On set-theoretic mereology as a foundation of mathematics, Oxford Phil Math seminar, October 2018

This will be a talk for the Philosophy of Mathematics Seminar in Oxford, October 29, 2018, 4:30-6:30 in the Ryle Room of the Philosopher Centre.

Abstract. In light of the comparative success of membership-based set theory in the foundations of mathematics, since the time of Cantor, Zermelo and Hilbert, it is natural to wonder whether one might find a similar success for set-theoretic mereology, based upon the set-theoretic inclusion relation $\subseteq$ rather than the element-of relation $\in$.  How well does set-theoretic mereological serve as a foundation of mathematics? Can we faithfully interpret the rest of mathematics in terms of the subset relation to the same extent that set theorists have argued (with whatever degree of success) that we may find faithful representations in terms of the membership relation? Basically, can we get by with merely $\subseteq$ in place of $\in$? Ultimately, I shall identify grounds supporting generally negative answers to these questions, concluding that set-theoretic mereology by itself cannot serve adequately as a foundational theory.

This is joint work with Makoto Kikuchi, and the talk is based on our joint articles:

The talk will also mention some related recent work with Ruizhi Yang (Shanghai).

Parallels in universality between the universal algorithm and the universal finite set, Oxford Math Logic Seminar, October 2018

This will be a talk for the Logic Seminar in Oxford at the Mathematics Institute in the Andrew Wiles Building on October 9, 2018, at 4:00 pm, with tea at 3:30.

Abstract. The universal algorithm is a Turing machine program $e$ that can in principle enumerate any finite sequence of numbers, if run in the right model of PA, and furthermore, can always enumerate any desired extension of that sequence in a suitable end-extension of that model. The universal finite set is a set-theoretic analogue, a locally verifiable definition that can in principle define any finite set, in the right model of set theory, and can always define any desired finite extension of that set in a suitable top-extension of that model. Recent work has uncovered a $\Sigma_1$-definable version that works with respect to end-extensions. I shall give an account of all three results, which have a parallel form, and describe applications to the model theory of arithmetic and set theory.

The rearrangement number: how many rearrangements of a series suffice to validate absolute convergence? Warwick Mathematics Colloquium, October 2018

This will be a talk for the Mathematics Colloquium at the University of Warwick, to be held October 19, 2018, 4:00 pm in Lecture Room B3.02 at the Mathematics Institute. I am given to understand that the talk will be followed by a wine and cheese reception.Abstract. The Riemann rearrangement theorem asserts that a series $\sum_n a_n$ is absolutely convergent if and only if every rearrangement $\sum_n a_{p(n)}$ of it is convergent, and furthermore, any conditionally convergent series can be rearranged so as to converge to any desired extended real value. How many rearrangements $p$ suffice to test for absolute convergence in this way? The rearrangement number, a new cardinal characteristic of the continuum, is the smallest size of a family of permutations, such that whenever the convergence and value of a convergent series is invariant by all these permutations, then it is absolutely convergent. The exact value of the rearrangement number turns out to be independent of the axioms of set theory. In this talk, I shall place the rearrangement number into a discussion of cardinal characteristics of the continuum, including an elementary introduction to the continuum hypothesis and an account of Freiling’s axiom of symmetry.

This talk is based in part on joint work with Andreas Blass, Will Brian, myself, Michael Hardy and Paul Larson.

  • The rearrangement number.
    • A. Blass, J. Brendle, W. Brian, J. D. Hamkins, M. Hardy, and P. B. Larson, “The rearrangement number,” ArXiv e-prints, 2016. (manuscript under review)  
      @ARTICLE{BlassBrendleBrianHamkinsHardyLarson:TheRearrangementNumber,
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      note = {manuscript under review},
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      eprint = {1612.07830},
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  • The subseries number.
    • J. Brendle, W. Brian, and J. D. Hamkins, “The subseries number,” ArXiv e-prints, 2018. (manuscript under review)  
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      eprint = {1801.06206},
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The propagation of error in classical geometry constructions

I’d like to discuss the issue of error and error propagation in the constructions of classical geometry. How does error propagate in these constructions? How sensitive are the familiar classical constructions to small errors in the use of the straightedge or compass?

Let me illustrate what I have in mind by considering the classical construction of Apollonius of the perpendicular bisector of a line segment $AB$.  One forms two circles, centered at $A$ and $B$ respectively, each with radius $AB$. These arcs intersect at points $P$ and $Q$, respectively, which form the perpendicular bisector, meeting the original segment at the midpoint $C$.

That is all fine and good, and one can easily prove that indeed $PQ$ is perpendicular to $AB$ and that $C$ is the midpoint of $AB$, as desired.

When carrying out such a construction in practice, however, there will inevitably be some small errors. We do not expect to implement it exactly, with infinite precision, but rather, we expect some small errors in the placement of the compass or straightedge, and perhaps these errors may accumulate and they propagate through the construction. What I would like to discuss is the sensitivity of this construction and the other classical constructions to these small errors.

For example, suppose that we are given points $A$ and $B$. When we seek to construct the circle centered at $A$ with radius $AB$, we place the point of the compass at $A$, and this placement may have some small error deviating from $A$, landing somewhere in the blue circle. Similarly, the writing (or etching) implement end of the compass is placed at $B$, with its own possibly different error, landing the orange circle at $B$. The arc actually resulting will be some arc arising with some such small errors, like this:

We may represent the space of all arcs that could arise in conformance with those error bounds as the blurred orange arc below. This image was created simply by drawing many dozens of such arcs in orange, with various choices for the center and radius within the error circles, and blending the results together.

We carry out the same construction with similar errors for the other arc, centered at $B$ and passing through $A$. These arcs overlap in the darker orange regions above and below, determining the points $P$ and $Q$.

The actual arcs we draw and the corresponding vertical will land somewhere inside these blurred regions, perhaps like this:

Note that in this particular case, the resulting line $PQ$ is noticably non-perpendicular to $AB$, and the resulting point $C$ is noticably not the midpoint. Consider the space of all the bisectors $PQ$ that might arise in conformance with our errors on $A$ and $B$, showing the result as the vertical red shaded region.   The darker red region is the space of possible points $C$ that we might have constructed as the “midpoint” $C$, in conformance with the error estimates.

Given the size of the original error bounds on the points $A$ and $B$, it may be surprising that even such a standard simple construction as this — constructing the perpendicular bisector and midpoint of a segment — appears to have comparatively large error propagation, since the shaded red region $C$ is quite large and includes many points that one would not say are close to being the midpoint.  In this sense, the Apollonius perpendicular bisector construction appears to be sensitive to the errors of compass placement.

Is there a better construction? For example, in terms of improving the accuracy at least of the perpendicularity of $PQ$ to $AB$, it would seem to help to use a much larger circle, which would lower the variation in the resulting “right” angle.  But this is partly because we have so far assumed that compass error arises only with the placement of the points of the compass, and not during the course of actually drawing the arc. But of course, one can imagine that errors arise from a flexing of the compass during use, causing it to deviate from circularity, or from slippage, which might reasonably be expected to cause increasing error with the length or degree of the arc, and so on, and such a model of error might have greater errors with large circles.

