Steps Towards a Proof-Theoretical Semantics

Topoi 31 (1):67-75 (2012)


The aim of this paper is to reconsider several proposals that have been put forward in order to develop a Proof-Theoretical Semantics, from the by now classical neo-verificationist approach provided by D. Prawitz and M. Dummett in the Seventies, to an alternative, more recent approach mainly due to the work of P. Schroeder-Heister and L. Hallnäs, based on clausal definitions. Some other intermediate proposals are very briefly sketched. Particular attention will be given to the role played by the so-called Fundamental Assumption. We claim that whereas, in the neo-verificationist proposal, the condition expressed by that Assumption is necessary to ensure the completeness of the justification procedure ( from the outside , so to speak), within the definitional framework it is a built-in feature of the proposal. The latter approach, therefore, appears as an alternative solution to the problem which prompted the neo-verificationists to introduce the Fundamental Assumption

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Enrico Moriconi
University of Pisa

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