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You are on page 1of 52

1 Introduction to Metatheory 2

1.1 Metatheory: What? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

3 Soundness 16

3.1 Soundness - The Basic idea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

3.2 Soundness of the Simpler System SD& . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

3.3 Soundness for SD& - in the form presented in the textbook . . 27

3.4 A complication - extra assumptions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

3.5 Aside: Some Useful Facts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

3.6 A Slightly Trickier Case: Conditional Introduction . . . . . . . 45

3.7 Negation Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

1

1. Introduction to Metatheory

1.1. Metatheory: What?

ular system SL for representing arguments.

sentences of SL, which allowed us to classify arguments

into valid and invalid.

SL from a set of premises in SL.

ship of these two concepts of good argument to one an-

other?

2

The concepts of these two types of good argument

are entirely different.

the other has to do with inferences that can be broken

down into small, fundamental steps.

these senses have to be good in another.

But in fact, as well learn in the next two weeks these two

concepts count exactly the same arguments from SL as

good ones.

3

There are two big results and one medium-sized result on

the agenda for the coming three weeks.

derivable in SD from premises in the set , then it is a

truth-functional consequence of .

In symbols, S S

The second big result will be the topic for the following

two weeks:

is a truth-functional consequence of then S is derivable

in SD from .

In symbols: S S

4

2. Adequate sets of connectives

result: that the connectives we are given in SL are ade-

quate to express all truth-functions.

complete for what I am calling adequate to express all

truth functions. I prefer adequate for... because it

doesnt create confusion with the use of complete in

the completeness theorem.)

an expression that Ive been using informally:

truth-value to every possible collection of n truth-values.

function is the rule represented by a truth-table for n

sentence letters.

5

Now you might ask: is there a truth-function or truth-

table that we cant write as a sentence in the language

SL?

value to all the combinations of n truth-values is the

truth-table corresponding to some sentence of SL with

n sentence letters.

combinations of n truth-values is the truth-table for some

sentence of SL that contains only the connectives & ,

and , plus instances of n sentence letters.

6

The proof of this turns out to be straightforward: there

is a mechanical procedure that takes a truth-table cor-

responding to a truth function and gives you a sentence

in SL containing just &, and , which has the given

truth-table.

Example:

A B ?

T T F

T F T

F T F

F F T

You want to produce a sentence of SL that has exactly

that truth-table.

7

Lets break down the truth-table line by line. Heres the

rst line:

A B ?

T T F

You can think of this line as this outcome for the two

possibilities A and B: A happens, and B happens.

A&B.

tence for the row to describe the property of correspond-

ing to a row in this way.)

possibility doesnt occur.

8

Now lets look at the second line:

A B ?

T F T

You can think of this line as this outcome for the two

possibilities A and B: A happens, and B doesnt hap-

pen.

A& B.

possibility does occur.

9

So lets look at the truth table, indicating for each line

the associated sentence that would be true if that line is

the one that actually happens.

Associated Sentence A B ?

A&B T T F

A& B T F T T-table says this one might occur

A&B F T F

A& B F F T T-table says this one might occur

it indicates that exactly which ones it says might oc-

cur by tagging them with T.

calls true on exactly those possibilities marked T, by tak-

ing the disjunction of the associated sentences on the

T lines:

(A& B) (A& B)

10

In table form:

A B (A& B) (A& B)

T T F

T F T

F T F

F F T

11

This procedure can be carried out for any truth table.

Say you are given this truth table:

A B C ?

T T T F

T T F F

T F T T

T F F F

F T T F

F T F T

F F T F

F F F T

A B C ?

T T T F

T T F F

T F T T

T F F F

F T T F

F T F T

F F T F

F F F T

12

Then write the associated sentences: the conjunction of

sentence letters (when the sentence letter gets T on that

row) and negated sentence letters (when the sentence let-

ter gets F on that row):

A B C ?

T T T F

T T F F

A& B&C T F T T

T F F F

F T T F

A&B& C F T F T

F F T F

A& B& C F F F T

and you have a sentence that has the given truth-table.

T T T F

T T F F

T F T T

T F F F

F T T F

F T F T

F F T F

F F F T

13

Further observations:

to the De Morgan Laws:

ing just , & to an equivalent sentence containing just

, & or a sentence containing just , .

though I wont prove that here. If you are curious, check

out the textbook website solutions to (unstarred) prob-

lem 6.2E #4 (p. 243))

14

In fact, you can give a single connective that is adequate

for all truth-functions.

will work.

on to soundness.