One could in principle carry out similar analyses for any geometric construction, and use the corresponding results to compare the sensitivity of various methods for constructing the same object, as well as modeling different sources of error.  The goal might be to mount a precise analysis of all the standard constructions and compare competing constructions for accuracy.

There is a literature of papers doing precisely this, and I will try to post some references later (or please do so in the comments, if you have some good ones).

Another approach to error estimation would be to think of the errors at points $A$ and $B$ as probability distributions, centered at $A$ and $B$ and with a certain variation; and one then gets corresponding distributions for the points $P$ and $Q$, which are not rigid shapes as in my diagrams, but qualitatively similar distributions spread out in that region, and a resulting probability distribution for the point $C$.

Finally, let me mention that one might hope to improve the accuracy of a construction, simply by repeating it and averaging the result, or by some other convergence algorithm. For example, as a first step, we might simply perform the Apollonius bisector construction twice, producing midpoint candidates $C_0$ and $C_1$, and we could proceed simply find the midpoint of $C_0C_1$ as a further presumably more accurate midpoint. Or we could iterate in some other manner and hope to converge to the actual midpoint. For example, we could produce seven midpoint candidates, and take the resulting median point.

Draw an infinite chessboard in perspective, using straightedge only

I’d like to explain to you how to draw chessboards by hand in perfect perspective, using only a straightedge.  In this post, I’ll explain how to construct chessboards of any size, starting with the size of the basic unit square.

This post follows up on the post I made yesterday about how to draw a chessboard in perspective view, using only a straightedge.  That method was a subdivision method, where one starts with the boundary of the desired board, and then subdivides to make a chessboard. Now, we start with the basic square and build up. This method is actually quite efficient for quickly making very large boards in perspective view.

I want to emphasize that this is something that you can actually do, right now. It’s fun! All you need is a piece of paper, a pencil and a straightedge. I’ll wait right here while you gather your materials. Use a ruler or a chop stick (as I did) or the edge of a notebook or the lid of a box. Sit at your table and draw a huge chessboard in perspective. You can totally do this.

Start with a horizon, having two points at infinity (orange), at left and right, and a third point midway between them (brown), which we will call the diagonal infinity. Also, mark the front corner of your chess board (blue).

Extend the front corner to the points at infinity. And then mark off (red) a point that will be a measure of the grid spacing in the chessboard. This will the be size of the front square.

You can extend that point to infinity at the right. This delimits the first rank of the chessboard.

Next, extend the front corner of the board to the diagonal infinity.

The intersection of that diagonal with the previous line determines a point, which when extended to infinity at the left, produces the first square of the chessboard.

And that line determines a new point on the leading rank edge. Extend that point up to the diagonal infinity, which determines another point on the second rank line.

 

Extend that line to infinity at the left, which determines another point on the leading rank edge.

Continuing in this way, one can produce as many first rank squares as desired. Go ahead and do that. At each step, you extend up to the diagonal infinity, which determines a new point, which when extended to infinity at the left determines another point, and so on.

If you should now reflect on the current diagram, you may notice that we have actually determined many further points in the grid than we have mentioned — and thanks to my daughter Hypatia for noticing this simplification — for there is a whole triangle of further intersection points between the files and the diagonals.

We can use these points (and we do not need them all) to construct the rest of the board, by drawing out the lines to infinity at the right. Thus, we construct the whole chessboard:

One can construct a perspective chessboard of any size this way, and one can simply continue with the construction and make it larger, if desired.

It will look a little better if you add a point at infinity down below (and do so directly below the diagonal point at infinity, but a good distance down below the board), and extend the board downward one level. The corresponding diagram on yesterday’s post might be helpful.

 

You can now color the tile pattern, and you’ll have a chessboard in perfect perspective view.

 

If you keep going, you can make extremely large chessboards. In time, I hope that you will come to learn how to complete an infinite chess board in finite time.

 

Draw a chessboard in perspective view, using straightedge only

Let me show you how to hand-draw an image of a chessboard in perspective, using only a straightedge. There is no need to measure any distances or to make calculations of any kind.  All you need is a straightedge, paper and your pen or pencil.

Imagine the vast doodling potential!  A person who happens to be stuck in a lecture on some other less interesting topic could easily make one or more elaborate chessboards in perfect perspective, using only a straightedge! Please carry out the construction and then share your resulting images. I would love to see them.

To begin, give yourself a horizon at the top of the page, with two points at infinity (in orange), and also two points (blue) that will become the front and back corner of your chessboard.  You can play around with different arrangements of these points, which will lead ultimately to different perspective views.

Using your straightedge, draw the lines from those reference points to the points at infinity. The resulting enclosed region will ultimately become the main chess board. One can alternatively think of starting with the front edges of the desired board, and then setting a horizon and using that to determine the points at infinity, and then adding the back edges. If you like, you can add a third point at infinity down below, and a front bottom reference point (blue), to give the board some thickness. Construct the lines to the bottom point at infinity.

The result is now the main outline of your chessboard as a rectangular solid.

Next, construct the center point of the top face, by drawing the two diagonals and finding the intersection point. I call this the center point, because it is the point that represents in the perspective view the actual center point of the chessboard, even though this point is not in the “center” of the quadrilateral representing the board. It is remarkable that one can find that point without needing to measure or calculate anything, simply because the two straight lines of the diagonal of the chessboard intersect at that point, and this remains true in the perspective view. This is the key idea that enables the entire construction method to proceed with only a straightedge.

Construct the midpoint lines by drawing the lines from that centerpoint to the points at infinity.

Now you have the chessboard with the main midlines drawn.

Construct the center points of the two diagonal squares, by intersecting the diagonals of each of them.

Construct the lines that extend those points to the points at infinity.

Thus, you have constructed the main 4 x 4 grid.

You can extend the grid lines down to the bottom point at infinity like so:

One can stop with the 4 x 4 board, if desired. Simply add suitable shading, and you’ve completed the 4 x 4 chessboard in perspective.

Alternatively, one can continue with one more iteration to construct the 8 x 8 board. From the 4 x 4 grid (with no shading yet) simply construct the center points of the squares on the main diagonal, and extend those lines to infinity.  This will enable you to draw the 8 x 8 grid lines, and after shading, you’ll have the complete chessboard.

The initial arrangement of points affects the nature of the perspective view. Having the points at infinity very far away will produce something closer to orthoprojection; having them close produces a more extreme perspective, which simulates a view from a vantage point extremely close to the board.

Please give the construction a try! All you need is paper, pencil and a straightedge! Provide links below in the comments to photos of your creations.

Meanwhile, let me point you towards my follow post, How to draw infinite chessboards by hand in perfect perspective, using only a straightedge. The difference between the methods is that the method of this post is about subdividing a given board, and the other method is about generating arbitrarily large chessboards from a given unit square.

I learned these construction method years ago from my CUNY geometer colleague Ilya Kofman.

The axiom of well-ordered replacement is equivalent to full replacement over Zermelo + foundation


In recent work, Alfredo Roque Freire and I have realized that the axiom of well-ordered replacement is equivalent to the full replacement axiom, over the Zermelo set theory with foundation.

The well-ordered replacement axiom is the scheme asserting that if $I$ is well-ordered and every $i\in I$ has unique $y_i$ satisfying a property $\phi(i,y_i)$, then $\{y_i\mid i\in I\}$ is a set. In other words, the image of a well-ordered set under a first-order definable class function is a set.

Alfredo had introduced the theory Zermelo + foundation + well-ordered replacement, because he had noticed that it was this fragment of ZF that sufficed for an argument we were mounting in a joint project on bi-interpretation. At first, I had found the well-ordered replacement theory a bit awkward, because one can only apply the replacement axiom with well-orderable sets, and without the axiom of choice, it seemed that there were not enough of these to make ordinary set-theoretic arguments possible.

But now we know that in fact, the theory is equivalent to ZF.

Theorem. The axiom of well-ordered replacement is equivalent to full replacement over Zermelo set theory with foundation.

$$\text{ZF}\qquad = \qquad\text{Z} + \text{foundation} + \text{well-ordered replacement}$$

Proof. Assume Zermelo set theory with foundation and well-ordered replacement.

Well-ordered replacement is sufficient to prove that transfinite recursion along any well-order works as expected. One proves that every initial segment of the order admits a unique partial solution of the recursion up to that length, using well-ordered replacement to put them together at limits and overall.

Applying this, it follows that every set has a transitive closure, by iteratively defining $\cup^n x$ and taking the union. And once one has transitive closures, it follows that the foundation axiom can be taken either as the axiom of regularity or as the $\in$-induction scheme, since for any property $\phi$, if there is a set $x$ with $\neg\phi(x)$, then let $A$ be the set of elements $a$ in the transitive closure of $\{x\}$ with $\neg\phi(a)$; an $\in$-minimal element of $A$ is a set $a$ with $\neg\phi(a)$, but $\phi(b)$ for all $b\in a$.

Another application of transfinite recursion shows that the $V_\alpha$ hierarchy exists. Further, we claim that every set $x$ appears in the $V_\alpha$ hierarchy. This is not immediate and requires careful proof. We shall argue by $\in$-induction using foundation. Assume that every element $y\in x$ appears in some $V_\alpha$. Let $\alpha_y$ be least with $y\in V_{\alpha_y}$. The problem is that if $x$ is not well-orderable, we cannot seem to collect these various $\alpha_y$ into a set. Perhaps they are unbounded in the ordinals? No, they are not, by the following argument. Define an equivalence relation $y\sim y’$ iff $\alpha_y=\alpha_{y’}$. It follows that the quotient $x/\sim$ is well-orderable, and thus we can apply well-ordered replacement in order to know that $\{\alpha_y\mid y\in x\}$ exists as a set. The union of this set is an ordinal $\alpha$ with $x\subseteq V_\alpha$ and so $x\in V_{\alpha+1}$. So by $\in$-induction, every set appears in some $V_\alpha$.

The argument establishes the principle: for any set $x$ and any definable class function $F:x\to\text{Ord}$, the image $F\mathrel{\text{”}}x$ is a set. One proves this by defining an equivalence relation $y\sim y’\leftrightarrow F(y)=F(y’)$ and observing that $x/\sim$ is well-orderable.

We can now establish the collection axiom, using a similar idea. Suppose that $x$ is a set and every $y\in x$ has a witness $z$ with $\phi(y,z)$. Every such $z$ appears in some $V_\alpha$, and so we can map each $y\in x$ to the smallest $\alpha_y$ such that there is some $z\in V_{\alpha_y}$ with $\phi(y,z)$. By the observation of the previous paragraph, the set of $\alpha_y$ exists and so there is an ordinal $\alpha$ larger than all of them, and thus $V_\alpha$ serves as a collecting set for $x$ and $\phi$, verifying this instance of collection.

From collection and separation, we can deduce the replacement axiom $\Box$

I’ve realized that this allows me to improve an argument I had made some time ago, concerning Transfinite recursion as a fundamental principle. In that argument, I had proved that ZC + foundation + transfinite recursion is equivalent to ZFC, essentially by showing that the principle of transfinite recursion implies replacement for well-ordered sets. The new realization here is that we do not need the axiom of choice in that argument, since transfinite recursion implies well-ordered replacement, which gives us full replacement by the argument above.

Corollary. The principle of transfinite recursion is equivalent to the replacement axiom over Zermelo set theory with foundation.

$$\text{ZF}\qquad = \qquad\text{Z} + \text{foundation} + \text{transfinite recursion}$$

There is no need for the axiom of choice.

Lectures on the Philosophy of Mathematics, Oxford, Michaelmas 2018

This will be a series of lectures on the philosophy of mathematics, given at Oxford University, Michaelmas term 2018. The lectures are mainly intended for undergraduate students preparing for exam paper 122, although all interested parties are welcome.

My approach to the philosophy of mathematics tends to be grounded in mathematical arguments and ideas, treating philosophical issues as they arise organically. The lectures will accordingly be organized around mathematical themes, in such a way that naturally brings various philosophical issues to light.

Here is a tentative list of topics, which may be updated as the term approaches.

Lecture 1. Numbers. Numbers are perhaps the essential mathematical idea, but what are numbers? Our various number systems — natural numbers, integers, rational numbers, real numbers, complex numbers, hyperreal numbers, surreal numbers, ordinal numbers, and more —  provide a background for classical arguments on incommensurability, the irrationality of $\sqrt{2}$, the infinitude of primes and transcendental numbers, leading to discussions of Platonism, Frege’s number concept, Peano’s numbers, Dedekind’s arguments, and the philosophy of structuralism.

Lecture 2. Rigour. We shall treat the problem of mathematical rigour in the development of the calculus. Informal limit concepts and the use of infinitesimals ultimately led to formal concepts of limit and continuity, as well as a capacity for refined notions such as uniform continuity, accompanied by increasing abstraction in the function concept, which we shall illustrate with the Conway base 13 function and space-filling curves.

Lecture 3. Infinity. Beginning with Zeno’s paradox and classical ideas on potential versus actual infinity, we shall follow the allegory of Hilbert’s hotel to the equinumerosity relation and the notion of countability. Cantor’s diagonal arguments, meanwhile, reveal uncountability and a vast hierarchy of different orders of infinity. Some arguments give rise to the distinction between constructive and non-constructive proof. Time permitting, we shall count into the transfinite ordinals.

Lecture 4. Geometry. We shall discuss classical Euclidean geometry, accompanied by the Euclidean proof concept and the ideal of straight-edge and compass construction, which leads to the concept of constructible numbers. The impossibility of certain constructions, such as duplicating the cube or trisecting the angle, serves as a counterpoint. The rise of non-Euclidean geometry, especially in light of scientific observations and theories suggesting that physical reality may not be Euclidean, challenges previous accounts of what geometry is about. We shall discuss formalizations of geometry, including Russell on Euclid, Russell and Tarski on betweenness, and the significance of Tarski’s decision procedure.

Lecture 5. Proof. What is proof? What is the relation between proof and truth? After clarifying the distinction between syntax and semantics, we shall introduce formal proof systems and highlight the importance of soundness, completeness and effectivity in any such system. We shall discuss the increasing significance of computer-verified proof, presenting the four-color theorem as an illustrative example.

Lecture 6. Computability. What does it mean for a function to be computable? While Gödel’s early approach via primitive recursive functions fell short, Turing’s machine concept proved extremely robust, forming a foundation ultimately for the contemporary computer era. We shall discuss the Church-Turing thesis, in both weak and strong forms, as well as the undecidability of the halting problem. Turing’s oracle concept leads to a mathematical theory of information content. Time and space permitting, we shall carry out a supertask computation, transcending the Turing limit.

Lecture 7. Incompleteness. The Hilbert program, seeking to secure the consistency of higher mathematics by finitary reasoning about the formal system underlying it, was dashed by Gödel’s incompleteness theorems, which show that no consistent formal system can prove even its own consistency, let alone the consistency of a higher system. We shall describe several proofs of the first incompleteness theorem, via the halting problem, via self-reference, and via definability. After this, we’ll discuss the Rosser variation, the second incompleteness theorem, and Tarski on the non-definability of truth. Ultimately, one is led to the inherent hierarchy of consistency strength underlying all mathematical theories.

Lecture 8. Set theory. We shall discuss the emergence of set theory as a foundation of mathematics. An initially naive theory, challenged fundamentally by the Russell paradox, grew into Zermelo’s formal set theory, founded on the idea of a cumulative universe of sets and providing a robust general context in which to undertake mathematics, while also enabling the clarification of fundamentally set-theoretic issues surrounding the axiom of choice, the continuum hypothesis and an increasingly diverse hierarchy of large cardinal concepts. The development of forcing solved many stubborn questions and illuminated a ubiquitous independence phenomenon, feeding into philosophical issues concerning the criteria by which one should add new axioms to mathematics and the question of pluralism in mathematical foundations.

Set-theoretic blockchains

  • M. E. Habič, J. D. Hamkins, L. D. Klausner, J. Verner, and K. J. Williams, “Set-theoretic blockchains,” ArXiv e-prints, pp. 1-23, 2018. (under review)  
    @ARTICLE{HabicHamkinsKlausnerVernerWilliams2018:Set-theoretic-blockchains,
    author = {Miha E. Habič and Joel David Hamkins and Lukas Daniel Klausner and Jonathan Verner and Kameryn J. Williams},
    title = {Set-theoretic blockchains},
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    year = {2018},
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Abstract. Given a countable model of set theory, we study the structure of its generic multiverse, the collection of its forcing extensions and ground models, ordered by inclusion. Mostowski showed that any finite poset embeds into the generic multiverse while preserving the nonexistence of upper bounds. We obtain several improvements of his result, using what we call the blockchain construction to build generic objects with varying degrees of mutual genericity. The method accommodates certain infinite posets, and we can realize these embeddings via a wide variety of forcing notions, while providing control over lower bounds as well. We also give a generalization to class forcing in the context of second-order set theory, and exhibit some further structure in the generic multiverse, such as the existence of exact pairs.

Topological models of arithmetic

  • A. Enayat, J. D. Hamkins, and B. Wcisło, “Topological models of arithmetic,” ArXiv e-prints, 2018. (under review)  
    @ARTICLE{EnayatHamkinsWcislo2018:Topological-models-of-arithmetic,
    author = {Ali Enayat and Joel David Hamkins and Bartosz Wcisło},
    title = {Topological models of arithmetic},
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    year = {2018},
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Abstract. Ali Enayat had asked whether there is a nonstandard model of Peano arithmetic (PA) that can be represented as $\newcommand\Q{\mathbb{Q}}\langle\Q,\oplus,\otimes\rangle$, where $\oplus$ and $\otimes$ are continuous functions on the rationals $\Q$. We prove, affirmatively, that indeed every countable model of PA has such a continuous presentation on the rationals. More generally, we investigate the topological spaces that arise as such topological models of arithmetic. The reals $\newcommand\R{\mathbb{R}}\R$, the reals in any finite dimension $\R^n$, the long line and the Cantor space do not, and neither does any Suslin line; many other spaces do; the status of the Baire space is open.

 

The first author had inquired whether a nonstandard model of arithmetic could be continuously presented on the rational numbers.

Main Question. (Enayat, 2009) Are there continuous functions $\oplus$ and $\otimes$ on the rational numbers $\Q$, such that $\langle\Q,\oplus,\otimes\rangle$ is a nonstandard model of arithmetic?

By a model of arithmetic, what we mean here is a model of the first-order Peano axioms PA, although we also consider various weakenings of this theory. The theory PA asserts of a structure $\langle M,+,\cdot\rangle$ that it is the non-negative part of a discretely ordered ring, plus the induction principle for assertions in the language of arithmetic. The natural numbers $\newcommand\N{\mathbb{N}}\langle \N,+,\cdot\rangle$, for example, form what is known as the standard model of PA, but there are also many nonstandard models, including continuum many non-isomorphic countable models.

We answer the question affirmatively, and indeed, the main theorem shows that every countable model of PA is continuously presented on $\Q$. We define generally that a topological model of arithmetic is a topological space $X$ equipped with continuous functions $\oplus$ and $\otimes$, for which $\langle X,\oplus,\otimes\rangle$ satisfies the desired arithmetic theory. In such a case, we shall say that the underlying space $X$ continuously supports a model of arithmetic and that the model is continuously presented upon the space $X$.

Question. Which topological spaces support a topological model of arithmetic?

In the paper, we prove that the reals $\R$, the reals in any finite dimension $\R^n$, the long line and Cantor space do not support a topological model of arithmetic, and neither does any Suslin line. Meanwhile, there are many other spaces that do support topological models, including many uncountable subspaces of the plane $\R^2$. It remains an open question whether any uncountable Polish space, including the Baire space, can support a topological model of arithmetic.

Let me state the main theorem and briefly sketch the proof.

Main Theorem. Every countable model of PA has a continuous presentation on the rationals $\Q$.

Proof. We shall prove the theorem first for the standard model of arithmetic $\langle\N,+,\cdot\rangle$. Every school child knows that when computing integer sums and products by the usual algorithms, the final digits of the result $x+y$ or $x\cdot y$ are completely determined by the corresponding final digits of the inputs $x$ and $y$. Presented with only final segments of the input, the child can nevertheless proceed to compute the corresponding final segments of the output.

\begin{equation*}\small\begin{array}{rcr}
\cdots1261\quad & \qquad & \cdots1261\quad\\
\underline{+\quad\cdots 153\quad}&\qquad & \underline{\times\quad\cdots 153\quad}\\
\cdots414\quad & \qquad & \cdots3783\quad\\
& & \cdots6305\phantom{3}\quad\\
& & \cdots1261\phantom{53}\quad\\
& & \underline{\quad\cdots\cdots\phantom{253}\quad}\\
& & \cdots933\quad\\
\end{array}\end{equation*}

This phenomenon amounts exactly to the continuity of addition and multiplication with respect to what we call the final-digits topology on $\N$, which is the topology having basic open sets $U_s$, the set of numbers whose binary representations ends with the digits $s$, for any finite binary string $s$. (One can do a similar thing with any base.) In the $U_s$ notation, we include the number that would arise by deleting initial $0$s from $s$; for example, $6\in U_{00110}$. Addition and multiplication are continuous in this topology, because if $x+y$ or $x\cdot y$ has final digits $s$, then by the school-child’s observation, this is ensured by corresponding final digits in $x$ and $y$, and so $(x,y)$ has an open neighborhood in the final-digits product space, whose image under the sum or product, respectively, is contained in $U_s$.

Let us make several elementary observations about the topology. The sets $U_s$ do indeed form the basis of a topology, because $U_s\cap U_t$ is empty, if $s$ and $t$ disagree on some digit (comparing from the right), or else it is either $U_s$ or $U_t$, depending on which sequence is longer. The topology is Hausdorff, because different numbers are distinguished by sufficiently long segments of final digits. There are no isolated points, because every basic open set $U_s$ has infinitely many elements. Every basic open set $U_s$ is clopen, since the complement of $U_s$ is the union of $U_t$, where $t$ conflicts on some digit with $s$. The topology is actually the same as the metric topology generated by the $2$-adic valuation, which assigns the distance between two numbers as $2^{-k}$, when $k$ is largest such that $2^k$ divides their difference; the set $U_s$ is an open ball in this metric, centered at the number represented by $s$. (One can also see that it is metric by the Urysohn metrization theorem, since it is a Hausdorff space with a countable clopen basis, and therefore regular.) By a theorem of Sierpinski, every countable metric space without isolated points is homeomorphic to the rational line $\Q$, and so we conclude that the final-digits topology on $\N$ is homeomorphic to $\Q$. We’ve therefore proved that the standard model of arithmetic $\N$ has a continuous presentation on $\Q$, as desired.

But let us belabor the argument somewhat, since we find it interesting to notice that the final-digits topology (or equivalently, the $2$-adic metric topology on $\N$) is precisely the order topology of a certain definable order on $\N$, what we call the final-digits order, an endless dense linear order, which is therefore order-isomorphic and thus also homeomorphic to the rational line $\Q$, as desired.

Specifically, the final-digits order on the natural numbers, pictured in figure 1, is the order induced from the lexical order on the finite binary representations, but considering the digits from right-to-left, giving higher priority in the lexical comparison to the low-value final digits of the number. To be precise, the final-digits order $n\triangleleft m$ holds, if at the first point of disagreement (from the right) in their binary representation, $n$ has $0$ and $m$ has $1$; or if there is no disagreement, because one of them is longer, then the longer number is lower, if the next digit is $0$, and higher, if it is $1$ (this is not the same as treating missing initial digits as zero). Thus, the even numbers appear as the left half of the order, since their final digit is $0$, and the odd numbers as the right half, since their final digit is $1$, and $0$ is directly in the middle; indeed, the highly even numbers, whose representations end with a lot of zeros, appear further and further to the left, while the highly odd numbers, which end with many ones, appear further and further to the right. If one does not allow initial $0$s in the binary representation of numbers, then note that zero is represented in binary by the empty sequence. It is evident that the final-digits order is an endless dense linear order on $\N$, just as the corresponding lexical order on finite binary strings is an endless dense linear order.

The basic open set $U_s$ of numbers having final digits $s$ is an open set in this order, since any number ending with $s$ is above a number with binary form $100\cdots0s$ and below a number with binary form $11\cdots 1s$ in the final-digits order; so $U_s$ is a union of intervals in the final-digits order. Conversely, every interval in the final-digits order is open in the final-digits topology, because if $n\triangleleft x\triangleleft m$, then this is determined by some final segment of the digits of $x$ (appending initial $0$s if necessary), and so there is some $U_s$ containing $x$ and contained in the interval between $n$ and $m$. Thus, the final-digits topology is the precisely same as the order topology of the final-digits order, which is a definable endless dense linear order on $\N$. Since this order is isomorphic and hence homeomorphic to the rational line $\Q$, we conclude again that $\langle \N,+,\cdot\rangle$ admits a continuous presentation on $\Q$.

We now complete the proof by considering an arbitrary countable model $M$ of PA. Let $\triangleleft^M$ be the final-digits order as defined inside $M$. Since the reasoning of the above paragraphs can be undertaken in PA, it follows that $M$ can see that its addition and multiplication are continuous with respect to the order topology of its final-digits order. Since $M$ is countable, the final-digits order of $M$ makes it a countable endless dense linear order, which by Cantor’s theorem is therefore order-isomorphic and hence homeomorphic to $\Q$. Thus, $M$ has a continuous presentation on the rational line $\Q$, as desired. $\Box$

The executive summary of the proof is: the arithmetic of the standard model $\N$ is continuous with respect to the final-digits topology, which is the same as the $2$-adic metric topology on $\N$, and this is homeomorphic to the rational line, because it is the order topology of the final-digits order, a definable endless dense linear order; applied in a nonstandard model $M$, this observation means the arithmetic of $M$ is continuous with respect to its rational line $\Q^M$, which for countable models is isomorphic to the actual rational line $\Q$, and so such an $M$ is continuously presentable upon $\Q$.

Let me mention the following order, which it seems many people expect to use instead of the final-digits order as we defined it above. With this order, one in effect takes missing initial digits of a number as $0$, which is of course quite reasonable.

The problem with this order, however, is that the order topology is not actually the final-digits topology. For example, the set of all numbers having final digits $110$ in this order has a least element, the number $6$, and so it is not open in the order topology. Worse, I claim that arithmetic is not continuous with respect to this order. For example, $1+1=2$, and $2$ has an open neighborhood consisting entirely of even numbers, but every open neighborhood of $1$ has both odd and even numbers, whose sums therefore will not all be in the selected neighborhood of $2$. Even the successor function $x\mapsto x+1$ is not continuous with respect to this order.

Finally, let me mention that a version of the main theorem also applies to the integers $\newcommand\Z{\mathbb{Z}}\Z$, using the following order.

Go to the article to read more.

  • A. Enayat, J. D. Hamkins, and B. Wcisło, “Topological models of arithmetic,” ArXiv e-prints, 2018. (under review)  
    @ARTICLE{EnayatHamkinsWcislo2018:Topological-models-of-arithmetic,
    author = {Ali Enayat and Joel David Hamkins and Bartosz Wcisło},
    title = {Topological models of arithmetic},
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A question in set-theoretic geology: if $M[G][K]=M[H][K],$ then can we conlude $M[G]=M[H]$?

I was recently asked this interesting question on set-theoretic geology by Iian Smythe, a set-theory post-doc at Rutgers University; the problem arose in the context of one of this current research projects.

Question. Assume that two product forcing extensions are the same $$M[G][K]=M[H][K],$$ where $M[G]$ and $M[H]$ are forcing extensions of $M$ by the same forcing notion $\mathbb{P}$, and $K\subset\mathbb{Q}\in M$ is both $M[G]$ and $M[H]$-generic with respect to this further forcing $\mathbb{Q}$.  Can we conclude that $$M[G]=M[H]\ ?$$ Can we make this conclusion at least in the special case that $\mathbb{P}$ is adding a Cohen real and $\mathbb{Q}$ is collapsing the continuum?

It seems natural to hope for a positive answer, because we are aware of many such situations that arise with forcing, where indeed $M[G]=M[H]$. Nevertheless, the answer is negative. Indeed, we cannot legitimately make this conclusion even when both steps of forcing are adding merely a Cohen real. And such a counterexample implies that there is a counterexample of the type mentioned in the question, simply by performing further collapse forcing.

Theorem. For any countable model $M$ of set theory, there are $M$-generic Cohen reals $c$, $d$ and $e$, such that

  1. The Cohen reals $c$ and $e$ are mutually generic over $M$.
  2. The Cohen reals $d$ and $e$ are mutually generic over $M$.
  3. These two pairs produce the same forcing extension $M[c][e]=M[d][e]$.
  4. But  the intermediate models are different $M[c]\neq M[d]$.

Proof. Fix $M$, and let $c$ and $e$ be any two mutually generic Cohen reals over $M$. Let us view them as infinite binary sequences, that is, as elements of Cantor space. In the extension $M[c][e]$, let $d=c+e \mod 2$, in each coordinate. That is, we get $d$ from $c$ by flipping bits, but only on coordinates that are $1$ in $e$. This is the same as applying a bit-flipping automorphism of the forcing, which is available in $M[e]$, but not in $M$. Since $c$ is $M[e]$-generic by reversing the order of forcing, it follows that $d$ also is $M[e]$-generic, since the automorphism is in $M[e]$. Thus, $d$ and $e$ are mutually generic over $M$. Further, $M[c][e]=M[d][e]$, because $M[e][c]=M[e][d]$, as $c$ and $d$ were isomorphic generic filters by an isomorphism in $M[e]$. But finally, $M[c]$ and $M[d]$ are not the same, because from $c$ and $d$ together we can construct $e$, because we can tell exactly which bits were flipped. $\Box$

If one now follows the $e$ forcing with collapse forcing, one achieves a counterexample model of the type mentioned in the question, namely, with $M[c][e*K]=M[d][e*K]$, but $M[c]\neq M[d]$.

I have a feeling that my co-authors on a current paper in progress, Set-theoretic blockchains, on the topic of non-amalgamation in the generic multiverse, will tell me that the argument above is an instance of some of the theorems we prove in the latter part of that paper. (Miha, please tell me in the comments, if you see this, or tell me where I have seen this argument before; I think I made this argument or perhaps seen it before.) The paper is

  • M. E. Habič, J. D. Hamkins, L. D. Klausner, J. Verner, and K. J. Williams, “Set-theoretic blockchains,” ArXiv e-prints, pp. 1-23, 2018. (under review)  
    @ARTICLE{HabicHamkinsKlausnerVernerWilliams2018:Set-theoretic-blockchains,
    author = {Miha E. Habič and Joel David Hamkins and Lukas Daniel Klausner and Jonathan Verner and Kameryn J. Williams},
    title = {Set-theoretic blockchains},
    journal = {ArXiv e-prints},
    year = {2018},
    volume = {},
    number = {},
    pages = {1--23},
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    eprint = {1808.01509},
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.

A new proof of the Barwise extension theorem, without infinitary logic

I have found a new proof of the Barwise extension theorem, that wonderful yet quirky result of classical admissible set theory, which says that every countable model of set theory can be extended to a model of $\text{ZFC}+V=L$.

Barwise Extension Theorem. (Barwise 1971) $\newcommand\ZF{\text{ZF}}\newcommand\ZFC{\text{ZFC}}$ Every countable model of set theory $M\models\ZF$ has an end-extension to a model of $\ZFC+V=L$.

The Barwise extension theorem is both (i) a technical culmination of the pioneering methods of Barwise in admissible set theory and infinitary logic, including the Barwise compactness and completeness theorems and the admissible cover, but also (ii) one of those rare mathematical theorems that is saturated with significance for the philosophy of mathematics and particularly the philosophy of set theory. I discussed the theorem and its philosophical significance at length in my paper, The multiverse perspective on the axiom of constructibility, where I argued that it can change how we look upon the axiom of constructibility and whether this axiom should be considered ‘restrictive,’ as it often is in set theory. Ultimately, the Barwise extension theorem shows how wrong a model of set theory can be, if we should entertain the idea that the set-theoretic universe continues growing beyond it.

Regarding my new proof, below, however, what I find especially interesting about it, if not surprising in light of (i) above, is that it makes no use of Barwise compactness or completeness and indeed, no use of infinitary logic at all! Instead, the new proof uses only classical methods of descriptive set theory concerning the representation of $\Pi^1_1$ sets with well-founded trees, the Levy and Shoenfield absoluteness theorems, the reflection theorem and the Keisler-Morley theorem on elementary extensions via definable ultrapowers. Like the Barwise proof, my proof splits into cases depending on whether the model $M$ is standard or nonstandard, but another interesting thing about it is that with my proof, it is the $\omega$-nonstandard case that is easier, whereas with the Barwise proof, the transitive case was easiest, since one only needed to resort to the admissible cover when $M$ was ill-founded. Barwise splits into cases on well-founded/ill-founded, whereas in my argument, the cases are $\omega$-standard/$\omega$-nonstandard.

To clarify the terms, an end-extension of a model of set theory $\langle M,\in^M\rangle$ is another model $\langle N,\in^N\rangle$, such that the first is a substructure of the second, so that $M\subseteq N$ and $\in^M=\in^N\upharpoonright M$, but further, the new model does not add new elements to sets in $M$. In other words, $M$ is an $\in$-initial segment of $N$, or more precisely: if $a\in^N b\in M$, then $a\in M$ and hence $a\in^M b$.

Set theory, of course, overflows with instances of end-extensions. For example, the rank-initial segments $V_\alpha$ end-extend to their higher instances $V_\beta$, when $\alpha<\beta$; similarly, the hierarchy of the constructible universe $L_\alpha\subseteq L_\beta$ are end-extensions; indeed any transitive set end-extends to all its supersets. The set-theoretic universe $V$ is an end-extension of the constructible universe $L$ and every forcing extension $M[G]$ is an end-extension of its ground model $M$, even when nonstandard. (In particular, one should not confuse end-extensions with rank-extensions, also known as top-extensions, where one insists that all the new sets have higher rank than any ordinal in the smaller model.)

Let’s get into the proof.

Proof. Suppose that $M$ is a model of $\ZF$ set theory. Consider first the case that $M$ is $\omega$-nonstandard. For any particular standard natural number $k$, the reflection theorem ensures that there are arbitrarily high $L_\alpha^M$ satisfying $\ZFC_k+V=L$, where $\ZFC_k$ refers to the first $k$ axioms of $\ZFC$ in a fixed computable enumeration by length. In particular, every countable transitive set $m\in L^M$ has an end-extension to a model of $\ZFC_k+V=L$. By overspill (that is, since the standard cut is not definable), there must be some nonstandard $k$ for which $L^M$ thinks that every countable transitive set $m$ has an end-extension to a model of $\ZFC_k+V=L$, which we may assume is countable. This is a $\Pi^1_2$ statement about $k$, which will therefore also be true in $M$, by the Shoenfield absolutenss theorem. It will also be true in all the elementary extensions of $M$, as well as in their forcing extensions. And indeed, by the Keisler-Morley theorem, the model $M$ has an elementary top extension $M^+$. Let $\theta$ be a new ordinal on top of $M$, and let $m=V_\theta^{M^+}$ be the $\theta$-rank-initial segment of $M^+$, which is a top-extension of $M$. Let $M^+[G]$ be a forcing extension in which $m$ has become countable. Since the $\Pi^1_2$ statement is true in $M^+[G]$, there is an end-extension of $\langle m,\in^{M^+}\rangle$ to a model $\langle N,\in^N\rangle$ that $M^+[G]$ thinks satisfies $\ZFC_k+V=L$. Since $k$ is nonstandard, this theory includes all the $\ZFC$ axioms, and since $m$ end-extends $M$, we have found an end-extension of $M$ to a model of $\ZFC+V=L$, as desired.

It remains to consider the case where $M$ is $\omega$-standard. By the Keisler-Morley theorem, let $M^+$ be an elementary top-extension of $M$. Let $\theta$ be an ordinal of $M^+$ above $M$, and consider the corresponding rank-initial segment $m=V_\theta^{M^+}$, which is a transitive set in $M^+$ that covers $M$. If $\langle m,\in^{M^+}\rangle$ has an end-extension to a model of $\ZFC+V=L$, then we’re done, since such a model would also end-extend $M$. So assume toward contradiction that there is no such end-extension of $m$. Let $M^+[G]$ be a forcing extension in which $m$ has become countable. The assertion that $m$ has no end-extension to a model of $\ZFC+V=L$ is actually true and hence true in $M^+[G]$. This is a $\Pi^1_1$ assertion there about the real coding $m$. Every such assertion has a canonically associated tree, which is well-founded exactly when the statement is true. Since the statement is true in $M^+[G]$, this tree has some countable rank $\lambda$ there. Since these models have the standard $\omega$, the tree associated with the statement is the same for us as inside the model, and since the statement is actually true, the tree is actually well founded. So the rank $\lambda$ must come from the well-founded part of the model.

If $\lambda$ happens to be countable in $L^{M^+}$, then consider the assertion, “there is a countable transitive set, such that the assertion that it has no end-extension to a model of $\ZFC+V=L$ has rank $\lambda$.” This is a $\Sigma_1$ assertion, since it is witnessed by the countable transitive set and the ranking function of the tree associated with the non-extension assertion. Since the parameters are countable, it follows by Levy reflection that the statement is true in $L^{M^+}$. So $L^{M^+}$ has a countable transitive set, such that the assertion that it has no end-extension to a model of $\ZFC+V=L$ has rank $\lambda$. But since $\lambda$ is actually well-founded, the statement would have to be actually true; but it isn’t, since $L^{M^+}$ itself is such an extension, a contradiction.

So we may assume $\lambda$ is uncountable in $M^+$. In this case, since $\lambda$ was actually well-ordered, it follows that $L^M$ is well-founded beyond its $\omega_1$. Consider the statement “there is a countable transitive set having no end-extension to a model of $\ZFC+V=L$.” This is a $\Sigma^1_2$ sentence, which is true in $M^+[G]$ by our assumption about $m$, and so by Shoenfield absoluteness, it is true in $L^{M^+}$ and hence also $L^M$. So $L^M$ thinks there is a countable transitive set $b$ having no end-extension to a model of $\ZFC+V=L$. This is a $\Pi^1_1$ assertion about $b$, whose truth is witnessed in $L^M$ by a ranking of the associated tree. Since this rank would be countable in $L^M$ and this model is well-founded up to its $\omega_1$, the tree must be actually well-founded. But this is impossible, since it is not actually true that $b$ has no such end-extension, since $L^M$ itself is such an end-extension of $b$. Contradiction. $\Box$

One can prove a somewhat stronger version of the theorem, as follows.

Theorem. For any countable model $M$ of $\ZF$, with an inner model $W\models\ZFC$, and any statement $\phi$ true in $W$, there is an end-extension of $M$ to a model of $\ZFC+\phi$. Furthermore, one can arrange that every set of $M$ is countable in the extension model.

In particular, one can find end-extensions of $\ZFC+V=L+\phi$, for any statement $\phi$ true in $L^M$.

Proof. Carry out the same proof as above, except in all the statements, ask for end-extensions of $\ZFC+\phi$, instead of end-extensions of $\ZFC+V=L$, and also ask that the set in question become countable in that extension. The final contradictions are obtained by the fact that the countable transitive sets in $L^M$ do have end-extensions like that, in which they are countable, since $W$ is such an end-extension. $\Box$

For example, we can make the following further examples.

Corollaries.

  1. Every countable model $M$ of $\ZFC$ with a measurable cardinal has an end-extension to a model $N$ of $\ZFC+V=L[\mu]$.
  2. Every countable model $M$ of $\ZFC$ with extender-based large cardinals has an end-extension to a model $N$ satisfying $\ZFC+V=L[\vec E]$.
  3. Every countable model $M$ of $\ZFC$ with infinitely many Woodin cardinals has an end-extension to a model $N$ of $\ZF+\text{AD}+V=L(\mathbb{R})$.

And in each case, we can furthermore arrange that every set of $M$ is countable in the extension model $N$.

This proof grew out of a project on the $\Sigma_1$-definable universal finite set, which I am currently undertaking with Kameryn Williams and Philip Welch.


Jon Barwise. Infinitary methods in the model theory of set theory. In Logic
Colloquium ’69 (Proc. Summer School and Colloq., Manchester, 1969), pages
53–66. North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1971.

Plenary talk, 16th International Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science and Technology, CLMPST 2019, Prague

I shall be giving a keynote plenary talk for the 16th International Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science and Technology (CLMPST 2019), to be held 5-10 August 2019  at the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences in the beautiful city of Prague .  The CLMPST congress is held every four years, and the theme of the 2019 meeting is, “Bridging across academic cultures.”

 

I shall announce the title and abstract for the talk on this post at a later date when it becomes available.

Meanwhile, please join me in Prague!  See the Call for Papers, requesting contributed papers and contributed symposia on twenty different thematic sections, from mathematical and philosophical logic to the philosophy of science, philosophy of computing and many other areas. I am given to understand that this will be a large meeting, with about 800 participants expected.

