Representation and Partial Automation of the Principia Logico-Metaphysica in Isabelle/HOL


Title: Representation and Partial Automation of the Principia Logico-Metaphysica in Isabelle/HOL
Author: Daniel Kirchner (daniel /at/ ekpyron /dot/ org)
Submission date: 2017-09-17

We present an embedding of the second-order fragment of the Theory of Abstract Objects as described in Edward Zalta's upcoming work Principia Logico-Metaphysica (PLM) in the automated reasoning framework Isabelle/HOL. The Theory of Abstract Objects is a metaphysical theory that reifies property patterns, as they for example occur in the abstract reasoning of mathematics, as abstract objects and provides an axiomatic framework that allows to reason about these objects. It thereby serves as a fundamental metaphysical theory that can be used to axiomatize and describe a wide range of philosophical objects, such as Platonic forms or Leibniz' concepts, and has the ambition to function as a foundational theory of mathematics. The target theory of our embedding as described in chapters 7-9 of PLM employs a modal relational type theory as logical foundation for which a representation in functional type theory is known to be challenging.

Nevertheless we arrive at a functioning representation of the theory in the functional logic of Isabelle/HOL based on a semantical representation of an Aczel-model of the theory. Based on this representation we construct an implementation of the deductive system of PLM which allows to automatically and interactively find and verify theorems of PLM.

Our work thereby supports the concept of shallow semantical embeddings of logical systems in HOL as a universal tool for logical reasoning as promoted by Christoph Benzmüller.

The most notable result of the presented work is the discovery of a previously unknown paradox in the formulation of the Theory of Abstract Objects. The embedding of the theory in Isabelle/HOL played a vital part in this discovery. Furthermore it was possible to immediately offer several options to modify the theory to guarantee its consistency. Thereby our work could provide a significant contribution to the development of a proper grounding for object theory.

  author  = {Daniel Kirchner},
  title   = {Representation and Partial Automation of the Principia Logico-Metaphysica in Isabelle/HOL},
  journal = {Archive of Formal Proofs},
  month   = sep,
  year    = 2017,
  note    = {\url{},
            Formal proof development},
  ISSN    = {2150-914x},
License: BSD License