We showed that formulas are absolute among transitive models of (enough) set theory, and used this to prove that satisfiability for transitive sets is absolute. More precisely, let mean that is a transitive set , codes a formula , is a tuple of elements of , and . Then is . Using this and the reflection theorem we can conclude that is actually the extent of absoluteness in set theory, meaning that whenever there is a finite such that is absolute for transitive models of , then is (provably equivalent to) a statement.

We exhibited a few formulas that are not absolute. For example, “ is a cardinal” and “,” although both are and therefore relativize downwards.

The main application of the absoluteness of satisfiability is that it allows us to define the constructible hierarchy and Gödel’s constructible universe .

Remark. On the other hand, we cannot define in general satisfiability for transitive classes, by Tarski’s undefinability of truth theorem. The difference with the case of sets is that with sets the recursive definition of involves several bounded quantifiers, ranging over finite powers of . With general proper classes , these quantifiers would be unbounded. An easy inductive argument shows that we can define partial satisfiability predicates (and therefore partial truth predicates), meaning that for each natural number and each class we can find a formula that defines satisfiability for formulas with respect to ; although we cannot in general find a uniform definition that works simultaneously for all .

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Georgii: Let me start with some brief remarks. In a series of three papers: a. Wacław Sierpiński, "Contribution à la théorie des séries divergentes", Comp. Rend. Soc. Sci. Varsovie 3 (1910) 89–93 (in Polish). b. Wacław Sierpiński, "Remarque sur la théorème de Riemann relatif aux séries semi-convergentes", Prac. Mat. Fiz. XXI (1910) 17–20 […]

It is not possible to provide an explicit expression for a non-linear solution. The reason is that (it is a folklore result that) an additive $f:{\mathbb R}\to{\mathbb R}$ is linear iff it is measurable. (This result can be found in a variety of places, it is a standard exercise in measure theory books. As of this writing, there is a short proof here (Intern […]

Stefan, "low" cardinalities do not change by passing from $L({\mathbb R})$ to $L({\mathbb R})[{\mathcal U}]$, so the answer to the second question is that the existence of a nonprincipal ultrafilter does not imply the existence of a Vitali set. More precisely: Assume determinacy in $L({\mathbb R})$. Then $2^\omega/E_0$ is a successor cardinal to ${ […]

Marginalia to a theorem of Silver (see also this link) by Keith I. Devlin and R. B. Jensen, 1975. A humble title and yet, undoubtedly, one of the most important papers of all time in set theory.

Given a positive integer $a$, the Ramsey number $R(a)$ is the least $n$ such that whenever the edges of the complete graph $K_n$ are colored using only two colors, we necessarily have a copy of $K_a$ with all its edges of the same color. For example, $R(3)= 6$, which is usually stated by saying that in a party of 6 people, necessarily there are 3 that know e […]

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$L$ has such a nice canonical structure that one can use it to define a global well-ordering. That is, there is a formula $\phi(u,v)$ that (provably in $\mathsf{ZF}$) well-orders all of $L$, so that its restriction to any specific set $A$ in $L$ is a set well-ordering of $A$. The well-ordering $\varphi$ you are asking about can be obtained as the restriction […]

Gödel sentences are by construction $\Pi^0_1$ statements, that is, they have the form "for all $n$ ...", where ... is a recursive statement (think "a statement that a computer can decide"). For instance, the typical Gödel sentence for a system $T$ coming from the second incompleteness theorem says that "for all $n$ that code a proof […]

When I first saw the question, I remembered there was a proof on MO using Ramsey theory, but couldn't remember how the argument went, so I came up with the following, that I first posted as a comment: A cute proof using Schur's theorem: Fix $a$ in your semigroup $S$, and color $n$ and $m$ with the same color whenever $a^n=a^m$. By Schur's theo […]

It depends on what you are doing. I assume by lower level you really mean high level, or general, or 2-digit class. In that case, 54 is general topology, 26 is real functions, 03 is mathematical logic and foundations. "Point-set topology" most likely refers to the stuff in 54, or to the theory of Baire functions, as in 26A21, or to descriptive set […]