Definition:Axiom/Formal Systems

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Let $\LL$ be a formal language.

Part of defining a proof system $\mathscr P$ for $\LL$ is to specify its axioms.

An axiom of $\mathscr P$ is a well-formed formula of $\LL$ that $\mathscr P$ approves of by definition.

Axiom Schema

An axiom schema is a well-formed formula $\phi$ of $\LL$, except for it containing one or more variables which are outside $\LL$ itself.

This formula can then be used to represent an infinite number of individual axioms in one statement.

Namely, each of these variables is allowed to take a specified range of values, most commonly WFFs.

Each WFF $\psi$ that results from $\phi$ by a valid choice of values for all the variables is then an axiom of $\mathscr P$.

Also known as

When $\LL$ is a logical language, then one also speaks of logical axioms.

Also see