You can see the truth-table for the two universal connec-

tives in problems p. 243 6.2 E # 5 and # 6.

15

3. Soundness

3.1. Soundness - The Basic idea

There are two things you need to note about the proof of

the soundness theorem.

tive structure is straightforward.

made up of shorter proofs.

(!) cases.

The number may seem daunting, but each case is simi-

lar, and well take them one at a time.

16

3.2. Soundness of the Simpler System SD&

basic structure of the inductive argument if you have

too many cases to check, so I want to consider a sim-

pler derivation system rst.

From the proof for this system we can get a sense of what

the inductive argument overall looks like. The full sound-

ness theorem diers from this one only in that you have

more rules to check in the inductive step.

only rules are the & E rule and the & I rule.

the very beginning of a proof. No further assumptions

once the proof gets started.

SD& S.

17

Claim: SD& S S. (i.e. SD& is sound.)

might turn out to be false. [The point is to show that it

this wont happen.]

nd such a {P1, P2, . . . , Pn} and S.

sentence letters in the sentences in {P1, P2, . . . , Pn, S}

that would make all the sentences in {P1, P2, . . . , Pn}

true, and would make S false.

assignment W because it will be useful to have a label

for it.

18

OK, now lets think about what it means to say

{P1, P2, . . . , Pn} SD& S.

& E and & I, that takes P1, P2, . . . , Pn as assumptions,

and has S as its last line.

on what Truth-assignment W does:

P2 Assumption (Assigned T by Truth Assignment W)

...

...

...

...

19

Lets look at the sentences in the lines between the premises

and the conclusion S, and ask: what truth-value do these

sentences get?

P2 Assumption (Assigned T by Truth Assignment W)

..

.

Pn Assumption (Assigned T by Truth Assignment W)

D1 (Assigned ? by Truth Assignment W)

D2 (Assigned ? by Truth Assignment W)

D3 (Assigned ? by Truth Assignment W)

..

.

Di (Assigned ? by Truth Assignment W)

S (Assigned F by Truth Assignment W)

20

Here is a key point: If we start out with a string of Ts,

and at some point we end up with an F, there must be a

first line at which an F appears:

P2 Assumption (Assigned T by Truth Assignment W)

..

.

Pn Assumption (Assigned T by Truth Assignment W)

D1 (Assigned T by Truth Assignment W)

D2 (Assigned T by Truth Assignment W)

D3 (Assigned T by Truth Assignment W)

.. ..

. .

..

. (All sentences here assigned T by Truth Assignment W)

.. ..

. .

Dj (Assigned T by Truth Assignment W)

Dj+1 (Assigned F by Truth Assignment W!!!)

..

.

Di (Assigned ? by Truth Assignment W)

S (Assigned F by Truth Assignment W)

21

To repeat: if you have a derivation in SD& whose premises

are assigned true and whose conclusion is assigned false,

then there must be a rst line of the derivation at which

the sentence on that line is assigned false.

have such a rst line at which a sentence is assigned F,

we thereby show that its impossible to have a derivation

of a false conclusion from true premises using SD&!

to check one line! We dont have to consider the entire

derivation.

simplify the task: we can assume that all the lines prior

to the one we are checking get assigned T .

the induction hypothesis is.

22

To be clear on the point, Ill review how we got here.

outlined, of S from {P1, P2, . . . , Pn}.

{P1, P2, . . . , Pn} S.

ing the premises true and S false.

gets called F by W (with all lines higher in the derivation

called T). This is the key point that allows us to apply

induction.

line in a derivation in SD& that infers a false line from

two or more true lines (given some background truth as-

signment).

23

How do we show that? Well, fortunately, SD& involves

just two rules, and they are both simple. We have two

possibilities, putting a magnifying glass on the lines where

the F rst appears:

We could have:

Dm (Assigned T by Truth Assignment W)

...

Dj+1 = Dj &Dm by & I (Assigned F by Truth Assignment W)

...

24

Or we could have:

...

Dj+1 by & E (Assigned F by Truth

...

In both of these cases, you can just draw the truth tables

to show that this cant happen (I will leave it as an exer-

cise for you to draw them):

also be true.

