Kripke models

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Structures consisting of a certain set of ordinary models for classical logic, ordered by a certain relation, and serving for the interpretation of various non-classical logics (intuitionistic, modal, etc.). More precisely: A Kripke model for a language is given by

where is a non-empty set (of "worlds" , "situations" ); is a binary relation on (for example, for the system of intuitionistic logic, is a partial order; for the modal system (cf. Modal logic) it is a pre-order; for the system it is an equivalence relation); is a mapping which associates with each a non-empty domain such that, if , then ; is a valuation which associates with each individual constant of the language an element , and with each individual variable an element ; for each , associates with each propositional variable a truth value (for the system it is also stipulated that if and , then ); with each -placed () predicate symbol a certain subset (for the system , if , then ); and with each -placed function symbol a function from to (for the system , if , then is the restriction of to ).

For any and any formula of such that for each free variable in one has , the truth value is defined inductively. For the system , is defined as follows:

a) if is an atomic formula, is already defined in the model;

b) ;

c) ;

d) (for any , if and , then );

e) (for any , if , then );

f) (for any and , if and , then );

g) (there exists a such that and )

(here means that the valuation coincides with everywhere, except possibly on ). Instead of one sometimes writes .

For modal logics, the definition of in cases d, e and g is different:

d') ;

e') ;

g') (for any , if , then );

and, in addition, one requires

h) (for any , if , then ).

A formula is said to be true in a Kripke model (written ) if for any . For each of the systems , and one has the completeness theorem: A formula is deducible in the system if and only if it is true in all Kripke models of the corresponding class. It is essential that the domains are in general different, since the formula


where is not free in , is not deducible in , but it is true in all Kripke models with constant domain. The system obtained from by adding the scheme (*) is complete relative to Kripke models with constant domain (see [3]). The propositional fragment of each of the systems , and is finitely approximable, i.e. any formula which is not deducible in the system is refutable in some finite Kripke model of the corresponding class.

The concept of a "Kripke model" , due to S.A. Kripke, is related to that of forcing (see Forcing method).


[1a] S.A. Kripke, "A completeness theorem in modal logic" J. Symbolic Logic , 24 (1959) pp. 1–14
[1b] S.A. Kripke, "The undecidability of monadic modal quantification theory" Z. Math. Logik Grundl. Math. , 8 (1962) pp. 113–116
[1c] S.A. Kripke, "Semantical analysis of modal logic, I" Z. Math. Logik Grundl. Math. , 9 (1963) pp. 67–96
[1d] S.A. Kripke, "Semantical analysis of modal logic, II" J.W. Addison (ed.) L. Henkin (ed.) A. Tarski (ed.) , The theory of models , North-Holland (1965) pp. 206–220
[2] K. Schütte, "Vollständige Systeme modaler und intuitionistischer Logik" , Springer (1968)
[3] S. Görnemann, "A logic stronger than intuitionism" J. Symbolic Logic , 36 (1971) pp. 249–261
[4] P.J. Cohen, "Set theory and the continuum hypothesis" , Benjamin (1966)


Kripke models for intuitionistic logic are a special case of topos-theoretic models (cf. also Topos). Specifically, the function in the definition may be regarded as a pre-sheaf (i.e., a set-valued functor) on the partially ordered set ; the function equips this pre-sheaf with a structure for the given language, internally in the topos of pre-sheaves on , and the inductive definition of validity, given above, is the external interpretation of internal validity in this topos. Kripke semantics remain sound (cf. also Sound rule) for models in any topos of pre-sheaves (that is, if the partial order is replaced by an arbitrary small category ) — one has only to replace the quantification over nodes such that , which occurs in clauses d), e) and f), by a quantification over morphisms of with domain . However, if one considers models in a topos of sheaves (that is, if one introduces a Grothendieck topology on the category ), then clauses c) and g) have to be modified in order to take into account the covering families of the topology; for example, c) becomes

c') there exists a covering family of morphisms with domain , such that for every in the family either or .

The resulting interpretation is commonly called Kripke–Joyal semantics (after A. Joyal).

For more detailed accounts, see [a1] or [a2].


[a1] R.I. Goldblatt, "Topoi: the categorial analysis of logic" , North-Holland (1979)
[a2] J.L. Bell, "Toposes and local set theories" , Oxford Univ. Press (1988)
[a3] M.A.E. Dummett, "Elements of intuitionism" , Oxford Univ. Press (1977)
[a4] S. Kripke, "Semantical considerations on modal and intuitionistic logic" Acta Philos. Fennica , 16 (1963) pp. 83–94
[a5] S.A. Kripke, "Semantical analysis of intuitionistic logic, I" J.N. Crossley (ed.) M.A.E. Dummett (ed.) , Formal systems and recursive functions , North-Holland (1965) pp. 92–130
How to Cite This Entry:
Kripke models. Encyclopedia of Mathematics. URL:
This article was adapted from an original article by S.K. Sobolev (originator), which appeared in Encyclopedia of Mathematics - ISBN 1402006098. See original article