Topic Archive: virtual large cardinals
Given a very large cardinal property $\mathcal A$, e.g. supercompact or extendible, characterized by the existence of suitable set-sized embeddings, we define that a cardinal $\kappa$ is virtually $\mathcal A$ if the embeddings characterizing $\mathcal A$ exist in some set-forcing extension. In this terminology, the remarkable cardinals introduced by Schindler, which he showed to be equiconsistent with the absoluteness of the theory of $L(\mathbb R)$ under proper forcing, are virtually supercompact. We introduce the notions of virtually extendible, virtually $n$-huge, and virtually rank-into-rank cardinals and study their properties. In the realm of virtual large cardinals, we can even go beyond the Kunen Inconsistency because it is possible that in a set-forcing extension there is an embedding $j:V_\delta^V\to V_\delta^V$ with $\delta>\lambda+1$, where $\lambda$ is the supremum of the critical sequence. The virtual large cardinals are much smaller than their (possibly inconsistent) counterparts. Silver indiscernibles possess all the virtual large cardinal properties we will consider, and indeed the large cardinals are downward absolute to $L$. We give a tight measure on the consistency strength of the virtual large cardinals in terms of the $\alpha$-iterable cardinals hierarchy. Virtual large cardinals can be used, for instance, to measure the consistency strength of the Generic Vopěnka’s Principle, introduced by Bagaria, Schindler, and myself, which states that for every proper class $\mathcal C$ of structures of the same type, there are $B\neq A$ both in $\mathcal C$ such that $B$ embeds into $A$ in some set-forcing extension. This is joint work with Ralf Schindler.