# First Order Predicate Logic

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*First-order logic* is a formal system used in mathematics, philosophy, linguistics, and computer science. It is also known as first-order predicate calculus, the lower predicate calculus, quantification theory, and predicate logic. First-order logic is distinguished from propositional logic by its use of quantified variables.

A theory about some topic is usually first-order logic together with a specified domain of discourse over which the quantified variables range, finitely many functions which map from that domain into it, finitely many predicates defined on that domain, and a recursive set of axioms which are believed to hold for those things. Sometimes "theory" is understood in a more formal sense, which is just a set of sentences in first-order logic.

The adjective "first-order" distinguishes first-order logic from higher-order logic in which there are predicates having predicates or functions as arguments, or in which one or both of predicate quantifiers or function quantifiers are permitted. In first-order theories, predicates are often associated with sets. In interpreted higher-order theories, predicates may be interpreted as sets of sets.