Deepening the Automated Search for Gödel's Proofs
Gödel's incompleteness theorems establish the stunning result that mathematics cannot be fully formalized and, further, that any formal system containing a modicum of number or set theory cannot establish its own consistency. Wilfried Sieg and Clinton Field, in their paper Automated Search for Gödel's Proofs, presented automated proofs of Gödel's theorems at an abstract axiomatic level; they used an appropriate expansion of the strategic considerations that guide the search of the automated theorem prover AProS. The representability conditions that allow the syntactic notions of the metalanguage to be represented inside the object language were taken as axioms in the automated proofs. The concrete task I am taking on in this project is to extend the search by formally verifying these conditions. Using a formal metatheory defined in the language of binary trees, the syntactic objects of the metatheory lend themselves naturally to a direct encoding in Zermelo's theory of sets. The metatheoretic notions can then be inductively defined and shown to be representable in the object-theory using appropriate inductive arguments. Formal verification of the representability conditions is the first step towards an automated proof thereof which, in turn, brings the automated verification of Gödel's theorems one step closer to completion.