propositional theory

A *propositional theory* is a theory expressed in a language of propositional logic. The logic or type of deductive system might be classical, or intuitionistic, or linear, etc., but for the purposes of illustration, we consider below the classical case.

The algebraic point of view on classical propositional theories is that they are presentations of Boolean algebras. The formulas of the underlying language are formal Boolean combinations of atomic formulas; thus these atomic formulas are considered as a set $S$ which freely generates a Boolean algebra $F(S)$. The axioms of the theory are a subset $A$ of such formulas, and the theorems of the theory are those elements of $F(S)$ that belong to the filter $\langle A \rangle \hookrightarrow F(S)$ generated by $A$.

Thus $\langle A \rangle$ can be considered as generating a congruence where $\phi \equiv 1$ for each theorem $\phi \in \langle A \rangle$. The corresponding quotient (which we may denote by $F(S)/\langle A \rangle$) is a Boolean algebra $B$ which is the *Lindenbaum algebra* of the theory. In other words, $B$ has been presented by generators (elements of $S$) subject to relations (elements of $A$).

Again from the algebraic point of view, a *model* of the propositional theory is tantamount to a Boolean algebra homomorphism $\mu: B \to \mathbf{2} = \{0, 1\}$ which assigns a definite truth value in $\mathbf{2}$ to each proposition $P \in F(S)$, such that all theorems receive the value $1$ (are “true”). From the point of view of the presentation, such a model $\mu$ amounts to an ultrafilter in $F(S)$ which extends the filter $\langle A \rangle$.

Last revised on February 13, 2016 at 14:32:44. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.