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A universally quantified goal can be interpreted intensionally, that is, the goal ∀x.G(x) succeeds if for some new constant c, the goal G(c) succeeds. The constant c is, in a sense, given a scope: it is introduced to solve this goal and is "discharged" after the goal succeeds or fails. This interpretation is similar to the interpretation of implicational goals: the goal D ⊃ G should succeed if when D is assumed, the goal G succeeds. The assumption D is discharged after G succeeds or fails. An interpreter for a logic programming language containing both universal quantifiers and implications in goals and the body of clauses is described. In its non-deterministic form, this interpreter is sound and complete for intuitionistic logic. Universal quantification can provide lexical scoping of individual, function, and predicate constants. Several examples are presented to show how such scoping can be used to provide a Prolog-like language with facilities for local definition of programs, local declarations in modules, abstract data types, and encapsulation of state.
Dale Miller, "Lexical Scoping as Universal Quantification", . March 1989.
Date Posted: 02 January 2008