The Lambda Calculus

[Revised entry by Jesse Alama on May 26, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The l-calculus is, at heart, a simple notation for functions and application. The main ideas are applying a
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[Revised entry by Jesse Alama on May 26, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The l-calculus is, at heart, a simple notation for functions and application. The main ideas are applying a function to an argument and forming functions by abstraction. The syntax of basic l-calculus is quite sparse, making it an elegant, focused notation for representing functions. Functions and arguments are on a par with one another. The result is an intensional theory of functions as rules of computation, contrasting with an extensional theory of functions as sets of ordered pairs. Despite its sparse syntax, the expressiveness and flexibility of the l-calculus...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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