Proof theory is an area of logic that studies proof as formal mathematical objects. For questions asking how to write proofs or for checking an informal proof, please use the proof-writing or proof-strategy tags instead.

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Is it possible that “A counter-example exists but it cannot be found”

Then otherwise the sentence "It is not possible for someone to find a counter-example" would be a proof. I mean, are there some hypotheses that are false but the counter-example is somewhere we ...
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The approximation rule implies the equality rule in systems of type assignments

I'm reading Barendregt's Lambda calculi with types (1992). In Proposition 4.1.4.1., he "proves" a lemma which shows the approximation rule implies the equality rule in typed lambda-calculi à la ...
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Proof by contradiction and order of statements

Order matters, take sequences tending towards a limit: $$\forall\epsilon>0\exists N\in\mathbb{N}:n>N\implies|x_n-L|<\epsilon$$ "For all $\epsilon$ there exists an $N$" is totally different to ...
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proof of validity of tautology in first order logic

Every first-order logic formula which has a tautological shape in propositional logic is a valid formula. Will it be possible to give a formal proof for the above ? Thanks and Regards.
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Show that if $3\mid(a^2+1)$ then $3$ does not divide $(a+1)$.

Show that if $3\mid(a^2+1)$ then $3$ does not divide $(a+1)$. using proof of contradiction can someone prove this using contradiction method please
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Does generalization of axioms apply also to theorems?

In Enderton's book "A Mathematical Introduction to Logic" (second edition), he includes six axiom groups, and allows also for a generalization of those axioms such that if $\Psi$ is an axiom then ...
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Intuitionistic Linear Logic

I am currently going through some papers that use the "intuitionistic version" of Girard's Linear Logic. Problem is, i seem to find very little literature on it. There is a lot done on Linear Logic ...
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Are geometric proofs less reliable than others?

When I submit a homework with a proof that uses a graph, ball, shape etc., most of the time the professors are not happy with them. They respond with a statement like: "The proof you made seems very ...
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1answer
27 views

Introduction to functional interpretations

Any good recomendations for an introduction to functional interpretations? I understand this is a little vague but i haven't had much contact with the area. I am particularly interested in the ...
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1answer
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First order logic - how to prove a specific part of the completeness theorem?

I am working with the proof system for FOL described in Chang and Keisler. It contains the following axiom schemes: $\alpha \to (\beta \to \alpha)$ ...
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assuming the conclusion

A natural deduction proof goes from premmisses to conclusion, and under normal circumstances you will not assume the conclusion. Sometimes you may assume the negation of the conclusion and do some ...
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1answer
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Double Negation is sequent calculus systems LK and LJ

In sequent calculus LK (see Gaisi Takeuti, Proof Theory (2nd ed - 1987)) we have a "standard" derivation of Double Negation in the form $\rightarrow \lnot \lnot A \supset A$. We have to start from an ...
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1answer
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Proof negation in Gentzen system

I am provided with the L¬ and R¬ Gentzen rules for negation (besides “Cut” rule and some rules for ⋀ and →): $${\Gamma\vdash\Delta,\varphi\over \Gamma,\lnot\varphi\vdash \Delta}\ L\lnot \\[4ex] ...
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1answer
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Can all theorems of $\sf ZFC$ about the natural numbers be proven in $\sf ZF$?

I know a proof of Hindman's theorem that uses ultrafilters on the natural numbers, and ultimately, the axiom of choice. But the theorem itself is essentially a combinatorial property of the natural ...
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1answer
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Does second-order arithmetic (Z2) prove soundness and uniform reflection for first-order arithmetic (PA)?

(1) Does full second-order arithmetic (Z2) prove soundness and uniform reflection schemas for first-order arithmetic (PA)? That is, do we have for all formulas $\phi$: $$ \underset \phi \forall \; ...
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1answer
66 views

Infinitely many proofs?

While compiling a list of my favorite proofs of the infinitude of primes, the following came to mind; Proposition: There are infinitely many non-isomorphic proofs of the infinitude of primes. I'm ...
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1answer
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If $\phi$ is $\Delta^{0}_{1}$ in the language of arithmetic, does Heyting Arithmetic prove $\forall x [\phi (x) \vee \neg \phi (x)]$?

