The wholeness axiom and Laver sequences

Annals of Pure and Applied Logic 105 (1-3):157-260 (2000)
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In this paper we introduce the Wholeness Axiom , which asserts that there is a nontrivial elementary embedding from V to itself. We formalize the axiom in the language {∈, j } , adding to the usual axioms of ZFC all instances of Separation, but no instance of Replacement, for j -formulas, as well as axioms that ensure that j is a nontrivial elementary embedding from the universe to itself. We show that WA has consistency strength strictly between I 3 and the existence of a cardinal that is super- n -huge for every n . ZFC + WA is used as a background theory for studying generalizations of Laver sequences. We define the notion of Laver sequence for general classes E consisting of elementary embeddings of the form i :V β → M , where M is transitive, and use five globally defined large cardinal notions – strong, supercompact, extendible, super-almost-huge, superhuge – for examples and special cases of the main results. Assuming WA at the beginning, and eventually refining the hypothesis as far as possible, we prove the existence of a strong form of Laver sequence for a broad range of classes E that include the five large cardinal types mentioned. We show that if κ is globally superstrong, if E is Laver-closed at beth fixed points, and if there are superstrong embeddings i with critical point κ and arbitrarily large targets such that E is weakly compatible with i , then our standard constructions are E -Laver at κ . , there is an extendible Laver sequence at κ .) In addition, in most cases our Laver sequences can be made special if E is upward λ -closed for sufficiently many λ



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