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Section 1.2:

1.2: Conditional and Biconditional Connectives

and various equivalent forms.

The Conditional

Conditional Sentence

The most important way to combine sentences in mathematics is the

implication which has the form “if P then Q.” In a

conditional sentence (or implication),

purely logical sense, conditional sentences do not necessarily imply a cause

and effect between the components P and Q, although in mathematics and in

general discourse they do. From a logical point of view the sentence

component parts. On the other hand, when we write

there is a definite cause and effect between the components. The reader has

seen conditional sentences in Euclidean geometry where much of the subject

is explained through implications. The sentence “If a polygon has three sides,

then it is a triangle,” is a conditional sentence.

“if P then Q” is denoted symbolically by

P⇒Q

and the truth values of the sentence are defined by the truth table:

P Q P⇒Q

T T T ⇒ is false if

T F F T ⇒ F and

F T T otherwise true

F F T

assumption (or premise or antecedent

antecedent)

ntecedent of the

1

implication and Q is called the conclusion (or consequent ).

1

In pure logical systems P and Q are generally called the antecedent and consequent. In mathematics they

are more likely to be called the assumption and conclusion.

Section 1.2 30 Conditional and Biconditional

Venn

diagram as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1

( −∞, ∞ ) .

ii) If N is an even number greater than 2, then N is the sum of two primes. (This

is true and you get an A for the course if you can prove this. Just slide your

solution under my door.)

iii) If a and b are the lengths of the legs of a right triangle, and c is the length of

the hypotenuse, then c 2 = a 2 + b 2 .

Q“ is best understood as a promise, where if the promise is kept, the

Section 1.2 31 Conditional and Biconditional

suppose your professor makes you the promise:

Think about this for a second. If pigs really do fly and your professor gives

you an A, your professor has kept his or her promise and the conditional

sentence “if …. then” is true. But, suppose pigs fly but your professor

reneges and you do not get an A. Then your professor has broken the bond

and the sentence “if … then” is false.

Now (here is where it gets confusing) suppose pigs don’t fly, then what

should your professor do? In this case the professor can do anything he or

she so desires and the promise is still kept, the argument being that the

sentence “if … then” is true since the professor only promised an A if in fact

pigs fly2. This line of reasoning jives with the truth table for the conditional

sentence.

inference and we say

that P implies Q. Another way of stating P ⇒ Q in English is to say that P is

a sufficient condition for Q, which means the truth of P guarantees the truth of

Q. We can also say Q is a necessary condition for P, meaning that Q

necessarily follows from P.

P Q Condition

Q is necessary for

being pregnant being female

P

2N is an

N is an integer P is sufficient for Q

integer

Q is necessary for

life on earth air

P

Getting run over by a steam

squashed P is sufficient for Q

roller

Necessary Conditions and Sufficient Conditions

Table 1

2

Some people might argue that if pigs don’t fly and the professor gives the student an A, then the

sentence “if … then” should be considered false.

Section 1.2 32 Conditional and Biconditional

P⇒Q Q⇒P ∼ P ⇒∼ Q ∼ Q ⇒∼ P

converse: P⇒Q ≡ Q⇒ P

inverse: P ⇒ Q ≡ ∼ P ⇒∼ Q

contrapositive: P ⇒ Q ≡ ∼ Q ⇒ ∼ P

with its (non equivalent) converse for the purpose of selling products. For

example, the slogan “Buy U.S. Olympic accredited sports gear, the designated

gear of the U.S. Olympic team, is an attempt to get you to buy into the

converse argument that if you wear accredited Olympic gear, then you have

some status as an Olympic athlete. You can think of a thousand other

advertisements that use this basic principle.

generally assumes that the sentence is true since we have assumed a true

assumption P and have proven that the conclusion Q is true. In formal logic

however, one allows for the possibility that P may be either true or false.

Martin Note: True can’t imply false, but false can imply anything.

