Some Formal Considerations on Gabbay's Restart Rule in Natural Deduction and Goal-Directed Reasoning

In We Will Show Them! Essays in Honour of Dov Gabbay, volume 1. pp. 701-null (2005)
In this paper we make some observations about Natural Deduction derivations [Prawitz, 1965, van Dalen, 1986, Bell and Machover, 1977]. We assume the reader is familiar with it and with proof-theory in general. Our development will be simple, even simple-minded, and concrete. However, it will also be evident that general ideas motivate our examples, and we think both our specific examples and the ideas behind them are interesting and may be useful to some readers. In a sentence, the bare technical content of this paper is: Extending natural deduction with global well-formedness conditions can neatly and cheaply capture classical and intermediate logics. The interest here is in the ‘neatly’ and ‘cheaply’. By ‘neatly’ we mean ‘preserving proof-normalisation’,1 and ‘maintaining the subformula property’, and by ‘cheaply’ we mean ‘preserving the formal structure of deductions’ (so that a deduction in the original system is still, formally, a deduction in the extended system, and in particular it requires no extra effort to write just because it is in the extended system). To illustrate what we have in mind consider intuitionistic first-order logic (FOL) [van Dalen, 1986] as a paradigmatic example of a formal notion of deduction. A natural deduction derivation (or deduction) is an inductively defined tree structure where each node contains an instance of a formula. A deduction is valid when each successive node follows from its predecessors in accordance with some predetermined inference rules. A particular attraction of Natural Deduction is its clean and economical presentation. Here for example are deduction (fragments) proving A ∧ B from A and B, and ∀x. (P (x) ∧ Q(x)) from ∀x. P (x) and ∀x. Q(x): ∀x. P (x) (∀E).
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