Alpha-conversion, conditions on variables and categorical logic

Studia Logica 48 (3):319 - 360 (1989)
We present the paradigm of categories-as-syntax. We briefly recall the even stronger paradigm categories-as-machine-language which led from -calculus to categorical combinators viewed as basic instructions of the Categorical Abstract Machine. We extend the categorical combinators so as to describe the proof theory of first order logic and higher order logic. We do not prove new results: the use of indexed categories and the description of quantifiers as adjoints goes back to Lawvere and has been developed in detail in works of R. Seely. We rather propose a syntactic, equational presentation of those ideas. We sketch the (quasi-equational) categorical structures for dependent types, following ideas of J. Cartmell (contextual categories). All these theories of categorical combinators, together with the translations from -calculi into them, are introduced smoothly, thanks to the systematic use of– - an abstract variable-free notation for -calculus, going back to N. De Bruijn, – - a sequent formulation of the natural deduction.
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DOI 10.1007/BF00370828
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