# 7-1.

The Rule for Universal Owntifieation

107

Truth Trees for Predicate Logic:
Fundamentals

7-1. THE RULE FOR UNIVERSAL QUANTIFICATION

You have already learned the truth tree method for sentence logic. And now that you have a basic understanding of predicate logic sentences, you are ready to extend the truth tree method to predicate logic. Let's go back to the basics of testing arguments for validity: To say that an argument is valid is to say that in every possible case in which the premises are true, the conclusion is true also. We reexpress this by saying that an argument is valid if and only if it has no counterexamples, that is, no possible cases in which the premises are true and the conclusion false. When we were doing sentence logic, our possible cases were the lines of a truth table, and in any one problem there were only finitely many lines. In principle, we could always check all the truth table lines to see if any of them were counterexamples. Often the truth tree method shortened our work. But the trees were really just a labor-saving device. We could always go back and check through all the truth table lines. Predicate logic changes everything. In predicate logic our cases are interpretations, and there are always infinitely many of these. Thus we could never check through them all to be sure that there are no counterexamples. Now truth trees become much more than a convenience. They provide the only systematic means we have for searching for counterexamples. Everything we learned about truth trees in sentence logic carries over

to predicate logic. Someone gives us an argument and asks us whether it is valid. We proceed by searching for a counterexample. We begin by listing the premises and the denial of the conclusion as the beginning of a tree. Just as before, if we can make these true we will have a case in which the premises are true and the conclusion false, which is a counterexample and which shows the argument to be invalid. If we can establish that the method does not turn up a counterexample, we conclude that there is none and that the argument is valid. We have boiled our job down to the task of systematically looking for a case which will make true the initial sentence on a tree. In sentence logic we did this by applying the rules for the connectives '&', 'v', '-', '3, and '='. These rules broke down longer sentences into shorter ones in all the minimally sufficient possible ways which would make the longer sentences true by making the shorter ones true. Since, in sentence logic, this process terminates in sentence letters and negated sentence letters, we got branches which (if they do not close) make everything true by making the sentence letters and negated sentence letters along them true. In this way you should think of each branch as a systematic way of developing a line of a truth table which will make all the sentences along the branch true. The tree method for predicate logic works in exactly the same way, with just one change: Each branch is no longer a way of developing a line of a truth table which will make all the sentences along the branch true. Instead, a branch is a way of developing an interpretation which will make all the sentences along the branch true. All you have to do is to stop thinking in terms of building a line of a truth table (an assignment of truth values to sentence letters). Instead, start thinking in terms of building an interpretation. Let's see this strategy in action. Consider the example that got us started on predicate logic, way back in chapter 1: Everybody loves Eve. Adam loves Eve. (Vx)Lxe Lae

We begin our search for an interpretation in which the premise is true and the conclusion is false by listing the premise and the denial of the conclusion as the initial lines of a tree:

We already know quite a bit about any interpretation of these two sentences which makes them both true. The interpretation will have to have something called 'a' and something called 'e', and '-Lae' will have to be true in the interpretation. '-Lae1 is already a negated atomic sentence. We cannot make it true by making some shorter sentence true.

Can we extend the interpretation so as also to make '(3x)Bx' true? We have to be very careful here. state whether or not the argument is valid. this argument is obviously invalid. . The Rule for Existential Quantifiatia Finally. What do we do? Every interpretation must have at least one thing in it. But this reminder is not foolproof because it does not contain the information about which branch the substitution instance appears on. . we have to introduce a name to use. Indeed. listing the names used to the left of (Vu)(. The rules have been designed so that these shortest sentences make true the longer sentences from which they came. I will show you how we will write down counterexamples: d) A 3 (Vx)Mx A Mg & Mi g) '(Vx)(Kxv Ax) -Kj Ad j) e) (Vx)(Bx 3 Cx) (Vx)Bx Ca & Cb h) (VxNDx v Gx) (Vx)(Dx 3 Jx) (Vx)(Gx 3 Jx) la f) (Vx)(Ne = Px) pg i) (Vx)(Sx = Tx) Sb v -Ta -Tfg v (vx)Px Ph 3 (Vx)Qx Tfg 3 Qh Invalid. u . We may be tempted to think along the following lines: An existentially quantified sentence is true in an interpretation just in case at least one of its substitution instances is true in the . Use the truth tree method to test the following arguments for validity. I n practice. and so on. this isn't a difficulty because in almost every problem your substitution instance will appear on all branches. . Ba & A 'A' is an atomic sentence letter which we make true in the counterexample. The blond might well be somebody else. we already know that we have an interpretation started. Let me illustrate how the rule applies when no name appears on a path. . Any name will do. (3x)Bx Ba As we noted in chapter 2. until finally everything along the open branch is true. it does not follow that Adam is blond. u . Counterexample: D = {a}. So when we get to line 3 and need to instantiate '(Vx)Bx' with all the names in the interpretation we are building. . Adam is blond. The counterexample is an interpretation which makes everything along the branch true.). if invalid. At the same time. We will have to keep the clear invalidity of this argument in mind while formulating the rule for existentially quantified sentences to make sure we get the rule right.110 Truth Trees for Predicate Logic: Fundament& 7-2. which in turn make true the still longer sentences from which they came. give a counterexample. 7-2. You read the counterexample off the open branch by listing the names which occur on the branch and the atomic and negated atomic sentences which occur along the branch. when a universally quantified sentence appears on a branch it never hurts to introduce a substitution instance formed with a name which had not otherwise appeared on that branch. . 'A' is not a name. We also know that '-Ba' will have to be true in this interpretation. . If somebody is blond. . In each problem. we find that we don't have any names. So when applying the rule V to a universally quantified sentence on a branch which has no names. THE RULE FOR EXISTENTIAL QUANTIFICATION Consider the argument Somebody is blond. this time with one object named 'a'. Notice how I indicated the counterexample to the argument provided by the open branch. Begin by listing the premise and the negation of the conclusion: EXERCISES 7-1. This is the only circumstance in which the V rule tells us to introduce a new name.) is a practical reminder of which names you have already used to instantiate (Vu)(. As in the last example. In this example I used 'a'.