[FOM] Non-absoluteness and Replacement
joeshipman at aol.com
Tue May 22 13:43:37 EDT 2007
Randall Holmes has argued that the intuitive picture of the cumulative
hierarchy V, along with the intuitive principle that any "Universe" we
have our hands on can be extended, do not in fact suffice to justify
the Axiom of Replacement.
Specifically, if we have a definable proper class function F with
domain a set A, it is not possible to argue that F[A] must be a set on
the grounds that you can just extend the universe so that the old class
of ordinals becomes a set ordinal, because if F is defined by a formula
which contains quantifiers over the whole universe V, the meaning of
the quantifiers changes when the universe is extended past the old
V_omega, and the class F[A] may have a different extension after the
extension. (The pun was unintentional, but I don't see a better way to
Holmes points out that you can at least motivate Sigma_2 Replacement,
along these lines, because Sigma_2 formulas are absolute in an
Can anyone suggest an example of a (previously known) theorem in ZFC
whose proof requires more than Sigma_2 Replacement?
I don't think it will be easy to find such an example.
It is reminiscent of the situation in a recent post of mine, where I
argued against large cardinal axioms which are defined with reference
to arbitrarily large sets, as too vague, and suggested they be replaced
with "internal" axioms (so instead of assuming "there exists a
supercompact cardinal", assume "there exists kappa such that V_kappa |=
'there exists a supercompact cardinal' "). I don't think we lose any
consistency strength in this way, and we get to avoid formulas higher
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