Proof calculus

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In mathematical logic, a proof calculus corresponds to a family of formal systems that use a common style of formal inference for its inference rules. The specific inference rules of a member of such a family characterize the theory of a logic.

Usually a given proof calculus encompasses more than a single particular formal system, since many proof calculi are under-determining and can be used for radically different logics. For example, a paradigmatic case is the sequent calculus, which can be used to express the consequence relations of both intuitionistic logic and relevance logic. Thus, loosely speaking, a proof calculus is a template or design pattern, characterized by a certain style of formal inference, that may be specialized to produce specific formal systems, namely by specifying the actual inference rules for such a system. There is no consensus among logicians on how best to define the term.

Examples of proof calculi

The most widely known proof calculi are those classical calculi that are still in widespread use:

Many other proof calculi were, or might have been, seminal, but are not widely used today.

Modern research in logic teems with rival proof calculi:

See also