[FoM] What is a proof?

William Tait wwtx at earthlink.net
Tue Oct 28 18:00:54 EST 2003

On Oct 28, 2003, at 11:42 AM, John T. Baldwin wrote:

> This reply also partly addresses Tait's remarks concerning normal 
> forms of proofs.  To avoid terminological confusion (partly engendered 
> by my
> contentious phrasing of `what is a proof')  I repeat my defintion
> Standard Definition. 1. A proof is a sequence of propositions each of 
> which is either an axiom or follows from those earlier in the list by 
> a rule of inference.


You first raised an interesting question about the explanatory content 
of proofs---and THEN  gave a definition of proof which for-ordained a 
negative answer. Your definition is `standard' only in logic textbooks 
which are interested, not in proofs, but in provability. I had intended 
to be improving your question.


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