Friday, May 10, 201310:00 amSet theory seminarGC 5383

Algebraicity and implicit definability in set theory

Joel David Hamkins

The City University of New York

Joel David Hamkins

An element a is definable in a model M if it is the unique object in M satisfying some first-order property.  It is algebraic, in contrast, if it is amongst at most finitely many objects satisfying some first-order property φ, that is, if { b  |  M satisfies φ[b] } is a finite set containing a. In this talk, I aim to consider the situation that arises when one replaces the use of definability in several parts of set theory with the weaker concept of algebraicity. For example, in place of the class HOD of all hereditarily ordinal-definable sets, I should like to consider the class HOA of all hereditarily ordinal algebraic sets. How do these two classes relate? In place of the study of pointwise definable models of set theory, I should like to consider the pointwise algebraic models of set theory. Are these the same? In place of the constructible universe L, I should like to consider the inner model arising from iterating the algebraic (or implicit) power set operation rather than the definable power set operation.  The result is a highly interest new inner model of ZFC, denoted Imp, whose properties are only now coming to light.  Is Imp the same as L?  Is it absolute? I shall answer all these questions at the talk, but many others remain open.

This is joint work with Cole Leahy (MIT).

Abstract on my blog | Related MathOverflow post

Professor Hamkins (Ph.D. 1994 UC Berkeley) conducts research in mathematical and philosophical logic, particularly set theory, with a focus on the mathematics and philosophy of the infinite.  He has been particularly interested in the interaction of forcing and large cardinals, two central themes of contemporary set-theoretic research.  He has worked in the theory of infinitary computability, introducing (with A. Lewis and J. Kidder) the theory of infinite time Turing machines, as well as in the theory of infinitary utilitarianism and, more recently, infinite chess.  His work on the automorphism tower problem lies at the intersection of group theory and set theory.  Recently, he has been preoccupied with various mathematical and philosophical issues surrounding the set-theoretic multiverse, engaging with the emerging debate on pluralism in the philosophy of set theory, as well as the mathematical questions to which they lead, such as in his work on the modal logic of forcing and set-theoretic geology.