Mutual exclusivity
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In logic and probability theory, two propositions (or events) are mutually exclusive or disjoint if they cannot both be true (occur). A clear example is the set of outcomes of a single coin toss, which can result in either heads or tails, but not both.
In the coin-tossing example, both outcomes are, in theory, collectively exhaustive, which means that at least one of the outcomes must happen, so these two possibilities together exhaust all the possibilities. However, not all mutually exclusive events are collectively exhaustive. For example, the outcomes 1 and 4 of a single roll of a six-sided die are mutually exclusive (both cannot happen at the same time) but not collectively exhaustive (there are other possible outcomes; 2,3,5,6).
See also
- Contrariety
- Dichotomy
- Disjoint sets
- Double bind
- Event structure
- Oxymoron
- Never the twain shall meet
- Synchronicity