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We give a self-contained and streamlined version of the classification of the provably computable functions of PA. The emphasis is put on illuminating as well as seems possible the intrinsic computational character of the standard cut elimination process. The article is intended to be suitable for teaching purposes and just requires basic familiarity with PA and the ordinals below ε₀. (Familiarity with a cut elimination theorem for a Gentzen or Tait calculus is helpful but not presupposed).
Schemata have played important roles in logic since Aristotle’s Prior Analytics. The syllogistic figures and moods can be taken to be argument schemata as can the rules of the Stoic propositional logic. Sentence schemata have been used in axiomatizations of logic only since the landmark 1927 von Neumann paper . Modern philosophers know the role of schemata in explications of the semantic conception of truth through Tarski’s 1933 Convention T . Mathematical logicians recognize the role of schemata in first-order number theory where Peano’s second-order Induction Axiom is approximated by Herbrand’s Induction-Axiom Schema . Similarly, in first-order set theory, Zermelo’s second-order Separation Axiom is approximated by Fraenkel’s first-order Separation Schema . In some of several closely related senses, a schema is a complex system having multiple components one of which is a template-text or scheme-template, a syntactic string composed of one or more “blanks” and also possibly significant words and/or symbols. In accordance with a side condition the template-text of a schema is used as a “template” to specify a multitude, often infinite, of linguistic expressions such as phrases, sentences, or argument-texts, called instances of the schema. The side condition is a second component. The collection of instances may but need not be regarded as a third component. The instances are almost always considered to come from a previously identified language (whether formal or natural), which is often considered to be another component. This article reviews the often-conflicting uses of the expressions ‘schema’ and ‘scheme’ in the literature of logic. It discusses the different definitions presupposed by those uses. And it examines the ontological and epistemic presuppositions circumvented or mooted by the use of schemata, as well as the ontological and epistemic presuppositions engendered by their use. In short, this paper is an introduction to the history and philosophy of schemata.
In 1931 Kurt Gödel published his incompleteness results, and some years later Church and Turing showed that the decision problem for certain systems of symbolic logic has a negative solution. However, already in 1921 the young logician Emil Post worked on similar problems which resulted in what he called an “anticipation” of these results. For several reasons though he did not submit these results to a journal until 1941. This failure ‘to be the first’, did not discourage him: his contributions to mathematical logic and its foundations should not be underestimated. It is the purpose of this article to show that an interest in the early work of Emil Post should be motivated not only by this historical fact, but also by the fact that Post’s approach and method differs substantially from those offered by Gödel, Turing and Church. In this paper it will be shown how this method evolved in his early work and how it finally led him to his results.