( P ⇒ Q ) ∧ ( Q ⇒ R ) ⇒ P ⇒ R

is a tautology. We can verify this by noting all the T’s in column (5) of the truth table:

(1) ( 2) ( 3) ( 4) (5)

P Q R P⇒Q Q⇒R P⇒ R ( P ⇒ Q ) ∧ ( Q ⇒ R ) ⇒ P ⇒ R

( P ⇒ Q ) ∧ (Q ⇒ R )

Section 1.2 33 Conditional and Biconditional

T T T T T T T T

T T F T F F F T

T F T F T T F T

T F F F T F F T

F T T T T T T T

F T F T F T F T

F F T T T T T T

F F F T T T T T

Table 2

Biconditional

Theorems of the form “P if and only if Q” are highly valued in

mathematics, giving equivalent and interesting new ways to say exactly the same

thing. For example, here is biconditional from number theory you may not be aware

of: A positive integer n is divisible by 3 if and only if the sum of the digits of n is

divisible by 3.

only if Q” is denoted by

P⇔Q

whose truth values are given by the truth table

P Q P⇔Q

⇔ is true if

T T T P and Q are

T F F

the same, otherwise

F T F

false

F F T

Another phrasing of P ⇔ Q is P is a necessary and sufficient condition for Q.

Note: Possibly the most famous conditional statement of all time is due

to the French philosopher/mathematician Rene Decartes (1591-1650)

with his famous quote in Latin “Cogito ergo sum”, which means “I think

therefore I am”, which in more traditional conditional, but less elegant

form, would be “If I think then I am.”

Section 1.2 34 Conditional and Biconditional

Show that the biconditional P ⇔ Q is equivalent to ( P ⇒ Q ) ∧ ( Q ⇒ P ) .

Solution The truth values in the truth table under ( 5 ) and ( 6 ) are the same

as seen in Table 3.

(1) ( 2) ( 3) ( 4)

P Q P⇒Q Q⇒P ( P ⇒ Q ) ∧ (Q ⇒ P ) P⇔Q

T T T T T T

T F F T F F

F T T F F F

F F T T T T

Equivalence of ( P ⇒ Q ) ∧ (Q ⇐ P ) ≡ P ⇔ Q

Table 3

Warning:

P ≡ Q which says P and Q are logical equivalent compound sentences. The

biconditional P ⇔ Q does not necessarily mean P and Q have the same truth

values (since the biconditional can be false), whereas P ≡ Q does.

Margin Note:

Note British mathematicians George Boole (1815-1664) and Augustus

DeMorgan (1806-1871) started a renaissance of logic in the mid-1800s. De

Morgan’s major contributions to logic include De Morgan’s laws. George

Boole approached logic in a new way, reducing it to simple algebra, replacing

the truth value T by 1 and the truth value F by 0. Logical “and” becomes

multiplication and logical “or” becomes addition in this new system. The

result was Boolean algebra, the mathematical foundation for much of digital

computers.

1 + 3 = 5 if and only if 3 + 1 = 5 True

The moon is round iff the earth is round True

d t

e = tet

1 + 2 = 3 if and only if False

dt

A necessary and sufficient condition for 1 = 0 is 6 / 3 = 2 False

Section 1.2 35 Conditional and Biconditional

Forms Example

P⇔Q x − 1 = 0 iff x = 1

P if and only if Q x − 1 = 0 if and only if x = 1

P iff Q x − 1 = 0 iff x = 1

If P then Q and conversely if x − 1 = 0 then x = 1 and conversely

If Q then P and conversely If x = 1 then x − 1 = 0 and conversely

P is a necessary and sufficient condition for Q x − 1 = 0 is a necessary and sufficient condition for x = 1

Q is a necessary and sufficient condition for P x = 1 is a necessary and sufficient condition for x − 1 = 0

equivalent conditionals

P⇒Q ≡ ∼Q⇒ ∼ P

which can be verified by constructing a truth table for each conditional. An example

of this equivalence would be

If it rains then the grass gets wet is equivalent to If grass does not get wet then it does

not rain.

