I know that assuming axiom of choice or equivalently Zorn's lemma , it can be proved that every non-trivial ring with unity has a maximal ideal (two sided ) . The wiki article on axiom of choice says that this statement regarding existence of maximal ideal in any non-trivial ring with unity is equivalent to axiom of choice , but I am not able to prove this converse implication . Please help . Thanks in advance .

  • $\begingroup$ Do you expect to be able to prove everything that is mentioned in Wikipedia? Some proof are difficult, and require more than a handful of preliminary theorems under your belt. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila
    Apr 8, 2015 at 13:22
  • $\begingroup$ This has come up before. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila
    Apr 8, 2015 at 13:23
  • $\begingroup$ See W. Hodges: Krull implies Zorn $\endgroup$
    – martini
    Apr 8, 2015 at 13:27
  • $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila : Can you at least please give a reference ? $\endgroup$
    – user228168
    Apr 8, 2015 at 13:27
  • $\begingroup$ @martini : I don't have access ... $\endgroup$
    – user228168
    Apr 8, 2015 at 13:28

1 Answer 1


The proof is not trivial to come by.

Originally given by Hodges, the proof shows a variant of Zorn's lemma can be proved from the assertion that every commutative ring with a unit has a maximal ideal.

Wilfrid Hodges, Krull implies Zorn, J. London Math. Soc. (2) 19 (1979), no. 2, 285--287.

Some decades later, Banaschewski gave a somewhat different proof of that same fact.

Bernhard Banaschewski, A new proof that “Krull implies Zorn”, Math. Logic Quart. 40 (1994), no. 4, 478--480.

Both paper are not long, and quite readable granted that you're comfortable with reading choice-related papers.

Marcel Erné, A primrose path from Krull to Zorn, Comment. Math. Univ. Carolin. 36 (1995), no. 1, 123–-126.

Is also related to this proof, although I haven't really read that one.

  • $\begingroup$ No . the "A New Proof ..." paper also is not open access .. $\endgroup$
    – user228168
    Apr 8, 2015 at 13:35
  • $\begingroup$ I said "the last one", and I posted three. You're talking about the second. :-) $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila
    Apr 8, 2015 at 13:39
  • $\begingroup$ yeah right :-) . But , is there any open access link to the second? $\endgroup$
    – user228168
    Apr 8, 2015 at 13:41
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know. I use a paywall from my university. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila
    Apr 8, 2015 at 13:44
  • $\begingroup$ I'll add that of the three, I definitely prefer the original paper by Hodges. I find it the easiest to digest. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila
    Apr 8, 2015 at 13:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy