Statement (logic)
In logic
In philosophy, Logic is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning. Logic is used in most intellectual activities, but is studied primarily in the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics, semantics, and computer science...

 a statement is either (a) a meaningful declarative sentence that is either true
True may refer to:* Truth, the state of being in accord with fact or reality-Music:* True , 1996* True , 2002* True , 1983** "True"...

 or false
False or falsehood may refer to:*False *Lie or falsehood, a type of deception in the form of an untruthful statement*Falsity or falsehood, in law, deceitfulness by one party that results in damage to another...

, 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
Sentence (linguistics)
In the field of linguistics, a sentence is an expression in natural language, and often defined to indicate a grammatical unit consisting of one or more words that generally bear minimal syntactic relation to the words that precede or follow it...

 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
Philosophy of language
Philosophy of language is the reasoned inquiry into the nature, origins, and usage of language. As a topic, the philosophy of language for analytic philosophers is concerned with four central problems: the nature of meaning, language use, language cognition, and the relationship between language...

, Peter Strawson advocated the use of the term "statement" in sense (b) in preference to proposition
In logic and philosophy, the term proposition refers to either the "content" or "meaning" of a meaningful declarative sentence or the pattern of symbols, marks, or sounds that make up a meaningful declarative sentence...

. 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
Truth-bearer is a term used to designate entities that are either true or false and nothing else. The thesis that some things are true while others are false raises the question of the nature of these things. Since there is divergence of opinion on the matter, the term truthbearer is used to be...


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.

Statement as an abstract entity

In some treatments "statement" is introduced in order to distinguish a sentence from its information content. A statement is regarded as the information content of an information-bearing sentence. Thus, a sentence is related to the statement it bears like a numeral to the number it refers to. Statements are abstract, logical entities, while sentences are grammatical ones.

See also

  • Claim (logic)
  • Sentence (mathematical logic)
    Sentence (mathematical logic)
    In mathematical logic, a sentence of a predicate logic is a boolean-valued well formed formula with no free variables. A sentence can be viewed as expressing a proposition, something that may be true or false...

  • Belief
    Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true.-Belief, knowledge and epistemology:The terms belief and knowledge are used differently in philosophy....

  • Concept
    The word concept is used in ordinary language as well as in almost all academic disciplines. Particularly in philosophy, psychology and cognitive sciences the term is much used and much discussed. WordNet defines concept: "conception, construct ". However, the meaning of the term concept is much...

  • Truthbearer - Statements
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