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a. the operator that forms one sentence from another and corresponds to the English not
b. a sentence so formed. It is usually written --p, ~p, p or ¬p, where p is the given sentence, and is false when the given sentence is true, and true when it is false
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


  1. (LOGIC) a proposition that is the denial of another and is true only if the other is false.
  2. (MARXISM) a phase or ‘moment’ in a dialectical process (see DIALECTIC) which negates a previous one, leading ultimately to a resolution (‘negation of the negation’). In the work of members of the FRANKFURT SCHOOL OF CRITICAL THEORY (especially ADORNO's Negative Dialectics, 1973) negativity was expressed as an opposition to all fixed categories and to the ‘administered world’ to which both orthodox Marxism and POSITIVISM were seen to lead.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a philosophical category expressing a certain type of relationship between two consecutive stages or states of a developing object or process. Negation is a necessary part of development and of the struggle between opposites. In “its comprehension and affirmative recognition of the existing state of things,” the dialectic “includes, at the same time also, the recognition of the negation of that state, of its inevitable breaking up” (K. Marx, in K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 23, p. 22).

As it develops, an object inevitably reaches the stage of its own negation: that is, it becomes qualitatively something other than itself. The negation of the old and the rise of the new constitute a chain without beginning or end. In this process, the developing object simultaneously becomes something other than itself and, in a certain sense, remains what it was. For example, youth negates childhood and is itself negated by maturity, which is negated by old age. At the same time, these are merely different stages in the development of the same person. This continual self-negation characterizes ongoing self-development in nature, society, and cognition. “True, natural, historical, and dialectical negation (taken formally) is precisely what constitutes the driving principle of all development—the splitting into antitheses, their struggle and resolution” (F. Engels, ibid., vol. 20, p. 640).

Dialectical negation is, above all, creative negation, in which the old is not simply discarded and destroyed but “removed” (aufgehoben) and preserved in a new capacity. V. I. Lenin emphasized that an essential part of the dialectic is “negation as a moment of connection, as a moment of development, retaining the positive” (Poln. sobr. soch, 5th ed., vol. 29, p. 207). This “retention” of the positive, the unity of negation and continuity in development, is an important feature of dialectical negation as a universal principle of being, which manifests itself in different ways at different levels of the organization of matter.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


The negation of a proposition P is a proposition which is true if and only if P is false; this is often written ∼ P. Also known as denial.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Or, it might express contrary-forming predicate negation, in which case the sentence is equivalent to
Because complete negation cannot be distinguished from complete negation, we can also say the following: if "nothing exists" is possibly true, a distinction between a thing or kind of thing designated only by negation and every possible thing designated only by negation is impossible; if a statement of the former is possibly true, a statement of the latter is possibly true--as I will now argue.
(5) Epistemic ega ma mingi Makaiver ei ole particle EPI I some NAME NEG be 'I'm definitely not a MacGyver' (6) Adversative no ega seda saab ainult particle but EPI it.PRT can-3SG only '[Contrary to what you just claimed]' uks kord teha one time do-INF 'it can only be done once' In general, the function of ega involves negation, coordination, as well as some kind of reinforcement of the proposition.
t(k(A)) = 0.4, then the truth value of its negation, [logical not] k(A), is t([logical not] k(A)) = 1-0.4 = 0.6.
The first precise semantics for negation as failure was proposed by Clark (1978), who defined the process of program completion--a syntactic transformation that turns Prolog programs into first-order theories.
Under Sinclair's analysis, the verb budge does not exist in a basic positive form; instead, it comes pre-equipped with an underlying negation marker.
Zionist "Negation of Galut" and Premodern Jewish Conceptions
So, we have to consider that the negation of I is I, while the negations of T and F are similar as in classical logic.
A sentence such as (19), by contrast, can only be grammatical if either is bound by clause-mate negation, as required by npis.
Sibley's (2010) Dark Duo model of Post-colonial ideology argues that ideologies in post-colonial societies consist of two interrelated beliefs--Historical Negation and Symbolic Exclusion-that have different roots and distinct effects.