On the proof-theoretic foundation of general definition theory

Synthese 148 (3):589 - 602 (2006)
Abstract
A general definition theory should serve as a foundation for the mathematical study of definitional structures. The central notion of such a theory is a precise explication of the intuitively given notion of a definitional structure. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the proof theory of partial inductive definitions as a foundation for this kind of a more general definition theory. Among the examples discussed is a suggestion for a more abstract definition of lambda-terms (derivations in natural deduction) that could provide a basis for a more systematic definitional approach to general proof theory.
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