Modular Cut-Elimination: Finding Proofs or Counterexamples

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Abstract

Modular cut-elimination is a particular notion of ”cut-elimination in the presence of non-logical axioms” that is preserved under the addition of suitable rules. We introduce syntactic necessary and sufficient conditions for modular cut-elimination for standard calculi, a wide class of (possibly) multiple-conclusion sequent calculi with generalized quantifiers. We provide a ”universal” modular cut-elimination procedure that works uniformly for any standard calculus satisfying our conditions. The failure of these conditions generates counterexamples for modular cut-elimination and, in certain cases, for cut-elimination.