# Tagged Questions

For question in Proof Theory, where "proofs" themselves are the object of mathematical investigation. It is not to be used to request a proof of some result.

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### How fast can the base-bumping function in Goodstein's theorem grow?

In the usual presentation of Goodstein's theorem, the base is bumped up by the "add 1" function. Does the theorem still hold when we replace this function by a fast-growing one (e.g. Ackermann or busy ...
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### Ackermann function in the Primitive recursive arithmetic

Hello. I study primitive recursive arithmetic and have the following questions. 1) Is it possible to express in the PRA that Ackermann function is total? 2) If yes, is such expression decidable in ...
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### Proving inequalities over algebraic structures

I've been looking at proof techniques in formal systems like Coq and Agda recently, and encountered the newring tactic described here for proving equalities over ...
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### When is a statement provable?

We all know that Gödel showed that there, in a formal system, are true statements that are non-provable (undecidable). In ZFC, there's Kaplansky's Conjecture, the Whitehead problem, etc. We can also ...
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### How do proof verifiers work?

I'm currently trying to understand the concepts and theory behind some of the common proof verifiers out there, but am not quite sure on the exact nature and construction of the sort of systems/proof ...
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### Most general formulation of Gödel's incompleteness theorems

Modern statements of Gödel's incompleteness theorems are usually in terms of first-order predicate logic. However, I've often read the claim that they extend to arbitrary formal systems that can prove ...
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### Do you know any good introductory resource on sequent calculus?

I'm looking for a good introductory resource on sequent calculus suitable for someone who has studied natural deduction before. Books and online resources are both OK, as long as each rule of ...
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### Bourbaki's epsilon-calculus notation

Bourbaki used a very very strange notation for the epsilon-calculus consisting of $\tau$s and $\blacksquare$. In fact, that box should not be filled in, but for some reason, I can't produce a \Box. ...
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### Reductio ad absurdum or the contrapositive?

From time to time, when I write proofs, I'll begin with a claim and then prove the contradiction. However, when I look over the proof afterwards, it appears that my proof was essentially a proof of ...
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### Strong induction without a base case

Strong induction proves a sequence of statements $P(0)$, $P(1)$, $\ldots$ by proving the implication "If $P(m)$ is true for all nonnegative integers $m$ less than $n$, then $P(n)$ is true." for ...
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### cut elimination

What is the cut rule? I don't mean the rule itself but an explanation of what it means and why are proof theorists always trying to eliminate it? Why is a cut-free system more special than one with ...
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### Axiom systems and Information Theory

Is there a concept of "information" with respect to the axioms of a mathematical system? Suppose we have a universe U of theorems. Suppose an axiom system A=(a1,a2,...) has the universe U as the ...
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### Are there any good nonconstructive “existential metatheorems”?

Are there any good examples of theorems in reasonably expressive theories (like Peano arithmetic) for which it is substantially easier to prove (in a metatheory) that a proof exists than it is ...
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### Can infinity shorten proofs a lot?

I've just been asked for a good example of a situation in maths where using infinity can greatly shorten an argument. The person who wants the example wants it as part of a presentation to the general ...