Ordinals are Well-Ordered/Proof 1

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The ordinals are well-ordered.


Recall that the Ordinals are Totally Ordered.

Let $A$ be a non-empty set of ordinals.

Let $\alpha \in A$.

Let $B = \alpha^+ \cap A$, where $\alpha^+$ denotes the successor set of $\alpha$.

Recall that $\alpha^+$ is an ordinal.

Note that $\alpha \in B$, so $B$ is non-empty.

By Intersection is Subset, $B \subseteq \alpha^+$.

It follows that there exists a smallest element $\kappa$ of $B$.

We claim that $\kappa$ is the smallest element of $A$.

So let $\beta \in A$. We need to show that $\kappa = \beta$ or $\kappa \in \beta$.

By Ordinal Membership is Trichotomy, either $\beta \in \alpha^+$, $\alpha^+ = \beta$, or $\alpha^+ \in \beta$.

If $\beta \in \alpha^+$, then $\beta \in B$; it follows by the definition of $\kappa$ that $\kappa = \beta$ or $\kappa \in \beta$.

If $\alpha^+ = \beta$ or $\alpha^+ \in \beta$, then it follows by the transitivity of $\beta$ that $\alpha^+ \subseteq \beta$.

Since $\kappa \in \alpha^+$, it follows that $\kappa \in \beta$.