Note: Greek philosophers called Modus Ponens the valid argument that if P is

true and if P ⇒ Q is true, then Q is true, which in sentential logic notation is

P ∧ ( P ⇒ Q ) ⇒ Q .

another. For example, we solve the first-order linear differential equation by

using a series of “if and only if” statements. We apologize to those students

who have yet to take calculus, but nevertheless the demonstration shows how

problems can be solved by a sequence of “if and only if” statements.

Section 1.2 36 Conditional and Biconditional

dy dy

+ ay = 0 ⇔ e at + ay = 0

dt dt

d ( e at y (t ) )

⇔ =0

dt

at

⇔ e y (t ) = c

⇔ y (t ) = c e− at

Note: The origin of the “iff” notation first appeared in print in 1955 in the text

General Topology by John Kelly although its invention is generally credited to

the Hungarian/American Paul Halmos.

Section 1.2 37 Conditional and Biconditional

in this and if following sections.

▪ An integer n divides an integer m (and we write n m ) if there exists

an integer q such that m = n × q .

sentences and tell if the implication is true or false.

Ans: Assumption: pigs fly, Conclusion: I am richer than Bill Gates, True

b) If a person got the plague in the 17th century they were in trouble.

Conclusion: they were in trouble, True

c) If you miss class over 75% of the time you are in trouble.

Ans: Assumption: you miss class over 75% of the time, Conclusion: you are in

trouble, True

matrix has an inverse, True

Section 1.2 38 Conditional and Biconditional

Ans:

b) If people in the 17th century were not in trouble, then they never got the

plague.

c) If you are not in trouble, then you did not miss class 75% of the time.

f) If a matrix does not have an inverse, then the determinant of the matrix is

zero.

3. Let P be the sentence "4 > 6" , Q the sentence "1 + 1 = 2" , and R the

sentence "1 + 1 = 3" . What is the truth value of the following sentences?

a) P∧∼ Q Ans: F

b) ∼ ( P ∧ Q) Ans: T

c) ∼ ( P ∨ Q) Ans: F

d) ∼ P ∧ ∼ Q Ans: T

e) P ∧ Q Ans: F

f) P ⇒ Q Ans: T

g) Q ⇔ R Ans: F

h) P ⇒ (Q ⇒ R ) Ans: T

i) ( P ⇒ Q) ⇒ R Ans: F

j) ( R ∨ Q ∨ R) ⇔ ( P ∧ Q ∧ R) Ans: F

4. Let P be the sentence “Jerry is richer than Mary”, Q is the sentence “Jerry

is taller than Mary”, and R is the sentence “Mary is taller than Jerry.” For the

Section 1.2 39 Conditional and Biconditional

following sentences what can you conclude about Jerry and Mary if the

sentences are true. Express the information in a convenient form.

a) P∨Q

b) P ∧Q

c) ∼ P∨Q

d) Q∧R

e) ∼ Q∧ ∼ R

f) P ∧ ( P ⇒ Q)

g) P ⇔ (Q ∨ R )

Ans: Either all P,Q,R are true or P is false and one (or both) Q and R are

false.

h) Q ∧ (P ⇒ R)

Ans: Either all P,Q,R are true or Q is false and P is true and R false.

i) P∨Q∨ R

j) P ∨ ( Q ∧ R )

Section 1.2 40 Conditional and Biconditional

5. Construct truth tables to show the following sentences mean the same

thing.

Ans:

P Q P ⇔Q ∼P ∼Q ∼ P ⇔∼ Q

T T T F F T

T F F F T F

F T F T F F

F F T T T T

Ans:

P Q P ⇔Q ∼ ( P ⇔ Q) ∼P ∼Q P∧ ∼ Q ∼ P ∧Q ( P∧ ∼ Q ) ∨ ( ∼ P ∧ Q )

T T T F F F F F F

T F F T F T T F T

F T F T T F F T T

F F T F T T F F F

Ans:

P Q P ⇒Q ∼P ∼ P∨Q

T T T F T

T F F F F

F T T T T

F F T T T

Section 1.2 41 Conditional and Biconditional

Ans: If you do not study, then you will not get a good grade, or its

Ans:

contrapositive, which states: if you did get a good grade then you

studied.

