mathematics [2004], 01.5)

Book Reference

Chihara,Charles: 'A Structural Account of Mathematics' [OUP 2004], p.24

A Reaction

Set theory seems to depend on the concept of the empty set. Modern theorists seem over-influenced by the Quine-Putnam view, that if science needs it, we must commit ourselves to its existence.