Arithmetic Proof and Open Sentences

Philosophy Study 2 (1):43-50 (2012)
If the concept of proof (including arithmetic proof) is syntactically restricted to closed sentences (or their Gödel numbers), then the standard accounts of Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems (and Löb’s Theorem) are blocked. In these standard accounts (Gödel’s own paper and the exposition in Boolos’ Computability and Logic are treated as exemplars), it is assumed that certain formulas (notably so called “Gödel sentences”) containing the Gödel number of an open sentence and an arithmetic proof predicate are closed sentences. Ordinary usage of the term “provable” (and indeed “unprovable”) favors their restriction to closed sentences which unlike so-called open sentences can be true or false. In this paper the restricted form of provability is called strong provability or unprovability. If this concept of proof is adopted, then there is no obvious alternative path to establishing those theorems.
Keywords Logic  Godel's Thorem  Proof Theory
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