5
votes
2answers
781 views

Why can't mathematics be formalised in terms of classes rather than sets? [closed]

I've always been curious about the seeming compulsion to found mathematics upon sets, be it ZF(C) or some other system. Of course, there are other approaches these days like category theory and type ...
4
votes
1answer
119 views

Class theory with support for self-application of class functions?

To every natural number $n$, we can assign its Church numeral $\underline{n}.$ A formal definition would be: $\underline{0}(f)=\mathrm{id}_{\mathrm{dom}(f)}$ $\underline{n+1}(f) = ...
1
vote
1answer
178 views

Would a non-constructible set become constructible if we had oracles of arbitrarily high cardinality for the halting problems of ordinal computers?

I still have trouble to grasp the concept of a non-constructible set, my intuition is that we could "avoid" the non-constructibility of many of them if we assume we have "ordinal computers" extended ...
8
votes
3answers
595 views

What set theoretical questions could never be answered by Turing machines of arbitrary cardinality?

Let us assume that there are Turing machines of arbitrary cardinality, by that I mean they can have input tapes of any arbitrarily high cardinality and compute for a number of steps also of ...
1
vote
0answers
153 views

Has the Ramified Theory of Types been applied to Predicative Set Theories?

Questions of predicativity are well-studied in the context of arithmetic. We have a base theory, first-order Peano arithmetic. Some people, like Edward Nelson (in chapter 1 of his book) and Charles ...
10
votes
2answers
414 views

Ways to define “definability”

The notion of a definable set is not expressible in the language of set theory: there is no formula $\delta(x)$ that is equivalent with there being a formula $\phi(y)$ such that $x = \lbrace y : ...
4
votes
2answers
297 views

Functor category's objects fail to be a class?

Given two categories, we can form the functor category whose objects are functors. Functors by definition consist of two mappings from in general classes to classes, which makes it fail to be a set. ...
4
votes
2answers
251 views

On wild behavior of $\omega_{1}$ in the absence of some essential axioms of $ZFC$

The regularity of $\omega_{1}$ is one of the most well known facts of set theory. But it seems that in order to prove this simple fact we need the "full power" of mathematics! For example by an ...
1
vote
0answers
149 views

Is there a non-trivial consistency preserving transformation?

In ‎set ‎theory ‎"equiconsistency" (and not "consistency") ‎of ‎the ‎theories ‎is the‎ ‎main ‎part ‎of ‎researches. ‎So ‎we ‎usually ‎try ‎to ‎construct a‎ ‎new model ‎using a‎ ‎given ‎one. ‎In ‎the ...
10
votes
1answer
359 views

Proof-Theoretic Ordinal of ZFC or Consistent ZFC Extensions?

Let the proof theoretic ordinal $\alpha$ of a theory $T$ be the least recursive ordinal such that $T$ does not prove that $\alpha$ is well-founded. This ordinal is intended to quantify in some sense ...
12
votes
3answers
733 views

Where is the end of universe?

In some sense the empty set ($\emptyset$) and the global set of all sets ($G$) are the ends of the universe of mathematical objects. The world which $ZFC$ describes has an end from the bottom and is ...
14
votes
4answers
436 views

Does the existence of the von Neumann hierarchy in models of Zermelo set theory with foundation imply that every set has ordinal rank?

Let $T$ be the theory consisting of Zermelo's original set theoretic axioms (extensionality, empty set, pairing, union, powerset, infinity, separation, choice) together with foundation. Put more ...
-2
votes
3answers
466 views

Can different extensions of ZF have contradictory consequences for first-order arithmetic?

My question is basically, does there exist a statement X independent of ZF such that ZF + X implies a statement P of first-order arithmetic, but ZF + not X implies not P? Now X cannot be the axiom ...
2
votes
1answer
417 views

Surreal numbers and large cardinals

This is a question in two parts about the interaction of surreal numbers and large cardinals, in both cases just a request for references on the subject. Part 1 is about foundations. Much of the ...
17
votes
6answers
1k views

Where in ordinary math do we need unbounded separation and replacement?

[I have updated the question after initial comments in the hope of clarifying it.] I do quite a bit of reasoning, typically about topology and metric spaces, in "non-standard" foundations, such as ...
0
votes
1answer
186 views

Good set theory in which to study ordinal-indexed sequences?

I'd like to "model" the absolute complement of a set $X$ as the ordinal-indexed sequence $\alpha \mapsto V_\alpha \setminus X$ where $V_\alpha$ is the $\alpha$ stage of the cumulative hierarchy. My ...
1
vote
1answer
217 views

Finite level super classes over ZFC

My question is: "Is it possible to have a sound and rigorous legitimation of the following construction ?". This construction is: 0/ Let ZFC be the usuel set theory, and let us add to the language ...
3
votes
1answer
349 views

Should functions be assumed to behave like the identity function when evaluated outside their domain?

