1
26
w.
V.
QUINE
It
is
well known that these notions are sufllcient for mathematical logic andindeed for mathematics generally. The further mathematical and logical no-tions are constructible from this basis by definition. The above list is in factmuch longer than necessary, for various notions of the list are definable in termsof the remainder. Thus
"V",
"AJ',
and "xey" are definable
as
abbreviationsrespectively of '%(z
=
z)", "3-(x
=
x)", and "tx Cy"; and "tx" is definable
in
turn asanabbreviation of "Q(y=x)". Further definitions are possible, untilfinally the twelve items of the list are reduced to just two: inclusion and abstrac-tion.' Every mathematical or logical term (noun) or formula (statement) thusbecomes a definitional abbreviation of a term or formula which is built up fromvariables merely by alternating the devices of inclusion and abstraction in thefollowing fashion: Variables, which are our simplest terms, are joined by theinclusion notation to make a jomnukr; from this formula a new term is made byabstraction, i.e., by prefixing a variable bearing a circumflex accent; two suchterms, in turn, or one such term and one variable, are then joined by the inclu-sion notation to make
a
new formula; and so on."Term" and "formula", in this sense, are more rigorously describable withhelp of a rudimentary metamathematical symbolism. Let us use Greek letters(other than
"t",
"E")
to denote any unspecified expressions. Then let us write"{Iq" to denote the inclusion
compound
of
{
and
q.
That is, "{Iq" denotes theexpression formed by putting
{
and
q,
whatever they may be, in the respectiveblanks of
"(
C
)".
E.g., where {is
"&(zCz)"andqis"y",{Iqis"(2(xCz)
Cy)". Finally, let us write
"{,"
to denote the abstract of
{
with respect to
a.
That is,
"5,"
denotes the expression formed by applying a circumflex accentto the expression
a,
whatever it may be, and preiixing this to the expression
5.
E.g., where
a
is "x" and
{
is "(xCy)",
t,
is "i(zCy)". These notations in-volving Greek letters do not form part of the notation of logic, but aid us merely
in
talking about the notation of logic.Now the terms are describable recursively thus:(I) Variables (letters "x", "y",
.
)
are terms, and
if
5
and
q
are
term
adis a variable then ({Iq), is a term."Term" is of course to
be
construed in the narrowest way conformable
to
(I).In other words, the tern constitute the smallest class which embraces allvariables and all expre&sions ({Iq), such that
{
and
q
are in the class and
a
is
a variable.F'inally, the jormulue are directly describable thus:(11) Formulae are the expressions {Iq
such
that
{
and
q
are
terms.
2.
The
paradoxes.
It
is clear from the explanation of abstraction that anystatement of the form
3
See Quine
[ll],
p.
145-147.
(Bracketed numerals refer to listings at the end of thepresent paper.)In what follows, use will be made of the fact that definitional reductionto inclusion and abstraction is possible; but familiarity with the actual definitions will notbe presupposed, nor indeed any acquaintance with
(111.