Binary Relations as a Foundation of Mathematics

Jan Kuper
University of Twente, Department of Computer Science, Enschede, The Netherlands


We describe a theory for binary relations in the Zermelo-Fraenkel style. We choose for ZFCU, a variant of ZFC Set theory in which the Axiom of Foundation is replaced by an axiom allowing for non-wellfounded sets. The theory of binary relations is shown to be equi-consistent ZFCU by constructing a model for the theory of binary relations in ZFU and vice versa. Thus, binary relations are a foundation for mathematics in the same sense as sets are.

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