Ans: If you do not get out, then I will call the cops. (Normally one drops the

“then” in normal conversation.)

Ans: If you criticize her, (then) she will slap you. (Often people drop the

“then.”)

English Without making a truth table, say why the following are

true.

a) ( P ∨ Q ) ∧ ∼ P ⇒ Q

Ans:

Ans If we know that P or Q but that P is not true, then we have no choice

but to assume Q is true.

b) P ∧ Q ∧ ∼ Q ⇒ ∼ P

( )

Section 1.2 42 Conditional and Biconditional

Ans:

Ans If by assuming P and from this you deduce a contradiction, then you

must assume your assumption P is false.

c) ( P ∨ Q) ⇒ (∼ P ⇒ Q)

Ans: P ∨ Q says that P or Q is true. Hence, if P is not true then Q must be

true.

8. (Distributive Laws for AND and OR) For the sentences P, Q and R verify

the distributive laws

a) P ∧ (Q ∨ R) ≡ ( P ∧ Q) ∨ ( P ∧ R)

Ans: Note that the columns ( 2 ) and ( 5 ) are the same.

(1) ( 2) ( 3) ( 4) (5)

P Q R Q∨ R P ∧ (Q ∨ R) P ∧Q P∧R ( P ∧ Q) ∨ ( P ∧ R)

T T T T T T T T

T T F T T T F T

T F T T T F T T

T F F F F F F F

F T T T F F F F

F T F T F F F F

F F T T F F F F

F F F F F F F F

b) P ∨ (Q ∧ R) ≡ ( P ∨ Q) ∧ ( P ∨ R)

Ans: Note that the columns ( 2 ) and ( 5 ) are the same.

(1) ( 2) ( 3) ( 4) (5)

P Q R Q∧R P ∨ (Q ∧ R) P∨Q P∨ R ( P ∨ Q) ∧ ( P ∨ R)

T T T T T T T T

T T F F T T T T

T F T F T T T T

T F F F T T T T

F T T T T T T T

F T F F F T F F

F F T F F F T F

F F F F F F F F

Section 1.2 43 Conditional and Biconditional

the same meaning as P ⇒ Q . Which one is it?

inverse : ∼ P ⇒ ∼ Q

converse : Q ⇒ P

contrapositive : ∼ Q ⇒ ∼ P

For the two sentences which are not always true, give examples where they

are true.

10. (True or False?) Is the following statement ever true? Is it ever false?

( P ⇒ Q ) ∧ Q ⇒ P

(1) ( 2) ( 3)

P Q P ⇒Q ( P ⇒ Q) ∧ Q ( P ⇒ Q ) ∧ Q ⇒ P

T T T T T

T F F F T

F T T T F

F F T F F

the statement is TRUE when P is true, otherwise false. Hence, the statement

is not a tautology or a contradiction.

b) ∼ Q ⇒ ∼ P (contrapositive form)

c) ( P ∧ ∼ Q ) ⇒ ∼ P (proof by contradiction)

d) ( P ∧ ∼ Q ) ⇒ Q (proof by contradiction)

e) ( P ∧ ∼ Q ) ⇒ R ∧ ∼ R (proof by reduction ad absurdum)

Ans:

Ans Draw truth tables

(

12. (Hmmmmmmmmmm) Is the statement ( P ∨ Q ) ⇔ P ∨ ∼ Q true for all )

truth values of P and Q , or is it false for all values, or is it sometimes true and

sometimes false?

Section 1.2 44 Conditional and Biconditional

Ans:

Ans It is true then P is true and Q is false, otherwise the statement is false

as can be seen from the truth table.