25

And that, in a nutshell, is the inductive part of the sound-

ness proof. The proof for the full system SD just involves

checking more rules.

is a bit more intricate.

But the basic idea remains the same: Show that no sin-

gle inference in SD can take you from true premises to a

false conclusion.

premises of that inference truth-functionally entail the

conclusion of the inference.

26

3.3. Soundness for SD& - in the form presented in the textbook

Now I want to make the proof a bit closer to the full proof

for SD.

I still want to stick with the simpler system SD& for this

example, but Ill set up the argument as an explicit in-

ductive argument.

restriction we made about SD&: the only assumptions

that occur in a proof in SD& are the ones gathered right

at the beginning. No more assumptions once the proof

gets started.

stated in terms of a single truth assignment that makes

all the premises true.

you are considering , which involves all possible truth-

assignments.

27

Instead of thinking of ourselves as saying:

this truth assignment W, lets make sure that applying

&E or & I one more time wont get me something false

on W.

functional consequence of the premises, lets make sure

that applying &E or &I one more time wont get me

something that isnt a truth-functional consequence of

the premises.

28

OK: Say we are given a set of sentences, and SD& S

using a proof of k lines. We want to show that S.

just one line long.

tion:

1 S Assumption

be true and S false on any truth assignment, so:

S.

case usually is.

29

Now for the induction step. Consider k > 0. As the

induction hypothesis, we assume that:

k lines, then S.

able from with a derivation of exactly k lines, then

S.

pothesis is a way of saying Lets say we havent derived

anything bad yet.

then Ill show that applying the rules just one more time

isnt going to produce anything bad.

30

We just have to check two cases: on the last line, S can

be justied using & E or S can be justied using &I.

must be of the form S1&S2 for some sentences S1 and S2.

Sentences from

...

i S1

... ...

j S2

... ...

k S1&S2 i, j &I

31

Note that both S1 and S2 are derived from by deriva-

tions with fewer than k lines.

This means that they fall within the scope of the induc-

tion hypothesis, which gives us:

S1 and S2.

induction is right here:

- i.e. about truth-tables, which we can use to prove

what we are trying to prove.

32

Now we reason this way: Say we have a truth-assignment

W that makes every sentence in true.

if S1 and S2 are assigned T by W then S1&S2 must be

assigned T by W as well.

in true, the fact that W must make S1&S2 true as well

tells us that S1&S2

introduced using & E.

33

Then we have one of these two situations:

Sentences from

...

i S1&S2

... ...

k S1 i, &E

Sentences from

...

i S1&S2

... ...

k S2 i, &E

with fewer than k lines.

34

This means that it falls within the scope of the induction

hypothesis, which gives us:

S1&S2.

fact about derivations, and the induction hypothesis al-

lows us to get a fact about truth-functional consequence.

the truth table for &: Any truth assignment that makes

S1&S2 true makes S1 true, and makes S2 true.

true makes S1 true and makes S2 true.

So: S1 and S2

35

So thats it: Thats the complete soundness proof for

SL&. The full induction proof for SL is more compli-

cated, but the basic structure of the induction is the same.

of all, of course, there are more rules to check.

But also, the rules of & I and & E are particularly sim-

ple as far as this proof is concerned because they dont

require any additional assumptions in the course of the

proof.

I and E require a bit more bookkeeping.

36

3.4. A complication - extra assumptions

SL& I made the simplifying restriction that the deriva-

tions had all of their assumptions at the top, with no

further assumptions in the course of the derivation.

will need a bit more nesse.

37

Say we have a derivation that looks like this - omitting

all but the relevant details.

Sentences from

..

.

i S1

.. ..

. .

i1 S1a

.. ..

. .

j S2

.. ..

. .

j1 S2a

k S3

curred in the derivation, we can say simply that S

i1, but we cannot say that S1a, because we made the

additional assumption of S1 along the way, and S1a is in

its scope.

38

(Repeating the diagram to be able to refer to it without scrolling back.)

Sentences from

..

.

i S1

.. ..

. .

i1 S1a

.. ..

. .

j S2

.. ..

. .

j1 S2a

k S3

and of S2a are dierent from the assumptions that govern

S3 .

S1a.

with, but also the ones we make, and have used, along

the way.

