Classes, why and how

02 Mar 2018

This paper presents a new approach to the class-theoretic paradoxes. In the first part of the paper, I will distinguish classes from sets, describe the function of class talk, and present several reasons for postulating type- free classes. This involves applications to the problem of unrestricted quantification, reduction of properties, natural language semantics, and the epistemology of mathematics. In the second part of the paper, I will present some axioms for type-free classes. My approach is loosely based on the Gödel-Russell idea of limited ranges of significance. It is shown how to derive the second-order Dedekind-Peano axioms within that theory. I conclude by discussing whether the theory can be used as a solution to the problem of unrestricted quantification. In an appendix, I prove the consistency of the class theory relative to Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory.