What is the theory ZFC without power set?

  • [DOI] V. Gitman, J. D. Hamkins, and T. A.~Johnstone, “What is the theory ZFC without Powerset?,” Math.~Logic Q., vol. 62, iss. 4–5, p. 391–406, 2016.
    AUTHOR = {Victoria Gitman and Joel David Hamkins and Thomas A.~Johnstone},
    TITLE = {What is the theory {ZFC} without {Powerset}?},
    JOURNAL = {Math.~Logic Q.},
    YEAR = {2016},
    volume = {62},
    number = {4--5},
    pages = {391--406},
    month = {},
    note = {},
    abstract = {},
    keywords = {},
    doi = {10.1002/malq.201500019},
    eprint = {1110.2430},
    archivePrefix = {arXiv},
    primaryClass = {math.LO},
    url = {http://jdh.hamkins.org/what-is-the-theory-zfc-without-power-set},
    source = {},
    ISSN = {0942-5616},
    MRCLASS = {03E30},
    MRNUMBER = {3549557},
    MRREVIEWER = {Arnold W. Miller},

This is joint work with Victoria Gitman and Thomas Johnstone.

We show that the theory ZFC-, consisting of the usual axioms of ZFC but with the power set axiom removed-specifically axiomatized by extensionality, foundation, pairing, union, infinity, separation, replacement and the assertion that every set can be well-ordered-is weaker than commonly supposed and is inadequate to establish several basic facts often desired in its context. For example, there are models of ZFC- in which $\omega_1$ is singular, in which every set of reals is countable, yet $\omega_1$ exists, in which there are sets of reals of every size $\aleph_n$, but none of size $\aleph_\omega$, and therefore, in which the collection axiom sceme fails; there are models of ZFC- for which the Los theorem fails, even when the ultrapower is well-founded and the measure exists inside the model; there are models of ZFC- for which the Gaifman theorem fails, in that there is an embedding $j:M\to N$ of ZFC- models that is $\Sigma_1$-elementary and cofinal, but not elementary; there are elementary embeddings $j:M\to N$ of ZFC- models whose cofinal restriction $j:M\to \bigcup j“M$ is not elementary. Moreover, the collection of formulas that are provably equivalent in ZFC- to a $\Sigma_1$-formula or a $\Pi_1$-formula is not closed under bounded quantification. Nevertheless, these deficits of ZFC- are completely repaired by strengthening it to the theory $\text{ZFC}^-$, obtained by using collection rather than replacement in the axiomatization above. These results extend prior work of Zarach.

See Victoria Gitman’s summary post on the article

7 thoughts on “What is the theory ZFC without power set?

  1. Pingback: What is the theory of ZFC-Powerset? Toronto 2011 | Joel David Hamkins

    • Yes, that is correct. The point is that collection + separation are a strengthening of replacement, and the usual way of describing ZFC- in terms of replacement is too weak, not that it is too strong. The right axiomatization uses collection+separation, which implies replacement (so you could also describe it as collection+replacement).

  2. By the way , is there an axiom (call it A) or set of axioms (call them $\mathscr A$) which, when added to $ZFC$-Powerset+Collection +Separation, will derive Powerset as a theorem (other than, of course, Powerset itself)?

  3. Pingback: What is the theory of ZFC-Powerset? Toronto 2011 | Joel David Hamkins

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