# Key word "russell paradox"

Kauffman L. H. (1999) Virtual logic – The MetaGame Paradox. Cybernetics & Human Knowing 6(4): 73–79. Fulltext at http://cepa.info/3142

Kauffman L. H.
(

1999)

Virtual logic – The MetaGame Paradox.
Cybernetics & Human Knowing 6(4): 73–79.
Fulltext at http://cepa.info/3142
This is column number 10. In this column we shall discuss a recent relative [1], [2] of the Russell paradox, the Metagame Paradox. This paradox is related to a set theoretic paradox about well-founded sets, the Well-founded Set Paradox. These two paradoxes are both related to the basic nature of any observing system that would include itself in its own observations. I give you these paradoxes and a comment on the nature of the observer. Judge them for yourself. Near the end of the column we show how, by turning the paradox around, there are new proofs of uncountability of certain infinities. These proofs have the remarkable quality that they use a bit of imaginary reasoning, only to have it vanish just as it appears! It is this role of the imagination that is central to our theme. We reason by an imaginary detour. And we obtain a real answer.

Kauffman L. H. (2009) Reflexivity and Eigenform: The Shape of Process. Constructivist Foundations 4(3): 121–137. Fulltext at http://cepa.info/133

Kauffman L. H.
(

2009)

Reflexivity and Eigenform: The Shape of Process.
Constructivist Foundations 4(3): 121–137.
Fulltext at http://cepa.info/133
Purpose: The paper discusses the concept of a reflexive domain, an arena where the apparent objects as entities of the domain are actually processes and transformations of the domain as a whole. Human actions in the world partake of the patterns of reflexivity, and the productions of human beings, including science and mathematics, can be seen in this light. Methodology: Simple mathematical models are used to make conceptual points. Context: The paper begins with a review of the author’s previous work on eigenforms - objects as tokens for eigenbehaviors, the study of recursions and fixed points of recursions. The paper also studies eigenforms in the Boolean reflexive models of Vladimir Lefebvre. Findings: The paper gives a mathematical definition of a reflexive domain and proves that every transformation of such a domain has a fixed point. (This point of view has been taken by William Lawvere in the context of logic and category theory.) Thus eigenforms exist in reflexive domains. We discuss a related concept called a “magma.” A magma is composed entirely of its own structure-preserving transformations. Thus a magma can be regarded as a model of reflexivity and we call a magma “reflexive” if it encompasses all of its structure-preserving transformations (plus a side condition explained in the paper). We prove a fixed point theorem for reflexive magmas. We then show how magmas are related to knot theory and to an extension of set theory using knot diagrammatic topology. This work brings formalisms for self-reference into a wider arena of process algebra, combinatorics, non-standard set theory and topology. The paper then discusses how these findings are related to lambda calculus, set theory and models for self-reference. The last section of the paper is an account of a computer experiment with a variant of the Life cellular automaton of John H. Conway. In this variant, 7-Life, the recursions lead to self-sustaining processes with very long evolutionary patterns. We show how examples of novel phenomena arise in these patterns over the course of large time scales. Value: The paper provides a wider context and mathematical conceptual tools for the cybernetic study of reflexivity and circularity in systems.

Kauffman L. H. (2012) The Russell Operator. Constructivist Foundations 7(2): 112–115. Fulltext at http://cepa.info/253

Kauffman L. H.
(

2012)

The Russell Operator.
Constructivist Foundations 7(2): 112–115.
Fulltext at http://cepa.info/253
Context: The question of how to understand the epistemology of set theory has been a longstanding problem in the foundations of mathematics since Cantor formulated the theory in the 19th century, and particularly since Bertrand Russell articulated his paradox in the early twentieth century. The theory of types pioneered by Russell and Whitehead was simplified by mathematicians to a single distinction between sets and classes. The question of the meaning of this distinction and its necessity still remains open. Problem: I am concerned with the meaning of the set/class distinction and I wish to show that it arises naturally due to the nature of the sort of distinctions that sets create. Method: The method of the paper is to discuss first the Russell paradox and the arguments of Cantor that preceded it. Then we point out that the Russell set of all sets that are not members of themselves can be replaced by the Russell operator R, which is applied to a set S to form R(S), the set of all sets in S that are not members of themselves. Results: The key point about R(S) is that it is well-defined in terms of S, and R(S) cannot be a member of S. Thus any set, even the simplest one, is incomplete. This provides the solution to the problem that I have posed. It shows that the distinction between sets and classes is natural and necessary. Implications: While we have shown that the distinction between sets and classes is natural and necessary, this can only be the beginning from the point of view of epistemology. It is we who will create further distinctions. And it is up to us to maintain these distinctions, or to allow them to coalesce. Constructivist content: I argue in favor of a constructivist perspective for set theory, mathematics, and the way these structures fit into our natural language and constructed speech and worlds. That is the point of this paper. It is only in the reach for absolutes, ignoring the fact that we are the authors of these structures, that the paradoxes arise.

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