Harmony, Normality and Stability


The paper begins with a conceptual discussion of Michael Dummett's proof-theoretic justification of deduction or proof-theoretic semantics, which is based on what we might call Gentzen's thesis: 'the introductions constitute, so to speak, the "definitions" of the symbols concerned, and the eliminations are in the end only consequences thereof, which could be expressed thus: In the elimination of a symbol, the formula in question, whose outer symbol it concerns, may only "be used as that which it means on the basis of the introduction of this symbol".' The intuitive philosophical content of Dummett's notions of harmony and stability is that harmony obtains if the grounds for asserting a proposition match the consequences of accepting it, and stability obtains if the converse also holds. Rules of inference define the meanings of a logical constant they govern if and only if they are stable. Gentzen observed that 'it should be possible to establish on the basis of certain requirements that the elimination rules are functions of the corresponding introduction rules.' One of the objectives of this paper is to specify such a function: I will specify a process by which it is possible to determine the elimination rules of logical constants from their introduction rules, and conversely, to determine the introduction rules from the elimination rules. I'll give the general forms of rules of inference and generalised reduction procedures for the normalisation of deduction. I'll give a formally precise characterisations of harmony and stability and show that deductions in logics that contain only constants governed by stable rules always normalise.



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Nils Kürbis
Ruhr-Universität Bochum

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Bilateral Inversion Principles.Nils Kürbis - 2022 - Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 358:202–215.

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