first,I think we can avoid set theory to bulid the first order logic , by the operation of the finite string.but I have The following questions:
How does "meta-logic" work. I don't really know this stuff yet, but from what I can see right now, meta-logic proves things about formal languages and logics in general. But does it use some logic to do so? Like if I want to prove that two formal languages are equivalent in some respect, aren't I presupposing a "background" formal language? And won't my choice of a "background" (meta) language affect what I can and can't demonstrate? For example, what logic was Godel using when he proved his famous theorems? Was it a bivalent one? A three valued logic? etc
In short,I'm still not sure how reasoning about all possible formal languages work. For example, suppose I say something of the form "for all formal theories, F, if F has property X, then F must have property Y". If I wanted to prove something like that, how does such very general reasoning work? What I mean is that in such a proof, what kind of logic would be employed (for example, would it be a two valued logic?), and does the choice of logic affect the outcome? Do logicians agree on some kind of meta-meta logic, which they use to reason about absolutely everything? Or do they just choose their favorite one?
if metalogic is just predicate logic,It seems circular to me! we build the theory of predicate logic by using predicate logic?For example, in proving some theorem in the object language we seem to assume that it is already correct (in the metalanguage). Or defining some connective in the object language, we use that connective in the metalanguage to do so. It's like they're saying "Alright guys! We are going to prove a bunch of stuff about logic! Oh, by the way, you have to take all this stuff we are about to prove for granted, but don't worry, that's just the "metalanguage"." Something about this seems wrong to me. Maybe I have misunderstood?