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Cantor and Gödel Refuted

# Cantor and Gödel Refuted

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07/25/2014

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CANTOR

AND

GÖDEL

REFUTED

:CANTOR AND GÖDEL REFUTED
J. A. PEREZ
A
bstract
.
This article undertakes a critical reappraisal o arguments in supporto Cantor’s theory o transnite numbers.

The ollowing results are reported:
-
Cantor’s proos o nondenumerability are reuted by analyzing the logicalinconsistencies in implementation o the
reductio
method o proo and byidentiying errors. Particular attention is given to the diagonalization argumentand to the interpretation o the axiom o innity.
-
Three constructive proos have been designed that support the denumerability o the power set o the natural numbers,

N
)
, thus implying the denumerability o the set o the real numbers

. These results lead to a Theorem o the Continuumthat supersedes Cantor’s Continuum Hypothesis and establishes the countablenature o the real number line, suggesting that all innite sets are denumerable.Some immediate implications o denumerability are discussed:
-
Valid proos should not include inconceivable statements, dened as statementsthat can be ound to be alse and always lead to contradiction. This is ormalizedin a Principle o Conceivable Proo.
-
Substantial simplication o the axiomatic principles o set theory can beachieved by excluding transnite numbers. To acilitate the comparison o sets,innite as well as nite, the concept o relative cardinality is introduced.
-
Proos o incompleteness that use diagonal arguments (e.g. those used in Gödel’sTheorems) are reuted.

A constructive proo, based on the denumerability o

N
)
,is presented to demonstrate the existence o a theory o rst-order arithmetic thatis consistent, sound, negation-complete, decidable and (assumed p.r. adequate)able to prove its own consistency. Such a result reinstates Hilbert’s Programmeand brings arithmetic completeness to the oreront o mathematics.2000
Mathematics Subject Classifcation
. Primary 03B0, 03E30, 03E50; Secondary 03F07, 03F40.
. T
he
I
nconsIstency

of

ZFCThe consistency o classical set theory, more precisely the combination o the Zermelo-Fraenkel axioms and the Axiom o Choice (ZFC)

[
35,39,56
]
, hasrecently been challenged by the construction o a proo o Goodstein’s Theoremin rst-order arithmetic
[
55
]
. Goodstein’s Theorem is a statement about basicarithmetic sequences and, as such, has a purely number-theoretic character

[
36,56,59
]
. It was originally proved, not by means o rst-order arithmetic, butby using the well-ordered properties o transnite ordinals

[
36,56
]
. It was later
a  r   X   i  v  :   1   0   0   2 .   4   4   3   3  v   1   [  m  a   t   h .   G   M   ]   2   5   F  e   b   2   0   1   0

J. A. PEREZ2
2. C
antorIan
M
atheMatIcs
When Georg Cantor established the oundations o set theory, his primaryobjective was to provide rigorous operational tools with which to characterise theevasive and largely paradoxical concept o innity

[
5,23
]
. He built on the work o Dedekind who, by elaborating on the observations made by Galileo and Bolzanoon the nature o innite systems
[
5
]
, dened a set
S
as innite when it is possibleto put all its elements into one-to-one correspondence with the elements o atleast one o its proper subsets; that is, to show that both set and subset havethe same cardinality
[
5,26,27
]
.
This property (not shared by nite sets) providedshown by Paris and Kirby to be unprovable in Peano Arithmetic (PA), with aproo that needs both transnite induction and Gödel’s Second IncompletenessTheorem

[
46,59
]
. A previous result was required, i.e. the proo o the consistencyo PA, also achieved by transnite induction

[
29,30
]
. Consequently, i PA werecapable o proving Goodstein’s Theorem, PA would also be able to prove its ownconsistency, thus violating Gödel’s Second Theorem
[
46
]
. Hence, the claim wasmade that PA cannot prove Goodstein’s Theorem. Since this claim has now beendisproved
[
55
]
, it is important to establish the cause o the inconsistency o ZFC. While the problem may lie with the ormulation o the axioms o ZFC, it is alsopossible that it lies in one or more o the basic concepts underlying the claim o Paris and Kirby
[
46
]
. This article undertakes a systematic review o these keyconcepts, namely transnite number theory and mathematical incompleteness.The article starts with a review o Cantorian mathematics (Section 2). Section 3deals with Cantor’s proos o nondenumerability and provides a methodicalreutation o all the main rationales by showing logical inconsistencies and byidentiying errors. Section 4 describes constructive arguments that prove thecountable nature o the power set o the natural numbers

