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Quantifiers and the Foundations of Quasi-Set Theory

Author(s): Jonas R. Becker Arenhart | Décio Krause

Journal: Principia : an International Journal of Epistemology
ISSN 1414-4247

Volume: 13;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 251;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Quasi-sets | semantic of non-classical systems | logic of quantum mechanics

In this paper we discuss some questions proposed by Prof. Newton da Costa on the foundations of quasi-set theory. His main doubts concern the possibility of a reasonable semantical understanding of the theory, mainly due to the fact that identity and difference do not apply to some entities of the theory’s intended domain of discourse. According to him, the quantifiers employed in the theory, when understood in the usual way, rely on the assumption that identity applies to all entities in the domain of discourse. Inspired by his provocation, we suggest that, using some ideas presented by da Costa himself in his seminars at UFSC (the Federal University of Santa Catarina) and by one of us (DK) in some papers, these difficulties can be overcome both on a formal level and on an informal level, showing how quantification over items for which identity does not make sense can be understood without presupposing a semantics based on a ‘classical’ set theory.
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