analytic proposition

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analytic proposition

in logic, a statement or judgment that is necessarily true on purely logical grounds and serves only to elucidate meanings already implicit in the subject; its truth is thus guaranteed by the principle of contradiction. Such propositions are distinguished from synthetic propositions, the meanings of which include information imported from nonlogical (usually empirical) sources and which are therefore contingent. Thus the proposition that all bodies are extended is analytic, because the notion of extension is implicit in the notion of body; whereas the proposition that all bodies are heavy is synthetic, since the notion of weight supposes in addition to the notion of body that of bodies in relation to one another. In the 19th century Bernard Bolzano, a Prague logician and epistemologist, added a third category, the analytically false

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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