It is well known that combinatory logic with unrestricted introduction and elimination rules for implication is inconsistent in the strong sense that an arbitrary term Y is provable. The simplest proof of this, now usually called Curry's paradox, involves for an arbitrary term Y, a term X defined by X = Y(CPy).
The fact that X = PXY = X ⊃ Y is an essential part of the proof.
The paradox can be avoided by placing restrictions on the implication introduction rule or on the axioms from which it can be proved.
In this paper we determine the forms that must be taken by inconsistency proofs of systems of propositional calculus based on combinatory logic, with arbitrary restrictions on both the introduction and elimination rules for the connectives. Generally such a proof will involve terms without normal form and cut formulas, i.e. formulas formed by an introduction rule that are immediately removed by an elimination with at most some equality steps intervening. (Such a sequence of steps we call a “cut”.)
The above applies not only to the strong form of inconsistency defined above, but also to the weak form of inconsistency defined by: all propositions are provable, if this can be represented in the system.
Any inconsistency proof of this kind of system can be reduced to one where the major premise of the elimination rule involved in the cut and its deduction must also appear in the deduction of the minor premise involved in the cut.
We can, using this characterization of inconsistency proofs, put appropriate restrictions on certain introduction rules so that the systems, including a full classical propositional one, become provably consistent.