Harmonising Natural Deduction

Synthese 163 (2):187 - 198 (2008)
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Prawitz proved a theorem, formalising 'harmony' in Natural Deduction systems, which showed that, corresponding to any deduction there is one to the same effect but in which no formula occurrence is both the consequence of an application of an introduction rule and major premise of an application of the related elimination rule. As Gentzen ordered the rules, certain rules in Classical Logic had to be excepted, but if we see the appropriate rules instead as rules for Contradiction, then we can extend the theorem to the classical case. Properly arranged there is a thoroughgoing 'harmony', in the classical rules. Indeed, as we shall see, they are, all together, far more 'harmonious' in the general sense than has been commonly observed. As this paper will show, the appearance of disharmony has only arisen because of the illogical way in which natural deduction rules for Classical Logic have been presented



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Hartley Slater
University of Western Australia

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