# Fruitful and helpful ordinal functions

Archive for Mathematical Logic 47 (7-8):677-709 (2008)

# Abstract

In Simmons (Arch Math Logic 43:65–83, 2004), I described a method of producing ordinal notations ‘from below’ (for countable ordinals up to the Howard ordinal) and compared that method with the current popular ‘from above’ method which uses a collapsing function from uncountable ordinals. This ‘from below’ method employs a slight generalization of the normal function—the fruitful functions—and what seems to be a new class of functions—the helpful functions—which exist at all levels of the function space hierarchy over ordinals. Unfortunately, I was rather sparing in my description of these classes of functions. In this paper I am much more generous. I describe the properties of the helpful functions on all finite levels and, in the final section, indicate how they can be used to simplify the generation of ordinal notations. The main aim of this paper is to fill in the details missing from [7]. The secondary aim is to indicate what can be done with helpful functions. Fuller details of this development will appear elsewhere

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