MESON : thm list -> term -> thm

Attempt to prove a term by first-order proof search.

A call MESON[theorems] `tm` will attempt to prove tm using pure first-order reasoning, taking theorems as the starting-point. It will usually either solve it completely or run for an infeasible length of time before terminating, but it may sometimes fail quickly. Although MESON is capable of some fairly non-obvious pieces of first-order reasoning, and will handle equality adequately, it does purely logical reasoning. It will exploit no special properties of the constants in the goal, other than equality and logical primitives. Any properties that are needed must be supplied explicitly in the theorem list, e.g. LE_REFL to tell it that <= on natural numbers is reflexive, or REAL_ADD_SYM to tell it that addition on real numbers is symmetric. For more challenging first-order problems the related METIS rule often performs better.

Will fail if the term is not provable, but not necessarily in a feasible amount of time.

A typical application is to prove some elementary logical lemma for use inside a tactic proof:
  # MESON[] `!P. P F /\ P T ==> !x. P x`;;
  val it : thm = |- !P. P F /\ P T ==> (!x. P x)
To prove the following lemma, we need to provide the key property of real negation:
  # MESON[REAL_NEG_NEG] `(!x. P(--x)) ==> !x:real. P x`;;
  val it : thm = |- (!x. P (--x)) ==> (!x. P x)
If the lemma is not supplied, MESON will fail:
  # MESON[] `(!x. P(--x)) ==> !x:real. P x`;;
  Exception: Failure "solve_goal: Too deep".
MESON is also capable of proving less straightforward results; see the documentation for MESON_TAC to find more examples.

Generating simple logical lemmas as part of a large proof.