Ernst Schroeder and Zermelo’s Anticipation of Russell’s Paradox
Article [Version of Record]
Is part ofCahiers d'Ithaque ; pp. 7-25.
Publisher(s)Société Philosophique Ithaque
Ernst Zermelo presented an argument showing that there is no set of all sets that are members of themselves in a letter to Edmund Husserl on April 16th of 1902, and so just barely anticipated the same contradiction in Betrand Russell’s letter to Frege from June 16th of that year. This paper traces the origins of Zermelo’s paradox in Husserl’s criticisms of a peculiar argument in Ernst Schroeder’s 1890 Algebra der Logik. Frege had also criticized that argument in his 1985 “A Critical Elucidation of Some Points in E. Schroeder Vorlesungen über die Algebra der Logik”, but did not see the paradox that Zermelo found. Alonzo Church, in “Schroeder’s Anticipation of the Simple Theory of Types” from 1939, cricized Frege’s treatment of Schroeder’s views, but did not identify the connection with Russell’s paradox.