First-order logic

Overview

**First-order logic**is a formal logical system

Formal system

In formal logic, a formal system consists of a formal language and a set of inference rules, used to derive an expression from one or more other premises that are antecedently supposed or derived . The axioms and rules may be called a deductive apparatus...

used in mathematics

Mathematics

Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

, philosophy

Philosophy

Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, linguistics

Linguistics

Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context....

, and computer science

Computer science

Computer science or computing science is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and of practical techniques for their implementation and application in computer systems...

. It goes by many names, including:

**first-order predicate calculus**, the

**lower predicate calculus**,

**quantification theory**, and predicate logic

Predicate logic

In mathematical logic, predicate logic is the generic term for symbolic formal systems like first-order logic, second-order logic, many-sorted logic or infinitary logic. This formal system is distinguished from other systems in that its formulae contain variables which can be quantified...

(a less precise term). First-order logic is distinguished from propositional logic by its use of quantifiers; each interpretation of first-order logic includes a domain of discourse

Domain of discourse

In the formal sciences, the domain of discourse, also called the universe of discourse , is the set of entities over which certain variables of interest in some formal treatment may range...

over which the quantifiers range.