# Tagged Questions

An important and fundamental axiom in set theory sometimes called Zermelo's axiom of choice. It was formulated by Zermelo in 1904 and states that, given any set of mutually disjoint nonempty sets, there exists at least one set that contains exactly one element in common with each of the nonempty ...

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### Why worry about the axiom of choice?

As I understand it, it has been proven that the axiom of choice is independent of the other axioms of set theory. Yet I still see people fuss about whether or not theorem X depends on it, and I don't ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### Non-Borel sets without axiom of choice

This is a simple doubt of mine about the basics of measure theory, which should be easy for the logicians to answer. The example I know of non Borel sets would be a Hamel basis, which needs axiom of ...
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### When does $A^A=2^A$ without the axiom of choice?

Assuming the axiom of choice the following argument is simple, for infinite $A$ it holds: $$2\lt A\leq2^A\implies 2^A\leq A^A\leq 2^{A\times A}=2^A.$$ However without the axiom of choice this doesn't ...
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### Does the fact that this vector space is not isomorphic to its double-dual require choice?

Let $V$ denote the vector space of sequences of real numbers that are eventually 0, and let $W$ denote the vector space of sequences of real numbers. Given $w \in W$ and $v \in V$, we can take their "...
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### Is the non-triviality of the algebraic dual of an infinite-dimensional vector space equivalent to the axiom of choice?

If $V$ is given to be a vector space that is not finite-dimensional, it doesn't seem to be possible to exhibit an explicit non-zero linear functional on $V$ without further information about $V$. The ...
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### Does $2^X=2^Y\Rightarrow |X|=|Y|$ imply the axiom of choice?

The Generalized Continuum Hypothesis can be stated as $2^{\aleph_\alpha}=\aleph_{\alpha+1}$. We know that GCH implies AC (Jech, The Axiom of Choice, Theorem 9.1 p.133). In fact, a relatively weak ...
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### Distinct well-orderings of the same set

An easy consequence of the Erdős-Dushnik-Miller theorem $\kappa\to(\kappa,\omega)^2$ is the following, that will denote $(*)$ (it appears as an exercise in Kunen's book, it was probably mentioned ...
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### Dual Schroeder-Bernstein theorem

This question was motivated by the comments to Dual of Zorn's Lemma? Let's denote by the Dual Schroeder-Bernstein theorem (DSB) the statement For any sets $A$ and $B$, if there are ...
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### On the difference between two concepts of even cardinalities: Is there a model of ZF set theory in which every infinite set can be split into pairs, but not every infinite set can be cut in half?

An interesting question has arisen over at this math.stackexchange question about two concepts of even in the context of infinite cardinalities, which are equivalent under the axiom of choice, but ...
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### Concerning the various proofs from the axiom of choice that R^3 admits of surprising geometrical decompositions into circles, skew lines and so on: can we prove in any instance that there are no Borel such decompositions? Or that AC is required?

This question follows up on a comment I made on Joseph O'Rourke's recent question, one of several questions here on mathoverflow concerning surprising geometric partitions of space using the axiom of ...
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### Objects which can't be defined without making choices but which end up independent of the choice

It happens a lot of times that when one defines a new object (ring, module, space, group, algebra, morphism, whatever) out of given data one first chooses some additional structure. And sometimes (...
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### Why can't proofs have infinitely many steps?

I recently saw the proof of the finite axiom of choice from the ZF axioms. The basic idea of the proof is as follows (I'll cover the case where we're choosing from three sets, but the general idea is ...
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### 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 ...
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### Are all sets totally ordered ?

The question is the title. Working in ZF, is it true that: for every nonempty set X, there exists a total order on X ? If it is false, do we have an example of a nonempty set that has no total ...
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### Hahn's Embedding Theorem and the oldest open question in set theory

Hans Hahn is often credited with creating the modern theory of ordered algebraic systems with the publication of his paper Über die nichtarchimedischen Grössensysteme (Sitzungsberichte der ...
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### Probabilities in a riddle involving axiom of choice

The question is about a modification of the following riddle (you can think about it before reading the answer if you like riddles, but that's not the point of my question): The Riddle: We assume ...
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### Antichains of Cardinals in ZF Without Choice…

With the Axiom of Choice, the cardinals form a nice linearly ordered "set". In the absence of the Axiom of Choice, the cardinals form a partially ordered "set". Broadly, I am wondering what ...
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### Axiom of choice and bases of vector spaces over a fixed field

Let $k$ be a field. In 1984 Andreas Blass proved that the axiom "for every extension $K|k$, every vector space over $K$ has a basis" implies the axiom of choice. He also raised the question Does ...
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### Haar measures in Solovay's model

Haar measure is a measure on locally compact abelian groups which is invariants to translations. For example, the Lebesgue measure on the reals is such measure. It can be shown without the use of the ...
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### Categorifications of Zorn's lemma

I'm wondering about categorifications of Zorn's lemma along the following lines. Lemma: if $\mathbf{C}$ is a small category in which every directed diagram of monomorphisms has a cocone of ...
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### Does the Axiom of Choice (or any other “optional” set theory axiom) have real-world consequences? [closed]

Or another way to put it: Could the axiom of choice, or any other set-theoretic axiom/formulation which we normally think of as undecidable, be somehow empirically testable? If you have a particular ...
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### Compactness of the Hilbert cube without the Axiom of Choice

I am just curious: is there a published proof of the compactness of the Hilbert cube that does not use the Axiom of Choice, or is it well known?
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### Is it possible to formulate the axiom of choice as the existence of a survival strategy?

Consider the following situation: There is an infinite set $G$ of giraffes. A lion comes and announces a set $C$ of all possible colours and an infinite cardinal $\kappa$. The hungry lion ...
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### What sort of large cardinal can $\aleph_1$ be without the axiom of choice?

Assuming the axiom of choice it is very easy to see that $\aleph_1$ is a regular Joe of a successor cardinal. It is not very large in any way except the fact that it is the first uncountable cardinal. ...
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### How much of GCH do we need to guarantee well-ordering of continuum?

It's well known that, if GCH holds, then every cardinal can be well-ordered. However, I'm sure we don't need full power of GCH to prove it for specific cardinal, e.g. continuum. I have been wondering, ...
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### Sizes of bases of vector spaces without the axiom of choice

Assuming the axiom of choice does not hold we have that there is a vector space without a basis. The situation can be, in some sense, worse. It is consistent that there are vector spaces that have two ...