39

Its important to consider at each line the assump-

tions that are being presupposed at that line - which we

track in the derivation with the horizontal and vertical

lines - not the assumptions that have been made at some

point or other in the derivation.

That depends not just on but also on S2.

that assumption was made on earlier lines, because the

assumption of S1 was then discharged on an earlier line

too.

This is reected by ending the vertical line at line i1

Sentences from

..

.

i S1

.. ..

. .

i1 S1a

.. ..

. .

j S2

.. ..

. .

j1 S2a

k S3

40

In the textbook, they use this terminology to describe this

situation: S2 is an open assumption in whose scope S2a

lies.

41

Returning to our example:

Sentences from

..

.

i S1

.. ..

. .

i1 S1a

.. ..

. .

j S2

.. ..

. .

j1 S2a

k S3

tries on the lines between i and i1.

are not available to the lines between j and k, reected

in the fact that the vertical line between i and i1 has been

terminated.

42

3.5. Aside: Some Useful Facts

facts that are given on p.245 of the textbook.

for SL& (this is 6.3.2 in the textbook):

Fact 1:

any truth-assignment that assigns T to all the sentences

in must also assign T to all the sentences in , which

ensures that S is true.

premises, it also follows from a bigger set of premises

that contains all the original ones.

43

Some other handy facts are listed on p. 245 of the text-

book. Ill refer you there to look them up and get the

arguments. They are all straightforward reasoning with

truth-assignments and truth-tables.

Ill note one useful fact in particular for the next part of

the lecture; Ill call it Useful Fact 2:

44

3.6. A Slightly Trickier Case: Conditional Introduction

far as the soundness theorem is concerned.

volves making an extra assumption.

mean the set of undischarged assumptions used to prove

the sentence at line j.

tion.

inferred a sentence Sk+1 at line k + 1.

j < k + 1, j Sj .

But this time, lets say that our system is SD, and that

Sk+1 is inferred from earlier lines by Conditional In-

troduction.

45

That will look like this:

Assumptions

..

.

i Si A/ I

.. ..

. .

j Sj

k+1 Si Sj (= Sk+1 ) i j, I

inference at line k + 1 that means that j k+1 {Si}.

k Si Sj (= Sk ), which completes the proof of this

case.

46

3.7. Negation Introduction

problem set because problem # 3 6.3 E page 250 of

the text is very close to this - only minor modications

are required.

tion hypothesis states that for every earlier line j < k +1,

j Sj .

book, this is case 9, p.248-9)

47

NB: This version is simpler than the one in the book,

in that I am skipping some steps that involve the idea of

the derivation is accessible at position k. That part

of the textbook proof is just bookkeeping - you need to

make sure that any inference you make only appeals to

assumptions its allowed to appeal to, and you want to

keep track of what the scope of given assumptions are.

Here in lecture I will treat this as obvious from the dia-

gram of the derivation.

the core idea of the inductive proof from a lot of the de-

tails involving the textbook vocabulary of open assump-

tions and accessibility introduced on page 156 - 57 of the

textbook.

48

That is, I am doing things more bluntly than the text-

book does to keep the main idea from being snowed under

with bookkeeping subtleties.

248-9 of the textbook to see what the proof looks like

when you dot all the is and cross all the ts.

the model of the more explicit and rigorous

version in the textbook rather than the looser

treatment of introduction in the next few

slides.

49

Our derivation has this shape:

j P

l R

m R

k + 1 P

tions governing line k + 1.

the lines of the diagram we can see that l k+1 {P}.

and similarly we can see in the diagram that

m k+1 {P}.

50

Since l < k + 1 and m < k + 1, we can apply the induc-

tion hypothesis to obtain:

l R and m R, so:

plus the facts that l k+1 {P} and m k+1 {P}

tion is in each case of the inductive proof. The point

is that you have a derivation, and because it is shorter

than k + 1 lines, the induction hypothesis applies, which

allows you to infer a further statement not about deriva-

tions but about Truth-functional entailment - that is,

about truth tables. The rest of the argument is now just

reasoning about truth-tables. End of note, back to

proof

51

Since k+1 {P} R and k+1 {P} R we know

that any truth-assignment making all of k+1 {P} true

makes R true and R true.

ing all of k+1 {P} true.

make P false, and so it makes P true.

52

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