Calculating self-referential statements, I: Explicit calculations
- Cite this article as:
- Smorynski, C. Stud Logica (1979) 38: 17. doi:10.1007/BF00493670
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The proof of the Second Incompleteness Theorem consists essentially of proving the uniqueness and explicit definability of the sentence asserting its own unprovability. This turns out to be a rather general phenomenon: Every instance of self-reference describable in the modal logic of the standard proof predicate obeys a similar uniqueness and explicit definability law. The efficient determination of the explicit definitions of formulae satisfying a given instance of self-reference reduces to a simple algebraic problem-that of solving the corresponding fixed-point equation in the modal logic. We survey techniques for the efficient calculation of such fixed-points.