PA is conservative over HA for $\Pi^{0}_{2}$ sentences. If $\phi$ is $\Delta^{0}_{1}$, then $\forall x [\phi (x) \vee \neg \phi (x)]$ is equivalent to a $\Pi^{0}_{2}$ sentence. Since PA trivially ...
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Do we know if there exist true mathematical statements that can not be proven?

Given the set of standard axioms (I'm not asking for proof of those), do we know for sure that a proof exists for all unproven theorems? For example, I believe the Goldbach Conjecture is not proven ...
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What are those “things that cannot be proved using only ordinary rules of inference”?

The online edition of the book Introduction to Logic by Michael Genesereth and Eric Kao, has a detail that left me confused. CHAPTER 4 [...] 4.2 Linear Proofs [...] The ...
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Probability of 2 identical events

My professor said that probability of 2 identical events in a very short amount of time (dt converges to 0) is 0. However, I did not agree with him about this. Is there a proof for that assertion? ...
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2answers
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Proof for $\{p,p\rightarrow (q\rightarrow r)\}\vdash (p\rightarrow q)\rightarrow r$ in HR

I can't find a for $\{p,p\rightarrow (q\rightarrow r)\}\vdash (p\rightarrow q)\rightarrow r$ in HR HR is the following system: axioms: $A\rightarrow A$ $(A\rightarrow B)\rightarrow ((B\rightarrow ...
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Give a proof that “p & ~p” implies “q”?

Context: This is not a textbook or homework problem. I was hoping you younger folks could help my tired old brain. "Everybody knows" a contradiction implies anything. What I'm looking for is a ...
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How to prove the mathematical induction is true?

I have no idea about the underlying theory from which the mathematical induction was derived. How to prove the mathematical induction is true?
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Greatest Common Divisor written proof

Here is what I am trying to prove: Let $a,b,c,d \in ℤ_+$ with gcd$(a,b)=1$. If $a|c$ and $b|c$, prove that $ab|c$. Does the result hold if gcd $(a,b)\neq 1$ ? I know that gcd $(a,b)=1$ can be ...
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1answer
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Help with positive- and negative-forms in Proof Theory

I need help in understanding a device used bu Kurt Schütte, Proof Theory (1977). In treating classical sentential calculus, he use - in place of truth-tables - the device of positive- and ...
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Who stole the axioms in Natural Deduction?

The study of Gentzen's sequent calculus give me the opportunity to propose some reflections about the concept of logical truth. I'll refer to the english edition of Gentzen's works : The collected ...
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Girard's System $F$ (also named Polymorphism)

I have been studying Girard's Polymorphism and a question came to my mind: why is it (also) called system $F$? Where does the $F$ come from? (i searched it online but didn't get any luck...)
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On Pudlak's “Life in an Inconsistent World”

In his Logical Foundation of Mathematics and Computational Complexity (2013), Pavel Pudlak invites the readers to ponder about fictitious people whose natural numbers are nonstandard. His exposition ...
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1answer
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Enumeration of proofs

Is it possible to enumerate short proofs of short statements, so as to make sure that, say, Goldbach's conjecture doesn't have one of those? How hard would it be? Is it being done? It's seems likely ...
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How to prove consistency of Natural Deduction systems

In Dag Prawitz, Natural Deduction A Proof-Theoretical Study (1965), we have the system I of intuitionistic (first-order) logic based on eleven introduction- and elimination-rules : the 3 couples for ...
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1answer
42 views

“Measure” of induction for cut-elimination in sequent calculus

I'm not very familiar with proof thoery, so I'm in trouble understanding different versions of the proof of the Cut-elimination Theorem for sequent calculus. In Sara Negri & Jan von Plato, ...
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Restrictive Rules for LK System

I have a question regarding the restrictive nature of $\forall(R)$ and $\exists(L)$ rules in sequent calculus LK. I don't really understand why the restrictions exists in the first place, so why: $$ ...
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Proof of $(\forall x. \varepsilon(x)) \Rightarrow \bot $ in $\lambda\pi $ calculus $\equiv$

What is the right representation of the proof of $(\forall x. \varepsilon(x)) \Rightarrow \bot $ in simple type theory as a term of $\lambda\pi $ calculus $\equiv$? Note on notation: The epsilon ...
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Goodstein's theorem without transfinite induction

Is it possible to prove Goodstein's theorem without transfinite induction? Is there such a proof?
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1answer
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Are coinductive proofs necessary?