Open class determinacy is preserved by forcing

  • J. D. Hamkins and H. W. Woodin, “Open class determinacy is preserved by forcing,” ArXiv e-prints, pp. 1-14, 2018. (under review)  
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Abstract. The principle of open class determinacy is preserved by pre-tame class forcing, and after such forcing, every new class well-order is isomorphic to a ground-model class well-order. Similarly, the principle of elementary transfinite recursion ETR${}_\Gamma$ for a fixed class well-order $\Gamma$ is preserved by pre-tame class forcing. The full principle ETR itself is preserved by countably strategically closed pre-tame class forcing, and after such forcing, every new class well-order is isomorphic to a ground-model class well-order. Meanwhile, it remains open whether ETR is preserved by all forcing, including the forcing merely to add a Cohen real.

 

The principle of elementary transfinite recursion ETR — according to which every first-order class recursion along any well-founded class relation has a solution — has emerged as a central organizing concept in the hierarchy of second-order set theories from Gödel-Bernays set theory GBC up to Kelley-Morse set theory KM and beyond. Many of the principles in the hierarchy can be seen as asserting that certain class recursions have solutions.

In addition, many of these principles, including ETR and its variants, are equivalently characterized as determinacy principles for certain kinds of class games. Thus, the hierarchy is also fruitfully unified and organized by determinacy ideas.

This hierarchy of theories is the main focus of study in the reverse mathematics of second-order set theory, an emerging subject aiming to discover the precise axiomatic principles required for various arguments and results in second-order set theory. The principle ETR itself, for example, is equivalent over GBC to the principle of clopen determinacy for class games and also to the existence of iterated elementary truth predicates (see Open determinacy for class games); since every clopen game is also an open game, the principle ETR is naturally strengthened by the principle of open determinacy for class games, and this is a strictly stronger principle (see Hachtman and Sato); the weaker principle ETR${}_\text{Ord}$, meanwhile, asserting solutions to class recursions of length Ord, is equivalent to the class forcing theorem, which asserts that every class forcing notion admits a forcing relation, to the existence of set-complete Boolean completions of any class partial order, to the existence of Ord-iterated elementary truth predicates, to the determinacy of clopen games of rank at most Ord+1, and to other natural set-theoretic principles (see The exact strength of the class forcing theorem).

Since one naturally seeks in any subject to understand how one’s fundamental principles and tools interact, we should like in this article to consider how these second-order set-theoretic principles are affected by forcing. These questions originated in previous work of Victoria Gitman and myself, and question 1 also appears in the dissertation of Kameryn Williams, which was focused on the structure of models of second-order set theories.

It is well-known, of course, that ZFC, GBC, and KM are preserved by set forcing and by tame class forcing, and this is true for other theories in the hierarchy, such as GBC$+\Pi^1_n$-comprehension and higher levels of the second-order comprehension axiom. The corresponding forcing preservation theorem for ETR and for open class determinacy, however, has not been known.

Question 1. Is ETR preserved by forcing?

Question 2. Is open class determinacy preserved by forcing?

We intend to ask in each case about class forcing as well as set forcing. Question 1 is closely connected with the question of whether forcing can create new class well-order order types, longer than any class well-order in the ground model. Specifically, Victoria Gitman and I had observed earlier that ETR${}_\Gamma$ for a specific class well-order $\Gamma$ is preserved by pre-tame class forcing, and this would imply that the full principle ETR would also be preserved, if no fundamentally new class well-orders are created by the forcing. In light of the fact that forcing over models of ZFC adds no new ordinals, that would seem reasonable, but proof is elusive, and the question remains open. Can forcing add new class well-orders, perhaps very tall ones that are not isomorphic to any ground model class well-order? Perhaps there are some very strange models of GBC that gain new class well-order order types in a forcing extension.

Question 3. Assume GBC. After forcing, must every new class well-order be isomorphic to a ground-model class well-order? Does ETR imply this?

The main theorem of this article provides a full affirmative answer to question 2, and partial affirmative answers to questions 2 and 3.

Main Theorem.

  1. Open class determinacy is preserved by pre-tame class forcing. After such forcing, every new class well-order is isomorphic to a ground-model class well-order.
  2. The principle ETR${}_\Gamma$, for any fixed class well order $\Gamma$, is preserved by pre-tame class forcing.
  3. The full principle ETR is preserved by countably strategically closed pre-tame class forcing. After such forcing, every new class well-order is isomorphic to a ground-model class well-order.

We should like specifically to highlight the fact that questions 1 and 3 remain open even in the case of the forcing to add a Cohen real. Is ETR preserved by the forcing to add a Cohen real? After adding a Cohen real, is every new class well-order isomorphic to a ground-model class well-order? One naturally expects affirmative answers, especially in a model of ETR.

For more, click through the arxiv for a pdf of the full article.

  • J. D. Hamkins and H. W. Woodin, “Open class determinacy is preserved by forcing,” ArXiv e-prints, pp. 1-14, 2018. (under review)  
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    }

Paul K. Gorbow, PhD 2018, University of Gothenburg

Paul K. Gorbow successfully defended his dissertation, “Self-similarity in the foundations” on June 14, 2018 at the University of Gothenburg in the Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science, under the supervision of Ali Enayat, with Peter LeFanu Lumsdaine and Zachiri McKenzie serving as secondary supervisors.  The defense opponent was Roman Kossak, with a dissertation committee consisting of Jon Henrik Forssell, Joel David Hamkins (myself) and Vera Koponen, chaired by Fredrik Engström. Congratulations!

University of Gothenburg profilear$\chi$ivResearch Gate

Paul K. Gorbow, “Self-similarity in the foundations,” PhD dissertation for the University of Gothenburg, Acta Philosophica Gothoburgensia 32, June 2018. (arxiv:1806.11310)

Abstract. This thesis concerns embeddings and self-embeddings of foundational structures in both set theory and category theory. 

The first part of the work on models of set theory consists in establishing a refined version of Friedman’s theorem on the existence of embeddings between countable non-standard models of a fragment of ZF, and an analogue of a theorem of Gaifman to the effect that certain countable models of set theory can be elementarily end-extended to a model with many automorphisms whose sets of fixed points equal the original model. The second part of the work on set theory consists in combining these two results into a technical machinery, yielding several results about non-standard models of set theory relating such notions as self-embeddings, their sets of fixed points, strong rank-cuts, and set theories of different strengths.

The work in foundational category theory consists in the formulation of a novel algebraic set theory which is proved to be equiconsistent to New Foundations (NF), and which can be modulated to correspond to intuitionistic or classical NF, with or without atoms. A key axiom of this theory expresses that its structures have an endofunctor with natural properties.

In the Swedish style of dissertation defense, the opponent (in this case Roman Kossak) summarizes the dissertation, placing it in a broader context, and then challenges various parts of it, probing the candidate’s expertise in an extended discussion. What a pleasure it was to see this.  After this, there is a broader discussion, in which the committee is also involved.