Statement (logic)  

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In logic a statement is either (a) a meaningful declarative sentence that is either true or false, or (b) what is asserted or made by the use of a declarative sentence. In the latter case, a statement is distinct from a sentence in that a sentence is only one formulation of a statement, whereas there may be many other formulations expressing the same statement.

Philosopher of language, Peter Strawson advocated the use of the term "statement" in sense (b) in preference to proposition. Strawson used the term "Statement " to be such that two declarative sentences make the same statement if they say the same of the same thing. Thus the term "statement" may refer to a sentence or something made (expressed) by a sentence. In either case they are purported truth bearers.

Examples of sentences that are (or make) statements:

  • "Socrates is a man."
  • "A triangle has three sides."
  • "Paris is the capital of Spain."

The first two (make statements that) are true, the third is (or makes a statement that is) false.

Examples of sentences that are not (or do not make) statements:

  • "Who are you?"
  • "Run!"
  • "Greenness perambulates"
  • "I had one grunch but the eggplant over there."
  • "The King of France is wise."
  • "Pegasus exists."

The first two examples are not declarative sentences and therefore are not (or do not make) statements. The third and fourth are declarative sentences but, lacking meaning, are neither true nor false and therefore are not (or do not make) statements. The fifth and sixth examples are a meaningful declarative sentences. Russell held the fifth was false but Strawson held it was neither true nor false since it did not make a statement.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Statement (logic)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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