(1) ( 2) ( 3) ( 4)

P Q P∨Q ∼Q P ∨∼Q ( P ∨ Q) ⇔ ( P ∨ ∼ Q)

T T T F T T

T F T T T T

F T T F F F

F F F T T F

13. (

(Interesting Biconditional) Is the statement ( P ∨ Q ) ⇔ ∼ P ∨ ∼ Q true )

for all truth values of P and Q , or is it false for all values, or is it sometimes

true and sometimes false?

Ans It is true when exactly one of P and Q is true, and false when both are

Ans:

true or both are false as can be seen from the truth table.

(1) ( 2) ( 3) ( 4) (5)

P Q P∨Q ∼P ∼Q ∼P ∨∼Q ( P ∨ Q) ⇔ (∼ P ∨ ∼ Q)

T T T F F F F

T F T F T T T

F T T T F T T

F F F T T T F

a) ( P ∨ Q) ∧ R

Ans: ∼ ( P ∨ Q ) ∧ R ≡ ∼ ( P ∨ Q ) ∨ ∼ R ≡ ( ∼ P ∧ ∼ Q ) ∨ R

b) ( P ∨ Q) ∧ ( R ∨ S )

Ans: ∼ [∼ Q ⇒ ∼ P] ≡ ∼ (Q ∨ ∼ P ) ≡ ∼ Q ∧ P

c) (∼ P ∨ Q) ∧ R

Ans: ∼ ( ∼ P ∨ Q ) ∧ R ≡ ∼ ( ∼ P ∨ Q ) ∨ ∼ R ≡ ( P ∧ ∼ Q ) ∨ ∼ R

Section 1.2 45 Conditional and Biconditional

Ans:

Ans If a function f is differentiable then f is continuous.

be.

Ans: If today is Monday, then it is the second day of the week. The

converse of this sentence states that if this is the second day of the week,

then it is Monday, which is also true. When both a conditional and its

converse are true the hypothesis and conclusion are logically equivalent.

Ans:

If a function f is differentiable then f is continuous. Here the converse

states that if a function is continuous, then it is differentiable, which is

false. The function f ( x ) = x is a counterexample of a continuous

function that is not differentiable.

Ans: Note that columns (1) and ( 4 ) are not the same. Hence the inverse

of an implication is not equivalent to the implication.

(1) ( 2) ( 3) ( 4)

P Q P ⇒Q ∼P ∼Q ∼ P ⇒∼ Q

T T T F F T

T F F F T T

F T T T F F

F F T T T T

b) What are the truth values of P and Q for which an implication and its

inverse are both true?

Section 1.2 46 Conditional and Biconditional

Ans When both P and Q are true or when they are both false.

Ans:

c) What are the truth values of P and Q for which the implication and its

inverse are both false?

contrapositive, and inverse sentences.

Ans:

Contrapositive: If 2N is an odd integer, then N is not an integer.

Inverse: If N is not an integer, then 2N is not an even integer.

a) P ⇒ ( Q ⇔ R ) requires paranthesis

Ans: One simply verifies that the truth tables for P ⇒ ( Q ⇔ R ) and

(Q ⇒ P ) ⇔ R are not identical.

b) ( P ∧ Q) ∨ R requires paranthesis

Ans One simply verifies that the truth tables for ( P ∧ Q ) ∨ R and

Ans:

P ∧ ( Q ∨ R ) are not identical.

c) (∼ P ∨ Q) ⇒ R may be written ∼ P ∨ Q ⇒ R

are the same.

19. (Challenge)

(Challenge) Rewrite the sentence

P ⇒ (Q ⇒ R )

Section 1.2 47 Conditional and Biconditional

(

P ⇒ ( Q ⇒ R ) ≡ ∼ P ∨ ( Q ⇒ R ) ≡ ∼ P ∨ ∼ Q ∨ R )

20. (Non Obvious Statement)

Statement) The statement

P ⇒ (Q ⇒ P )

can be read “If P is true, then P follows from any Q ” Is this a tautology,

contradiction, or does its truth value depend on the truth or falsity of

P and Q ?

