Ehrenfeucht’s lemma asserts that whenever one element of a model of Peano arithmetic is definable from another, they satisfy different types. We consider here the analogue of Ehrenfeucht’s lemma for models of set theory. The original argument applies directly to the ordinal-definable elements of any model of set theory, and, in particular, Ehrenfeucht’s lemma holds fully for models of set theory satisfying . We show that the lemma fails in the forcing extension of the universe by adding a Cohen real. We go on to formulate a scheme of natural parametric generalizations of Ehrenfeucht’s lemma, namely, the principles of the form , which asserts that -definability from implies -discernibility. We also consider various analogues of Ehrenfeucht’s lemma obtained by using algebraicity in place of definability, where a set is algebraic in if it is a member of a finite set definable from . Ehrenfeucht’s lemma holds for the ordinal-algebraic sets, we prove, if and only if the ordinal-algebraic and ordinal-definable sets coincide. Using a similar analysis, we answer two open questions posed earlier by the third author and C. Leahy, showing that (i) algebraicity and definability need not coincide in models of set theory and (ii) the internal and external notions of being ordinal algebraic need not coincide.
"Ehrenfeucht’s Lemma in Set Theory." Notre Dame J. Formal Logic 59 (3) 355 - 370, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1215/00294527-2018-0007