# Tagged Questions

Proof theory is an area of logic that studies proof as formal mathematical objects. If you'd like advice on the presentation of a proof you have in draft, use proof-writing instead. If you'd like feedback on its validity, use proof-verification. If none of the above apply, you do not need a proof-* ...

10k views

Are there some proofs that can only be shown by contradiction or can everything that can be shown by contradiction also be shown without contradiction? What are the advantage/disadvantages of proving ...
5k views

### Are the “proofs by contradiction” weaker than other proofs?

I remember hearing several times the advice that, we should avoid using a proof by contradiction, if it is simple to convert to a direct proof or a proof by contrapositive. Could you explain the ...
13k views

### 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 ...
657 views

### 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] ...
4k views

### Tricks for Constructing Hilbert-Style Proofs

Several times in my studies, I've come across Hilbert-style proof systems for various systems of logic, and when an author says, "Theorem: $\varphi$ is provable in system $\cal H$," or "Theorem: the ...
4k views

### Why an inconsistent formal system can prove everything?

I am reading a Set Theory book by Kunen. He presents first-order logic and claims that if a set of sentences in inconsistent, then it proves every possible sentence. Since he does not explicitly ...
433 views

### Aftermath of the incompletness theorem proof

This is somewhat of a minor point about the incompletness theorem, but I'm always a little unsure: So one proves that there is a formula which is unprovable in the theory of consideration. Okay, at ...
6k views

### Are proofs by contradiction really logical?

Let's say that I prove statement $A$ by showing that the negation of $A$ leads to a contradiction. My question is this: How does one go from "so there's a contradiction if we don't have $A$" to ...
2k views

### If all sets were finite, how could the real numbers be defined?

An extreme form of constructivism is called finitisim. In this form, unlike the standard axiom system, infinite sets are not allowed. There are important mathematicians, such as Kronecker, who ...
2k views

### Aren't constructive math proofs more “sound”?

Since constructive mathematics allows us to avoid things like Russell's Paradox, then why don't they replace traditional proofs? How do we know the "regular" kind of mathematics are free of paradox ...
3k views

### 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?
9k views

### Difference between “Show” and “Prove”

In many mathematics problems you see the phrase "prove that..." or "show that..." something is. What's the difference between these two phrases? Is "showing" something different from "proving" ...
443 views

### Are there “essentially non-constructive” statements?

There exist constructive and non-constructive proofs. Sometimes, for a mathematical statement, we can have both non-constructive and a constructive proof. However, are there statements for which ...
2k views

### Definition of “non-constructive proof”

I was wondering if it is possible to define exactly what a non-constructive (nc) proof is. I have often seen the concept associated with the use of principles such as the axiom of choice or the law of ...
2k views

### What is the difference between ⊢ and ⊨?

I want to know the difference between ⊢ and ⊨. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_logic_symbols ⊢ means ”provable” But ⊨ is used exactly the same: ...
781 views

### Is the negation of the Gödel sentence always unprovable too?

The incompleteness theorem says that certain theories+deduction system contain at least one sentence (the Gödel sentence "$G$"), which can't be proven (in the system in which it holds). (i) Is ...
466 views

### Can it be shown that ZFC has statements which cannot be proven to be independent, but are?

I am familiar with the concept that a statement can be proven indepent such as in the case of the continuum hypothesis where both ZFC+CH and ZFC+(CH is false) are both proven consistent, but I would ...
472 views

### Can Robinson's Q prove Presburger arithmetic consistent?

I made an assertion in What are some examples of theories stronger than Presburger Arithmetic but weaker than Peano Arithmetic? that Q has higher consistency strength than Pres, Presburger arithmetic; ...
3k views

260 views

### Complexity of verifying proofs

My question can be read on many levels and so I welcome answers to any reading. The general question is: What is the computational complexity of verifying a proof? One way of looking at a ...
179 views

### Learning how to prove that a function can't proved total?

In proof-theory one can prove that in, say, Peano Arithmetic one can't prove a function $f$ total. Often this seems to mean $f$ is growing too fast to be provably total. I have some background in ...
216 views

### What is the proof-theoretic ordinal of the first-order theory of real closed fields?

I recently asked a question on MathOverflow, concerning a predicative second-order theory of real numbers. Now the standard way of developing predicativity in the case of second-order arithmetic is ...
156 views

### 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 theorem)...
608 views

### 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 ...
439 views

### Proof that SAT is NPC

I am not really sure I understand the idea behind Cook theorem (it says that SAT is a NP-complete problem). I read the proof with all its parts corresponding to the Turing machine TM solving it (TM ...
94 views

### Quasi-interactive proof on real numbers

[This is a cleaner and simpler restatement of a question I asked earlier on Theoretical CS forum. Please re-tag as appropriate.] Suppose you have two oracles (black boxes) that represent real numbers....
136 views

### 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] {\...
320 views

### Löb's theorem and provability

I learned Löb's theorem. As I understanding, if a statement is formed like "I am provable", the statement should be provable. I want to ask further about Löb's theorem. There is two sentences, P and ...
Currently, I am dealing with the calculus of natural deduction by Gentzen. This calculus gives us rules to manipulate so-called sequents. Definition. If $\phi_1,\dots, \phi_n,\phi$ are formulas, then ...
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 \$\...