N

)
and, consequently,o the set o real numbers

.The reutation o Cantor’s proos and the demonstration o denumerabilityhave proound implications or many areas o mathematics. Section 5 proposesa simple and practical principle to avoid fawed implementation o the
reductio
method o proo. Section 6 introduces a number o conjectures, principles anddenitions that may lead to the simplication o the axiomatic principles o settheory, and provide the means to compare quantitatively the size o innite sets.Cantor’s diagonalization argument was widely adopted as a method o proo inthe eld o logic

[
20,37
]
and its implementation is central to important resultson mathematical incompleteness by Gödel and others

[
3,59
]

. The reutationo the diagonalization argument is extended in Section 7 to the various prooso arithmetic incompleteness. The denumerability o

N

)
is used to constructa proo or the completeness o rst-order arithmetic that conrms the abovereutations and reinstates Hilbert’s Programme

[
4,59
]

[
55
]
, achieve the mathematical consistencythat Cantorian mathematics ailed to deliver.

3CANTOR

AND

GÖDEL

REFUTED
the ormal denition o innity which Cantor used as the starting point or hisdevelopment o the subject.It is important to emphasize that the critical issue at the heart o Cantor’streatment o innity is the ability (or inability) to nd a one-to-one correspondence(bijection) between two innite sets, thus determining whether or not thecardinality o one set is greater than the cardinality o the other
[
2,5,35
]
. Inthis way, Cantor was able to prove, or the rst time, that the set o rationalnumbers
has the same cardinality as the set o natural numbers
N
, despitehaving a much higher density on the number line
[
2,6,35
]
. The same could besaid o the set o algebraic real numbers
[
6
]
. Accordingly, Cantor coined theterm ‘denumerable’ or all those innite sets which could be put into one-to-onecorrespondence with
N

[
2,6,

44
]
.Cantor’s correspondence with Dedekind
[
28
]
shows how the ailure o hisrepeated attempts to establish the denumerability o the set
o all real numbers(transcendental as well as algebraic) eventually drove him to contemplate thepossibility o the opposite being true, that is, that the cardinality o
(whichCantor named
c
, the power o the continuum) might be greater than thecardinality o
N
(which he named
0

, the rst ‘aleph’). Cantor published the rst
reductio
proo supporting nondenumerability in 874, using the construction o a sequence o nested closed bounded intervals on the real number line, whichallowed him to claim that

c

>

0

[
6
]
.The subsequent development o Cantor’s theory o transnite numbers (ordinaland cardinal) depended entirely on his ability to prove conclusively the existenceo innite sets o ever growing cardinality. His rst assumption was that innitieslarger than
c
would be ound when moving rom the real number line to thetwo-dimensional plane and, rom there, to higher dimensions. However, Cantor was very surprised to nd this was not the case
[
7,28
]
, as he conded to Dedekindin 877 when he amously wrote “
Je le vois, mais je ne le crois pas
[
28
]
.Cantor’s ailure to justiy greater innities (beyond

c

) was nally overcome in89 by the publication o his amous diagonalization argument
[
8,28
]
. This new proo succeeded by extending his previous result o 874 to ever higher innities via the cardinality o the power set
[
8
]
. Cantor’s Theorem, as it was coined in 908by Zermelo when describing his own more set-theoretical proo
[
62
]
, states thatthe cardinality o the power set

A

)
o any set
A
is larger than the cardinalityo set
A
itsel, i.e.|
A
|

<

|

A

)
|. When applied to
N
, this theorem translates into|
N
|<|

N

)
|(i.e.
0

<

2
0

). Since it is possible to prove that|
|=|

N

)
|
[
35,

49
]
,the implication is that

c

=

2
0

>

0

, which brings again Cantor’s previous result.The importance o Cantor’s Theorem rests on the act that the application o thesame rule to subsequent sets (starting with|

)
|=|

N

))
|>|

N

)
|, and so on)generates a never ending sequence o larger and larger cardinalities. These werethe higher innities that Cantor had ailed to identiy in dimensions beyond thereal number line
[
7
]
. Cantor’s Theorem makes the existence o power sets anessential ingredient o the oundational principles o set theory, as highlightedby its ormulation among the Zermelo-Fraenkel (ZF) axioms
[
35,

56
]
.Cantor rst proposed his Continuum Hypothesis (CH) in 878, and spent