Rethinking set theory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Mathematicians manipulate sets with confidence almost every day, rarely making mistakes. Few of us, however, could accurately quote what are often referred to as 'the' axioms of set theory. This suggests that we all carry around with us, perhaps subconsciously, a reliable body of operating principles for manipulating sets. What if we were to take some of those principles and adopt them as our axioms instead? The message of this article is that this can be done, in a simple, practical way (due to Lawvere). The resulting axioms are then thoroughly mundane statements about sets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-415
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican mathematical monthly
Volume121
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2014

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