Using polarity, we give an outer polyhedral approximation for the epigraph of set functions. For a submodular function, we prove that the corresponding polar relaxation is exact; hence, it is equivalent to the Lov\'asz extension. The polar approach provides an alternative proof for the convex hull description of the epigraph of a submodular function. Computational experiments show that the inequalities from outer approximations can be effective as cutting planes for solving submodular as well as non-submodular set function minimization problems.
BCOL Research Report 19.02, IEOR, University of California-Berkeley.