Natural Deduction in Propositional Logic

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10 Questions

What is the main focus of propositional logic?

Understanding relationships between true and false statements

Which category of rules in natural deduction systems involves introducing new propositions within a proof?

Rules of Introduction

What do inference rules provide in natural deduction systems?

A method to derive new propositions from established ones

How do natural deduction systems help us arrive at logical conclusions?

By following specific rules of inference

What is the purpose of assumptions in a proof within a natural deduction system?

To serve as the starting points for deriving a conclusion

Which rule allows us to infer a proposition from its conditional statement and given hypothesis?

Implication Elimination (⊸-E)

What strategy involves beginning with the desired conclusion and working backward to reach the given hypotheses?

Backward Chaining

In natural deduction systems, what notation is used to represent assumptions?


Which type of statement asserts 'if P is true, then Q is true'?


What does the rule of Implication Elimination (⊸-E) allow us to derive?

Q from P → Q and P

Study Notes

Natural Deduction: A Clear, Logical Path to Knowledge

Natural deduction systems offer a structured approach to proving statements in propositional logic, a fundamental part of mathematical reasoning. These systems allow us to break down complex arguments into smaller, well-defined steps, following specific rules of inference to arrive at logical conclusions. In this article, we'll explore the basics of natural deduction, its components, and how they help us prove propositions, draw assumptions, and understand implications.

Propositional Logic

Propositional logic involves the manipulation of propositions, which are statements that are either true or false. Propositional logic is concerned with the relationships between these propositions, such as conjunction (AND), disjunction (OR), negation (NOT), and implication (IF...THEN).

Inference Rules

An inference rule provides a way to logically derive a new proposition from already established propositions. Natural deduction systems use a variety of rules that can be categorized into two main groups:

  1. Rules of Introduction: These rules introduce new propositions within a proof. For example, the rule of implication introduction, called ⊸-I, allows us to infer a new conditional statement from a given hypothesis and a proposition.

  2. Rules of Elimination: These rules remove assumptions or connectives from our proof. The rule of implication elimination, called ⊸-E, allows us to infer a proposition from its conditional statement and the given hypothesis.

Proof Strategies

Natural deduction systems are designed to be flexible, meaning that there can be several different proofs for a single proposition. However, there are some common strategies that can be used to guide the process:

  1. Forward Chaining: Begin the proof with the given hypotheses and attempt to derive the conclusion through a chain of inferences.

  2. Backward Chaining: Begin with the desired conclusion and attempt to derive each step until reaching the given hypotheses.

  3. Case Distinction: Use cases to break down complex proofs into simpler ones.


Assumptions, or hypotheses, are the starting points of a proof. They are temporary propositions that are assumed to be true for the purpose of deriving a conclusion. In natural deduction systems, assumptions are denoted with a horizontal line ((\underline{\text{A}})).


Implications, denoted as P → Q, are conditional statements that assert that if P is true, then Q is true. In natural deduction systems, we use the implication elimination rule (⊸-E) to derive Q from P → Q and P.

Natural deduction systems offer a flexible yet structured approach to proving propositions, making them an ideal tool for formalizing arguments and proving theorems. By following clear rules of inference and proof strategies, we can build well-defined and rigorous proofs, making our knowledge clear, logical, and unambiguous.

Explore the structured approach of natural deduction systems in proving propositions in propositional logic. Learn about inference rules, proof strategies, assumptions, and implications, which offer a clear and logical path to knowledge.

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