The Five WH’s of Set Theory

I was asked to write a short introduction to set theory for the European Set Theory Society website. I attempted to give a short answer to what is set theory, why study it, when and how to study it and where to find resources.

You can find the article on the ESTS’ website “Resources” page, or in the Papers section of my website.

My goal was to present set theory in general, and $\ZF$-centric in particular. But I also included class set theories, atoms and non-well founded theories, as well as New Foundations, and an ending paragraph that points into additional directions (like categories or type theory) and philosophical questions (which should promptly be discussed over beer).

I initially tried to include references for $\ETCS$ or constructive set theories like $\mathsf{IZF}$ or $\mathsf{CZF}$. But I’m not familiar with references to these subjects, and the text began to grow longer than I had hoped. So those were omitted at the end.

In any case, feel free to leave me a comment, or an email, or a note attached to a beer, with your critique or opinion on this article.