Definition of Russell's paradox in US English:

Russell's paradox

  • A logical paradox stated in terms of set theory, concerning the set of all sets that do not contain themselves as members, namely that the condition for it to contain itself is that it should not contain itself.

    • ‘In light of antinomies like Russell's paradox, there was no certainty that the set theory was even consistent.’
    • ‘For to do so leads inevitably to a logical contradiction via a version of Russell's paradox.’
    • ‘The set theory paradoxes first appeared around 1903 with the publication of Russell's paradox.’
    • ‘Wittgenstein studied the work of Frege and Russell closely, and in 1911, he wrote to both of them concerning his own solution to Russell's paradox.’
    • ‘The prescribed natural fire joined Russell's paradox, Godel's proof, Bohr's principle of complementarity, and Heisenberg's principle of indeterminancy, all of which struggled to incorporate the observer into the observed system.’


1920s: named after Bertrand Russell (see Russell, Bertrand).