The Successor Axiom asserts that every number has a successor, or in other words, that the number series goes on and on ad infinitum. The present work investigates a particular subsystem of Frege Arithmetic, called F, which turns out to be equivalent to second-order Peano Arithmetic minus the Successor Axiom, and shows how this system can develop arithmetic up through Gauss' Quadratic Reciprocity Law. It then goes on to represent questions of provability in F, and shows that F can prove its own consistency and indeed the consistency of stronger systems. So, arithmetic without the Successor Axiom has an exceptional combination of three chracteristics: it is natural, it is strong, and it proves its own, as well as stronger systems’, consistency.
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