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Definition df-bi 177
Description: Define the biconditional (logical 'iff').

The definition df-bi 177 in this section is our first definition, which introduces and defines the biconditional connective . We define a wff of the form as an abbreviation for .

Unlike most traditional developments, we have chosen not to have a separate symbol such as "Df." to mean "is defined as." Instead, we will later use the biconditional connective for this purpose (df-or 359 is its first use), as it allows us to use logic to manipulate definitions directly. This greatly simplifies many proofs since it eliminates the need for a separate mechanism for introducing and eliminating definitions. Of course, we cannot use this mechanism to define the biconditional itself, since it hasn't been introduced yet. Instead, we use a more general form of definition, described as follows.

In its most general form, a definition is simply an assertion that introduces a new symbol (or a new combination of existing symbols, as in df-3an 936) that is eliminable and does not strengthen the existing language. The latter requirement means that the set of provable statements not containing the new symbol (or new combination) should remain exactly the same after the definition is introduced. Our definition of the biconditional may look unusual compared to most definitions, but it strictly satisfies these requirements.

The justification for our definition is that if we mechanically replace (the definiendum i.e. the thing being defined) with (the definiens i.e. the defining expression) in the definition, the definition becomes the previously proved theorem bijust 175. It is impossible to use df-bi 177 to prove any statement expressed in the original language that can't be proved from the original axioms, because if we simply replace each instance of df-bi 177 in the proof with the corresponding bijust 175 instance, we will end up with a proof from the original axioms.

Note that from Metamath's point of view, a definition is just another axiom - i.e. an assertion we claim to be true - but from our high level point of view, we are not strengthening the language. To indicate this fact, we prefix definition labels with "df-" instead of "ax-". (This prefixing is an informal convention that means nothing to the Metamath proof verifier; it is just a naming convention for human readability.)

After we define the constant true (df-tru 1319) and the constant false (df-fal 1320), we will be able to prove these truth table values: (trubitru 1350), (trubifal 1351), (falbitru 1352), and (falbifal 1353).

See dfbi1 184, dfbi2 609, and dfbi3 863 for theorems suggesting typical textbook definitions of , showing that our definition has the properties we expect. Theorem dfbi1 184 is particularly useful if we want to eliminate from an expression to convert it to primitives. Theorem dfbi 610 shows this definition rewritten in an abbreviated form after conjunction is introduced, for easier understanding.

Contrast with (df-or 359), (wi 4), (df-nan 1288), and  \/_ (df-xor 1305) . In some sense returns true if two truth values are equal; (df-cleq 2346) returns true if two classes are equal. (Contributed by NM, 5-Aug-1993.)

Ref Expression

Detailed syntax breakdown of Definition df-bi
StepHypRef Expression
1 wph . . . . 5
2 wps . . . . 5
31, 2wb 176 . . . 4
41, 2wi 4 . . . . . 6
52, 1wi 4 . . . . . . 7
65wn 3 . . . . . 6
74, 6wi 4 . . . . 5
87wn 3 . . . 4
93, 8wi 4 . . 3
108, 3wi 4 . . . 4
1110wn 3 . . 3
129, 11wi 4 . 2
1312wn 3 1
Colors of variables: wff set class
This definition is referenced by:  bi1  178  bi3  179  dfbi1  184  dfbi1gb  185
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