Concept

Decidability (logic)

Summary
In logic, a true/false decision problem is decidable if there exists an effective method for deriving the correct answer. Zeroth-order logic (propositional logic) is decidable, whereas first-order and higher-order logic are not. Logical systems are decidable if membership in their set of logically valid formulas (or theorems) can be effectively determined. A theory (set of sentences closed under logical consequence) in a fixed logical system is decidable if there is an effective method for determining whether arbitrary formulas are included in the theory. Many important problems are undecidable, that is, it has been proven that no effective method for determining membership (returning a correct answer after finite, though possibly very long, time in all cases) can exist for them. Decidability of a logical system Each logical system comes with both a syntactic component, which among other things determines the notion of provability, and a semantic component, which determines
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