Suppose we have a set $f$ of ordered pairs (so not a triple $(X,Y,f)$ but just the $f$) and suppose that $f$ has the appropriate property such that we can view $f$ as a function. Formally, we wish to ...
6
votes
11answers
2k views

A function that is defined everywhere but has unknown values [closed]

For pedagogical purposes I am looking for a function $\mathbb{N}\to\mathbb{N}$ that is defined everywhere but has most of its values unknown. Although such a function cannot be simple by definition, ...
4
votes
1answer
298 views

weakening naive comprehension to avoid the paradoxes

Weakening the axiom of naive comprehension has not been a popular way of escaping from the set-theoretic paradoxes because no consistent weakenings seem to be particularly well motivated or even to ...
1
vote
1answer
301 views

Tarski-Grothendieck set theory, the axiom of pairing and the axiom of specification

I am building upon MO question 102846 concerning the Tarski-Grothendieck set theory (TG). I have two questions; 1/ I think that it is possible that the axiom of pairing (axiom 4 of the TG theory ...
4
votes
2answers
683 views

Large cardinals without the ambient set theory?

In an attempt to understand a bit better large cardinals, I have been thinking along the following lines, which could be summarized under the slogan Talk about cardinals without the (ambient) ...
7
votes
8answers
2k views

ULTRAINFINITISM, or a step beyond the transfinite

Cantor has, in the immortal words of D. Hilbert, given all of us a paradise (or perhaps, I would rather say, a great vacation spot), the TRANSFINITE. $\aleph_0, \aleph_1,\aleph_2\dots$ the lists ...
8
votes
1answer
327 views

Ultimate Maximality Principle

I wonder if it's possible to formulate an "ultimate" maximality principle (UMP) and prove its consistency. I envision UMP to express the idea that no matter how we enlarge the universe of set theory V ...
2
votes
1answer
225 views

comprehension and ideal elements

A not uncommon thought in philosophy is that we should distinguish (in philosophy, anyway) between "sparse" ("real", "serious") and "abundant" ("ideal", "superficial") properties/classes and ...
16
votes
0answers
346 views

Are there lightweight foundations for arbitrarily extendable objects?

My experience with foundations is rather scant, but I've run into some types of objects that seem to resist the sort of set-theoretic encoding schemes via Kurowski tuples that are rather common for ...
5
votes
1answer
509 views

Some questions about Ackermann set theory

In a comment on this site Andreas Blass stated: "To fit this situation into my philosophical point of view, I'd say that what Ackermann's theory calls proper classes are really certain sets. That ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Set-theoretical multiverse and foundations

I just had a look to the article The set theoretical multiverse by (mo user) J.D.Hamkins. Not being a logician and not knowing forcing techniques, I couldn't fully appreciate the mathematical ideas, ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Foundations: Existence of uncountable ordinals.

This isn't really a research question, but at least it's research-level mathematics. I'm talking with some other people about the first uncountable ordinal, and I want some facts to inform this ...
9
votes
3answers
694 views

On a weak choice principle

[PLEASE SEE EDITS AT BOTTOM OF QUESTION] Consider the following set-theoretic axiom: For each set $X$ there exists a set-indexed collection $\{C_i \to X\}_{i\in I_X}$ of surjections such that for ...
6
votes
2answers
549 views

Sets as Combinatorial Games

Just a few days ago my seemingly eternal and recurrent fascination for Conway's combinatorial game theory (CGT) & surreal numbers had a recrudescence, so I grabbed this excellent survey, and began ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Martin's “Philosophical Issues about the Hierarchy of Sets”

Some months ago (October 2010), in the context of the Workshop on Set Theory and the Philosophy of Mathematics, Professor Donald A. Martin gave a talk entitled "Philosophical issues about the ...
9
votes
6answers
876 views

(Non?)-linearity of the consistency strength ordering in ZF

Much of the research taking place in set theory, is related to the classification of sentences according to their consistency strength relative to ZF. In order to be more specific, we say that for all ...
30
votes
6answers
4k views

Why hasn't mereology suceeded as an alternative to set theory?

I have recently run into this wikipedia article on mereology. I was surprised I had never heard of it before and indeed it seems to be seldom mentioned in the mathematical literature. Unlike set ...
7
votes
3answers
857 views

Kunen's use of Countable Transitive Models

Hi, I have a doubt concerning Kunen's exposition of forcing in his classical book (arguably $the$ book on forcing). When dealing with Countable Transitive Models to set up the forcing machinery, ...
9
votes
2answers
578 views

Consistent hierarchy of axiomatic systems

First of all, I am not an expert in model theory. I just want to get my personal view on the foundations of mathematics straight. I just learned in Sergey Melikhov's answer to another question ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Concrete models of abstract structures

Most mathematicians seem to be contented with the fact, that abstract structures cannot be directly modelled as such in a set theory without ur-elements. What seems to me the standard stance: Set ...
4
votes
4answers
922 views

Subsystems of Peano arithmetic and incompleteness theorem

I think everyone is familiar with Goedel's incompleteness theorems. In particular they imply that PA (Peano arithmetic) can not prove its own consistency. Now my question is what is the largest ...
2
votes
0answers
145 views

Multitype approaches to choice?

I wonder if anyone has developed a set theory which approaches the issue of the non-emptiness of products of non-empty sets via a hierarchy of types (comparable to how Von Neumann–Bernays–Gödel set ...