Next: Hilbert
Skolem, like Löwenheim, adopts the notation of Schröder.
The 1919 paper has three important parts:
And Skolem notes that the final form of such a quantifier-free formula is equivalent to a Boolean combination of assertions about the sizes of the constituents. Thus he has a precise handle on the expressive power of the Calculus of Classes. Because of the clarity of Skolem's work he is often regarded as the inventor of quantifier elimination. This seems rather unfair to the pioneering work of Boole and Schröder.
In this paper Skolem first introduces what is now called the Skolem
normal form, namely to each first-order statement
he associates
an
sentence
which is obtained via a simple combinatorial
procedure, and has the essential property that
is satisfiable on a
given domain iff
is satisfiable on the same domain. He shows
that if an
statement is satisfiable on an infinite
domain, it must also be satisfiable on a countable subdomain.
Thus he has a slick proof of Löwenheim's theorem on countermodels.
His proof technique is completely different from that of Löwenheim,
making use of the notion of ``subuniverse generated by'' which he has
learned from Dedekind's work. For model theorists it gives more
information than Löwenheim's theorem -- but it requires stronger
methods, namely the Axiom of Choice. Also he generalizes Löwenheim's
theorem to cover a countable set of statements. This will later be needed for
the Skolem Paradox in set theory.
Now Skolem turns to an analysis of the Calculus of Groups as presented
in Schröder -- in modern terminology this is just lattice theory,
whereas the Calculus of Classes is the theory of power sets, as Boolean
algebras.
He is interested in determining the
first-order consequences of the Calculus of Groups -- in modern
terminology he is studying the (first-order) theory of
lattices.
His main achievement here is to give an algorithm to decide which
universally quantified statements are consequences of the lattice
axioms.
In this section he looks at some consequences of first-order
axioms for geometry.
Shifting gears he shows that the
-categoricity of (Q,<), the
rationals with the usual ordering (proved by Cantor), could be
generalized by adding finitely many dense and cofinal subsets
which partition Q.
We have already spoken about the importance of this paper in the section
on set theory -- the recommendation that first-order properties be
used,
that a stronger axiom (replacement) be added, and the observation that
if Zermelo's set theory has a model, it has a countable model by
the Löwenheim-Skolem theorem.
Also in this paper he returns to the proof of Löwenheim's
countermodel theorem, noting that his 1920 proof had used the Axiom of Choice;
and now, in a paper on set theory, he finds it appropriate to eliminate this
usage.
He gives a very clean version of Löwenheim's proof for a first-order
statement (without equality). Except for the use of his normal form from the
1920 paper, it is essentially Löwenheim's proof, the canonical construction of a countermodel.
This paper is based on a talk Skolem gave earlier that year. And in it we
see him describe an alternative to the ususal method of ``derivation from
axioms'' that has become common in logic, an alternative that he
suggests is superior. Actually, he only gives an example, but the idea
is clearly that of Löwenheim, namely to use the countermodel construction.
It is surprising that he doesn't mention Löwenheim here.
The technique of replacing the existential quantifiers by appropriate functions symbols to get a universal sentence is clearly explained by example -- and becomes known as Skolemization. He goes on to show how one can build up the elements of the potential countermodel using these Skolem functions -- this will become known as the Herbrand universe. Skolem's example does not indicate the full power of Löwenheim's method because he does not deal with equality.
Next: Hilbert
Mon Feb 3 18:32:11 EST 1997