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Section 1.2

Section 1.2

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Section 1.2 Conditional and Biconditional
29
Section 1.2Section 1.2Section 1.2Section 1.2:::: Conditional and BiconditionalConditional and BiconditionalConditional and BiconditionalConditional and Biconditional ConnectivesConnectivesConnectivesConnectivesPurpose of Lesson:Purpose of Lesson:Purpose of Lesson:Purpose of Lesson: To introduce the conditionalconditionalconditionalconditional and biconditionalbiconditionalbiconditionalbiconditional connectivesand various equivalent forms.The ConThe ConThe ConThe Conditional Sentenceditional Sentenceditional Sentenceditional SentenceThe most important way to combine sentences in mathematics is theconditional sentenceconditional sentenceconditional sentenceconditional sentence (or implicationimplicationimplicationimplication), which has the form “if
then
.” In apurely logical sense, conditional sentences do not necessarily imply a causeand effect between the components
and
, although in mathematics and ingeneral discourse they do. From a logical point of view the sentence
If 
113
+ =
then pigs can fly 
is a legitimate implication, although there is no relationship between thecomponent parts. On the other hand, when we write
If N is an integer, then 2N is an even integer 
there is a definite cause and effect between the components. The reader hasseen conditional sentences in Euclidean geometry where much of the subjectis explained through implications. The sentence “If a polygon has three sides,then it is a triangle,” is a conditional sentence.Conditional SentenceConditional SentenceConditional SentenceConditional Sentence :::: If
and
are sentences, then the conditional sentenceconditional sentenceconditional sentenceconditional sentence“if
then
” is denoted symbolically by
PQ
 and the truth values of the sentence are defined by the truth table
:
P QPQ
 T T
T
T F
F
F T
T
F F
T
is false if 
T
andotherwise true
The sentence
is called the assumptassumptassumptassumptionionionion (or premisepremisepremisepremise or aaaantecedentntecedentntecedentntecedent) of theimplication and
is called the conclusionconclusionconclusionconclusion (or consequentconsequentconsequentconsequent
1111
).
1
In pure logical systems
P
and
Q
are generally called the antecedent and consequent. In mathematics theyare more likely to be called the assumption and conclusion.
 
Section 1.2 Conditional and Biconditional
30
The conditional statement
PQ
can be visualized by the EulerEulerEulerEuler (or VennVennVennVenn)diagram as shown in Figure 1.Euler Diagram for
PQ
 Figure 1Example 1: Conditional SentencesExample 1: Conditional SentencesExample 1: Conditional SentencesExample 1: Conditional SentencesThe following sentences are (true) conditional sentences.i)
 
If
 f 
is a real-valued differentiable function on
( )
,
−∞
, then
 f 
is continuous on
( )
,
−∞
.ii)
 
If
is an even number greater than 2, then
is the sum of two primes. (Thisis true and you get an A for the course if you can prove this. Just slide yoursolution under my door.)iii)
 
If
a
and
b
are the lengths of the legs of a right triangle, and
c
is the length ofthe hypotenuse, then
222
cab
= +
.Understanding the Conditional Sentence:Understanding the Conditional Sentence:Understanding the Conditional Sentence:Understanding the Conditional Sentence: The conditional sentence “if
P
 then
“ is best understood as a promise, where if the promise is kept, the
 
Section 1.2 Conditional and Biconditional
31
conditional sentence is true, otherwise the sentence is false. As an illustrationsuppose your professor makes you the promise:
If pigs fly, then you will receive an A for the course.
Think about this for a second. If pigs really do fly and your professor givesyou an A, your professor has kept his or her promise and the conditionalsentence “if …. then” is true. But, suppose pigs fly but your professorreneges and you do not get an A. Then your professor has broken the bondand the sentence “if then” is false.Now (here is where it gets confusing) suppose pigs don’t fly, then whatshould your professor do? In this case the professor can do
anything 
he orshe so desires and the promise is still kept, the argument being that thesentence “if … then” is true since the professor only promised an A if in factpigs fly
2
. This line of reasoning jives with the truth table for the conditionalsentence.The conditional sentence
PQ
is sometimes called an inferenceinferenceinferenceinference, and we saythat
impliesimpliesimpliesimplies
Q.
Another way of stating
PQ
in English is to say that
isa sufficient conditionsufficient conditionsufficient conditionsufficient condition for
Q,
which means the truth of
guarantees the truth of
Q.
We can also say
is a necessary conditionnecessary conditionnecessary conditionnecessary condition for
, meaning that
 necessarily follows from
.Example 2: Necessary Conditions and Sufficient Conditions.Example 2: Necessary Conditions and Sufficient Conditions.Example 2: Necessary Conditions and Sufficient Conditions.Example 2: Necessary Conditions and Sufficient Conditions.
P
Conditionbeing pregnant being female
is necessary for
 
is an integer2
is aninteger
is sufficient for
 life on earth air
is necessary for
 Getting run over by a steamrollersquashed
is sufficient for
 Necessary Conditions and Sufficient ConditionsTable 1Converse, Inverse, and ContrapositiveConverse, Inverse, and ContrapositiveConverse, Inverse, and ContrapositiveConverse, Inverse, and ContrapositiveThe implication
PQ
gives rise to three related implications
2
Some people might argue that if pigs don’t fly and the professor gives the student an A, then thesentence “if … then” should be considered false.

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