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Predicate (mathematical logic)

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In logic, a predicate is a symbol that represents a property or a relation. For instance, in the first-order formula , the symbol is a predicate that applies to the individual constant . Similarly, in the formula , the symbol is a predicate that applies to the individual constants and .

According to Gottlob Frege, the meaning of a predicate is exactly a function from the domain of objects to the truth-values "true" and "false".

In the semantics of logic, predicates are interpreted as relations. For instance, in a standard semantics for first-order logic, the formula would be true on an interpretation if the entities denoted by and stand in the relation denoted by . Since predicates are non-logical symbols, they can denote different relations depending on the interpretation given to them. While first-order logic only includes predicates that apply to individual objects, other logics may allow predicates that apply to collections of objects defined by other predicates.

Predicates in different systems[edit]

A predicate is a statement or mathematical assertion that contains variables, sometimes referred to as predicate variables, and may be true or false depending on those variables’ value or values.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lavrov, Igor Andreevich; Maksimova, Larisa (2003). Problems in Set Theory, Mathematical Logic, and the Theory of Algorithms. New York: Springer. p. 52. ISBN 0306477122.

External links[edit]