# Definition:Axiom/Also known as

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## Definition

An **axiom** is also known as a **postulate**.

Among ancient Greek philosophers, the term **axiom** was used for a general truth that was common to everybody (see Euclid's "common notions"), while **postulate** had a specific application to the subject under discussion.

For most authors, the distinction is no longer used, and the terms are generally used interchangeably. This is the position of $\mathsf{Pr} \infty \mathsf{fWiki}$.

However, some believe there is a difference significant enough to matter:

*... we shall use "postulate" instead of "axiom" hereafter, as "axiom" has a pernicious historical association of "self-evident, necessary truth", which "postulate" does not have; a postulate is an arbitrary assumption laid down by the mathematician himself and not by God Almighty.*- -- 1937: Eric Temple Bell:
*Men of Mathematics*: Chapter $\text{II}$: Modern Minds in Ancient Bodies

- -- 1937: Eric Temple Bell:

## Sources

- 1937: Eric Temple Bell:
*Men of Mathematics*... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $\text{II}$: Modern Minds in Ancient Bodies