Burali-Forti Paradox

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Theorem

The existence of the set of all ordinals leads to a contradiction.


Proof

Suppose that the collection of all ordinals is a set.

Let this set be denoted as $\On$.


From the corollary of ordinals are well-ordered, it is seen that $\Epsilon {\restriction_{\On} }$ is a strict well-ordering on $\On$.

By Element of Ordinal is Ordinal, it is seen that $\On$ is transitive.

And so $\On$ is itself an ordinal.


Since $\On$ is an ordinal, it follows from hypothesis that $\On \in \On$.

Since $\On$ is an ordinal, it follows from Ordinal is not Element of Itself that $\On \notin \On$.


But this is a contradiction.

Therefore a paradox has been formed.

$\blacksquare$


Also see


Source of Name

This entry was named for Cesare Burali-Forti.


Sources