I've been exploring corecursion in Coq (specifically, infinite streams of natural numbers) lately and so far any coinductive predicate I've constructed and its coinductive proof can be transformed ...
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1answer
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Proofs whose length depends on the input

This may be a question from proof theory, but I'm not sure, since I don't know any proof theory. What I will be asking about is what happens, if the length of a proof isn't fixed: I'm going to present ...
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1answer
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Can necessity rule be derived from box introduction rule?

I need to find a proof of $\top \vdash \Box \top$ (where $\top$ is the truth constant and $\Box$ is the necessity modal operator) in the natural deduction system of IS4 modal logic. In the axiomatic ...
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1answer
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Is this deduction in normal form?

Definition: A deduction is in normal form if there is no formula which is a conclusion of an introduction rule and the main premise of the elimination rule of the same connective. So, in a natural ...
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1answer
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A problem about sequent calculus for classical logic

In Sara Negri & Jan von Plato, Structural Proof Theory (2001), page 51, various properties of the system G3cp of classical propositional logic are showed. Theorem 3.1.1 [page 49] proves that all ...
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Proof-theoretic characterization of the primitive recursive functions?

The total recursive functions are exactly those number-theoretic functions that can be represented by a $\Sigma_1$ formula of first-order arithmetic. Is there a similar characterization of the ...
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What is the “correct” reading of $\bot$?

I have some doubts about the "natural" interpretation of $\bot$ in Natural Deduction and sequent calculus. In Prawitz (1965) $\bot$ (falsehood or absurdity) is called a sentential constant [page 14] ...
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1answer
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On provability within minimal logic

In its most naive form my question boils down to this: when is a proposition that is provable "by contradiction" also provable "directly"? IOW, is it possible to know, a priori, that a ...
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Unique set of inference rules for a deductive system?

I have the impression that for a deduction system there are many sets of inference rules to describe it. Simple example, the inference rules for (classical or intuitionistic, this is not the matter) ...
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Non-self-referential undecidable sentences in arithmetic

Are there any known undecidable sentences for PA are neither "self-referential" (like a sentence equivalent to its own nonprovability) nor imply consistency of PA (like in the Paris Harrington ...
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1answer
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What are various proofs good for?

There are plenty of questions around here, which are proven to be right or wrong in various ways. I wonder, what one can learn from these differing ways of how to prove something, despite the fact ...
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If it takes infinite steps to prove a statement, is that a valid proof?

In Cantor's diagonal argument, it takes (countable) infinite steps to construct a number that is different from any numbers in a countable infinite sequence, so in fact the proof takes infinite steps ...
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Proofs with binary trees [duplicate]

Now I have a binary tree which is How would I go about proving binary tree with $n$ leaves has exactly $2 n - 1$ nodes ?
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Using rules of inference (Leibniz) to prove theorems.

Leibniz: If $A \equiv B$ is a theorem, then so is $C[p:= A] \equiv C[p:= B]$. Note: p is "fresh" means p doesn't occur in $A, B, C$. I am trying to understand how to use Leibniz rule of inference for ...
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1answer
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Natural Deduction rules for $\lnot$ in classical and intuitionstic logic

Following the very useful answer by Peter Smith to my prevoius post , I'm still reflecting about the "imperfection" connected with the Intro- ans Elim-rules for $\lnot$ in Natural Deduction (I mean ...
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2answers
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A question about consistent fragments of formalized mathematical theories with Natural Deduction

In Dag Prawitz, Natural Deduction A Proof-Theoretical Study (1965), we have the system I of intuitionistic (first-order) logic based on eleven introduction- and elimination-rules : the 3 couples for ...