# Disjunction elimination

In propositional logic, disjunction elimination[1][2] (sometimes named proof by cases, case analysis, or or elimination), is the valid argument form and rule of inference that allows one to eliminate a disjunctive statement from a logical proof. It is the inference that if a statement ${\displaystyle P}$ implies a statement ${\displaystyle Q}$ and a statement ${\displaystyle R}$ also implies ${\displaystyle Q}$ , then if either ${\displaystyle P}$ or ${\displaystyle R}$ is true, then ${\displaystyle Q}$ has to be true. The reasoning is simple: since at least one of the statements P and R is true, and since either of them would be sufficient to entail Q, Q is certainly true.

An example in English:

If I'm inside, I have my wallet on me.
If I'm outside, I have my wallet on me.
It is true that either I'm inside or I'm outside.
Therefore, I have my wallet on me.

It is the rule can be stated as:

${\displaystyle {\frac {P\to Q,R\to Q,P\lor R}{\therefore Q}}}$

where the rule is that whenever instances of "${\displaystyle P\to Q}$ ", and "${\displaystyle R\to Q}$ " and "${\displaystyle P\lor R}$ " appear on lines of a proof, "${\displaystyle Q}$ " can be placed on a subsequent line.

## Formal notation

The disjunction elimination rule may be written in sequent notation:

${\displaystyle (P\to Q),(R\to Q),(P\lor R)\vdash Q}$

where ${\displaystyle \vdash }$ is a metalogical symbol meaning that ${\displaystyle Q}$ is a syntactic consequence of ${\displaystyle P\to Q}$ , and ${\displaystyle R\to Q}$ and ${\displaystyle P\lor R}$ in some logical system;

and expressed as a truth-functional tautology or theorem of propositional logic:

${\displaystyle (((P\to Q)\land (R\to Q))\land (P\lor R))\to Q}$

where ${\displaystyle P}$ , ${\displaystyle Q}$ , and ${\displaystyle R}$ are propositions expressed in some formal system.

## References

1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-04-18. Retrieved 2015-04-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
2. http://www.cs.gsu.edu/~cscskp/Automata/proofs/node6.html
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