Ans:

Ans Making a truth table for the sentence, we find

P Q Q⇒P P ⇒ (Q ⇒ P )

T T T T

T F T T

F T F T

F F T T

Statement) The statement

(Q ⇒ P ) ∨ ( P ⇒ Q )

can be read “For any two sentences P and Q , it is always true that

P implies Q or Q implies P ” Is this a tautology, contradiction, or does its true

value depend on the truth or falsity of P and Q ?

Ans:

Ans Making a truth table for the sentence, we find

P Q P⇒Q Q⇒P ( P ⇒ Q ) ∨ (Q ⇒ P )

T T T T T

T F F T T

F T F F T

F F T T T

Section 1.2 48 Conditional and Biconditional

22. (Three-

(Three-Valued Logic) Two-valued (T and F) truth tables were basic in

logic until 1921 when the Polish logician Jan Lukasiewicz (1878-1956) and

American logician Emil Post (1897-1954) introduced n -valued logical

systems where n is any integer greater than 1. For example, sentences in a

three-valued logic might have values True, False, and Unknown. Three-value

logic is useful in computer science in database work. The truth tables for the

AND, OR, and NOT connectives are as follows:

A B A OR B A AND B NOT A

True True True True False

True Unknown True Unknown False

True False True False False

Unknown True True Unknown Unknown

Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

Unknown False Unknown False Unknown

False True True False True

False Unknown Unknown False True

False False False False True

From these connectives, derive the connectives for the conditional and

biconditional connectives.

(1) ( 2) ( 3)

P Q ∼P ∼ P∨Q P⇒Q

T T F T T

T U F U U

T F F F F

U T U T T

U U U U U

U F U U U

F T T T T

F U T T T

F F T T T

column ( 6 ) .

Section 1.2 49 Conditional and Biconditional

(1) ( 2) ( 3) ( 4) (5) ( 6)

P Q ∼P ∼ P∨Q P⇒Q ∼Q ∼ Q∨ P Q⇒P ( P ⇒ Q ) ∧ (Q ⇒ P )

T T F T T F T T T

T U F U U U T T U

T F F F F T T T F

U T U T T F U U U

U U U U U U U U U

U F U U U T T T U

F T T T T F F F F

F U T T T U U U U

F F T T T T T T T

23. (Modus Ponens and Modus Tollens) Modus Ponens3 and Modus Tollens4

are systematic ways of making logical arguments that takes the form

If P then Q If P then Q

P ∼Q

Therefore Q Therefore ∼ P

Modus Ponens Modus Tollens

Show that Modus Ponens and Modus Tollens are both tautologies,.

truth table for ( P ⇒ Q ) ∧ P ⇒ Q and observing there are all T’s in column

(4) below:

(1) ( 2) ( 3) ( 4)

P Q P ⇒Q ( P ⇒ Q) ∧ P ( P ⇒ Q ) ∧ P ⇒ Q

T T T T T

T F F F T

F T T F T

F F T F T

Modus Tollens is a tautology which can be seen by constructing the truth table

for ( P ⇒ Q ) ∧ ∼ Q ⇒ ∼ P and observing there are T’s in column (4) below:

3

Latin: mode that affirms.

4

Latin mode that denies.

Section 1.2 50 Conditional and Biconditional

(1) ( 2) ( 3) ( 4)

P Q P ⇒Q ∼Q ( P ⇒ Q) ∧ ∼ Q ( P ⇒ Q ) ∧ ∼ Q ⇒ ∼ Q

T T T F F T

T F F T F T

F T T F F T

F F T T T T

P ∧ (Q ⇒ R)

( P ∧ Q) ⇒ R

Ans: Yes, as can be seen from the following truth table.

