Last Update: 1 December 2003
Note: or material is highlighted |
For those of you still unconvinced of the truth table for →, the material conditional, you are not alone.
The main problem is that → does not exactly capture ordinary English "if-then".
There are notorious "paradoxes of the material conditional"; here's one:
To show this, all I have to do is show that there is no row of a truth table for that inference in which both P and ¬P are true but Q is false:
P | ¬P | Q |
false | true | true |
false | true | false |
true | false | true |
true | false | false |
Since there is no row of this truth table in which both P and ¬P are true, there certainly can't be a row in which not only are P and ¬P true but Q is false. So, the inference
Here is a syntactic proof of P, ¬P /∴ Q:
1. P | // assumption |
2. ¬P | // assumption |
*3. ¬Q | // temporary assumption for ¬Elim |
*4. P | // send, 1 |
*5. ¬P | // send, 2 |
*6. Q | // 4,5,3, ¬Elim |
7. Q | // return, 6 |
Or, more directly:
1. P | : assumption |
2. ¬P | : assumption |
3. (P v Q) | : 1, vIntro |
4. Q | : 2,3, vElim |
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