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40
votes
15answers
10k views

Most 'unintuitive' application of the Axiom of Choice?

It is well-known that the axiom of choice is equivalent to many other assumptions, such as the well-ordering principle, Tychonoff's theorem, and the fact that every vector space has a basis. Even ...
6
votes
2answers
458 views

Choice function for Borel sets?

Let's say we want to define a choice function for certain particular subsets $S \subset2^{\mathbb{R}}$, i.e. we want a function $c:S \rightarrow \mathbb{R}$ such that $c(X)\in X$ for every $X\in S$. ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

Decidability of the Axiom of Choice

Everything that I read regarding Set Theory states that the Axiom of Choice is independent and undecidable within the context of Zermelo-Frankel Set Theory. My question is this: Is there any ...
1
vote
2answers
617 views

Axiom of Choice and Order Types

A beginner's question: We know: "Since order-equivalence is an equivalence relation, it partitions the class of all sets into equivalence classes." (from Wikipedia) This holds since every set can be ...
55
votes
3answers
5k views

Does every non-empty set admit a group structure (in ZF)?

It is easy to see that in ZFC, any non-empty set $S$ admits a group structure: for finite $S$ identify $S$ with a cyclic group, and for infinite $S$, the set of finite subsets of $S$ with the binary ...
2
votes
4answers
678 views

Set theories that do require the existence of urelements?

I am looking for an axiomatic set theory that not only admits the existence of urelements/atoms (via two-sortedness or an additional unary predicate) but requires it, e.g. by an axiom like "for each ...
19
votes
2answers
603 views

How much choice is needed to show that formally real fields can be ordered?

Background: a field is formally real if -1 is not a sum of squares of elements in that field. An ordering on a field is a linear ordering which is (in exactly the sense that you would guess if you ...
2
votes
6answers
966 views

Splitting lemma under assumption of the axiom of choice

The splitting lemma says: Given a short exact sequence with maps $q$ and $r$: $0 \rightarrow A \overset{q}{\rightarrow} B \overset{r}{\rightarrow} C \rightarrow 0$ then the following are ...
10
votes
5answers
851 views

Where are some interesting places where the axiom of choice crops up in category theory?

The two that come to mind are splitting epics in Set and taking the Skel of a category. Surely there are lots of other interesting (and maybe upsetting) places where this comes up.