(1) ( 2) ( 3) ( 4)

P Q R Q⇒R P ∧Q P ∧ (Q ⇒ R) ( P ∧ Q) ⇒ R

T T T T T T T

T T F F T F F

T F T T F T T

T F F T F T T

F T T T F F T

F T F F F F T

F F T T F F T

F F F T F F T

25. Determine which of the following statements is true for the following

diagram.

Section 1.2 51 Conditional and Biconditional

a) All the squares are red if and only if all the squares are green.

b) Either there is a green circle or there are no yellow circles.

c) If there is red circle, then there is not a green circle.

Ans:

a) Both statements “all the squares are red” and “all squares are green” are

false,so the biconditional is true.

26. (Logical Puzzle) On an isolated island the inhabitants either always tell the

truth or always lie. You make a visit to the island and ask the first person you

meet about their favorite baseball team. The person says two things:

▪ If I like the Red Sox, then I like the Yankees.

Does the islander like the Red Sox? Does the islander like the Yankees?

What is the reason for your answer?

Section 1.2 52 Conditional and Biconditional

R ⇒ Y : IF I LIKE THE RED SOX I LIKE THE YANKEES

R ⇒ Y : IF I LIKE THE RED SOX I LIKE THE YANKEES

can not both be false since if R is false, then the conditional R ⇒ Y will

always be true. Hence we conclude both statements R ⇒ Y and R are true.

But if both these statements are true, so is Y . In other words, the islander

likes both the Red Sox and the Yankees.

27. (Professor

Professor Snarf’s Birthday)

Birthday)

Professor Snarf tells Mary the month of his birthday and tells Dave the

day of his birthday, and tells them not to pass this information to the other.

Professor Snarf then tells them if they can deduce his birthday, they will each

receive an A in their logic course, knowing it is impossible. However, Professor

Snarf does not realize how smart Mary and Dave are in logic.

Day

1 2 3 4 5 6

Jan Jan 3 Jan 4 Jan 6

Feb Feb 3 Feb 5

Montth

March March 1 March 4

April April 1 April 2 April 6

Statement 1: Mary says, “If I don’t know the answer, then Dave doesn’t know

either.

Statement 2:

2 Dave says “I didn’t know the answer before, but now I know.”

Statement 3:

3 Mary says: “I now know the answer too.”

whereupon they correctly tell Professor Snarf his birthday and he grudgenly

gives them their As. What was the correct answer that Mary and Dave gave

Professor Snarf?

Section 1.2 53 Conditional and Biconditional

Ans: Let us rename Mary by MONTH and Dave by DAY to so we don’t forget

that MONTH knows the month and DAY knows the day.

so DAY knows the birthday), and then DAY passes back some information to

MONTH (enough so that MONTH knows the birthday), and then MONTH passes

you the reader information so YOU know the birthday.

At the start MONTH (who knows the month but not the day) does not know the

birthday and so Statement 1, which is an implication of the form P ⇒ Q implies

that neither does DAY This is MONTH’s clever day of telling DAY that the

month is not February or April, since if the birthday were in one of those two

months, DAY would know inasmuch as day 2 only occurs in April and day 5 only

in Feb. So now MONTH and DAY reduced the number of possible birthdays from

10 to 5 as illustrated below.

Day

1 2 3 4 5 6

Jan Jan 3 Jan 4 Jan 6

Montth

March March 1 March 4

It is now DAY’s turn to deduce the answer and pass enough information back to

MONTH so she can deduce the answer. DAY says he knows the birthday, which

tells us MONTH it is not on the 4th of the month. (It is easy for him to find the

answer, he just looks in the column of the day Professor Snarf gave him to find

the month. So now we are down to three possibilities March 1, Jan 3, or Jan 6.

Day

1 2 3 4 5 6

Jan Jan 3 Jan 6

Montth

March March 1

Now, it is MONTH’s turn to deduce the birthday and tell you ! She says she

knows the birthday, which means the birthday must by March 1, otherwise if her

month was Jan she would be unable to decide between Jan 3 and Jan 6. Hence,

Professor Snarf’s birthday is March 1.

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