In this article we study the strength of absoluteness (with real parameters) in various types of generic extensions, correcting and improving some results from [3]. (In particular, see Theorem 3 below.) We shall also make some comments relating this work to the bounded forcing axioms BMM, BPFA and BSPFA.
The statement “ absoluteness holds for ccc forcing” means that if a formula with real parameters has a solution in a ccc set-forcing extension of the universe V, then it already has a solution in V. The analogous definition applies when ccc is replaced by other set-forcing notions, or by class-forcing.
Theorem 1. [1] absoluteness for ccc has no strength; i.e., if ZFC is consistent then so is ZFC + absoluteness for ccc.
The following results concerning (arbitrary) set-forcing and class-forcing can be found in [3].
Theorem 2 (Feng-Magidor-Woodin). (a) absoluteness for arbitrary set-forcing is equiconsistent with the existence of a reflecting cardinal, i.e., a regular cardinal κ such that H(κ) is ∑2-elementary in V.
(b) absoluteness for class-forcing is inconsistent.
We consider next the following set-forcing notions, which lie strictly between ccc and arbitrary set-forcing: proper, semiproper, stationary-preserving and ω1-preserving. We refer the reader to [8] for the definitions of these forcing notions.
Using a variant of an argument due to Goldstern-Shelah (see [6]), we show the following. This result corrects Theorem 2 of [3] (whose proof only shows that if absoluteness holds in a certain proper forcing extension, then in L either ω1 is Mahlo or ω2 is inaccessible).