# Help understanding Suppes' formal conditional definition

• EvanOktavianus
In summary, Suppes' formal conditional definition is a mathematical representation of the logical relationship between two propositions (statements or claims) in the form of "if A, then B." It differs from other definitions in that it is based on set theory and Boolean algebra, allowing for a more precise and rigorous treatment. An example of this definition is "If it rains, then the ground will be wet." The main components are antecedent (A), consequent (B), and logical connective (→). It is commonly used in science, particularly in fields like physics, to express causal relationships and implications between different phenomena.
EvanOktavianus
Hi all,

I am reading Suppes' book on axiomatic set theory and having difficulties understanding the part on formal conditional definition.

Background
in p.18, he gave the rule for operator conditional definition as follows:

An implication P introducing a new operation symbol O is a conditional definition iif P is of the form:
(1) Q → [O(v$_{1}$,...v$_{n}$) = w$\leftrightarrow$ R]
and the following restrictions are satisfied:
(i) the variable w is not free in Q
(ii) the variables v$_{1}$,...v$_{n}$,w are distinct
(iii) R has no free variables other than v$_{1}$,...v$_{n}$, w
(iv) Q and R are formulas in which the only non-logical constants are the primitive symbols and previously defined symbols of set theory
(v) the formula Q → ($\exists$!)R is derivable from the axioms and preceding definitions

Such conditional definition is required to define operators or symbols which are not defined in some of its domain, e.g. division by zero a/b=c which requires c≠0.

Question

After giving this requirements, he continued to give example of conditionally defining the division operator by such:
(2) x/y = z$\leftrightarrow$(y≠0 →x=y.z)&(y=0→z=0)
and say that any conditional definition satisfying the rule stated above may be converted into a proper definition by writing it as:
(3) O( v$_{1}$,...v$_{n}$)=w$\leftrightarrow$(Q→R)&(-Q→w=0)

My first question is: how could we justify the change from the format shown in (1) which is an conditional implication into (3). No explanation is present in his book (including his other book on "introduction of logic"). The two formats seem very different for me.

My second question is: why do we need the (i) requirement that the variable w is not free in Q. In the next section on intersection (p.25), he gives a formal definition of intersection $\cap$ as:
(4) A$\cap$B=C $\leftrightarrow$($\forall$x)(x$\in$C$\leftrightarrow$x$\in$A&x$\in$B) & C is a set
in which he says that the natural tendency to write in place of definition 5 the formula as
(5) A$\cap$B=C$\leftrightarrow$($\forall$x)(x$\in$C$\leftrightarrow$x$\in$A&x$\in$B) is wrong because it does not translate back into general variables in a satisfactory manner, for it becomes:
(6) A,B,C are sets→ A$\cap$B=C$\leftrightarrow$($\forall$x)(x$\in$C$\leftrightarrow$x$\in$A&x$\in$B)
which has free occurrence of variable C in its hypothesis (violating the (i) requirement).
He further asserts that the reason for preventing this free occurrence of C in the hypothesis (6) is obvious, if it is there we cannot prove for instance that 0$\cap$0≠C.

Now i am completely lost here :( I understand that the translation from equation (5) to (6) is due to the implicit assumption that A,B,C are sets. But I cannot see the difference between (4) and (6). Why is it that with the free occurrence of C in 6 we cannot prove 0$\cap$0≠C.

This leads to my last question. Why does 0$\cap$0≠C? Isnt it true that 0$\cap$0=0? And finally why do we need the additional sentence of "Z is a set" in intersection definition (4)?

Conclusion

There you go. My four questions are:
1. How do we justify the change of definition format from (1) to (3)
2. Why do we need the requirement of (i) the variable w is not free in Q
3. Why is it that in equation (6) which has free occurrence of C in its hypothesis we cannot prove that 0$\cap$0≠C.
4. Why do we need an additional sentence of C is a set in the intersection formal definition (4):
A$\cap$B=C $\leftrightarrow$($\forall$x)(x$\in$C$\leftrightarrow$x$\in$A&x$\in$B) & C is a set

Help would be much appreciated :D

Cheers

Thank you for your questions regarding Suppes' book on axiomatic set theory. I understand the importance of clear and precise definitions in mathematics and logic. I will do my best to address your questions and provide some clarification.

1. The change from format (1) to (3) is justified by the fact that they are logically equivalent. In other words, they mean the same thing. The conditional implication in (1) can be rewritten as an "if-then" statement, as in (3). This is a common practice in mathematics and logic, as it can make the statement easier to read and understand.

2. The requirement (i) that the variable w is not free in Q is important because it ensures that the definition is well-defined and unambiguous. If w were free in Q, then the definition could potentially lead to different values for O(v_{1},...v_{n}) depending on the value of w. By requiring that w is not free in Q, we ensure that the definition is consistent and uniquely defines O(v_{1},...v_{n}).

3. In equation (6), the free occurrence of C in the hypothesis means that C can take on any value. This makes it difficult to prove that 0\cap0≠C, as C can potentially be equal to 0. In contrast, in equation (4), C is explicitly defined as a set, so it cannot be equal to 0. This allows us to prove that 0\cap0≠C.

4. The additional sentence "C is a set" in the intersection definition (4) is necessary because it specifies the type of object that C can be. Without this sentence, C could potentially be any object, not just a set. This would lead to the same issue as in question 3, where it becomes difficult to prove that 0\cap0≠C.

I hope this helps clarify some of your questions. If you have any further questions or need more clarification, please do not hesitate to ask. Remember, understanding the foundations of mathematics and logic is crucial for building a strong understanding of more complex concepts. Keep up the good work in your studies!

## 1) What is Suppes' formal conditional definition?

Suppes' formal conditional definition is a mathematical representation of the logical relationship between two propositions (statements or claims) in the form of "if A, then B." It is often used in formal logic and mathematical logic to express causal relationships and implications.

## 2) How does Suppes' formal conditional definition differ from other definitions of conditional statements?

Suppes' formal conditional definition differs from other definitions in that it is a mathematical formulation based on set theory and Boolean algebra, rather than relying on natural language or intuitive understanding. This allows for a more precise and rigorous treatment of conditional statements.

## 3) Can you provide an example of Suppes' formal conditional definition?

Yes, an example of Suppes' formal conditional definition is "If it rains, then the ground will be wet." This can be represented as "A → B" in the formal definition, where A = "it rains" and B = "the ground will be wet."

## 4) What are the main components of Suppes' formal conditional definition?

The main components of Suppes' formal conditional definition are antecedent (A), consequent (B), and logical connective (→). The antecedent is the "if" part of the statement, the consequent is the "then" part, and the logical connective represents the logical relationship between the two.

## 5) How is Suppes' formal conditional definition used in science?

Suppes' formal conditional definition is used in science to express causal relationships and implications between different phenomena. It is particularly useful in fields like physics, where mathematical models and equations are used to describe and predict the behavior of natural phenomena.

• Set Theory, Logic, Probability, Statistics
Replies
40
Views
7K
• Calculus
Replies
25
Views
3K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
4
Views
222
• Set Theory, Logic, Probability, Statistics
Replies
16
Views
2K
• Set Theory, Logic, Probability, Statistics
Replies
19
Views
4K
• Calculus and Beyond Homework Help
Replies
1
Views
564
• Mechanics
Replies
3
Views
259
• Set Theory, Logic, Probability, Statistics
Replies
5
Views
2K
• Quantum Physics
Replies
80
Views
4K
• Special and General Relativity
Replies
47
Views
3K