# Prove if $\succsim$ is rational then: if $x \succ y \succsim z$, then $x \succ z$

Prove if $\succsim$ is rational then: if $x \succ y \succsim z$, then $x \succ z$

By definition of $\succ$,

$$\tag{1} x \succ y \iff x \succsim y, \; \neg \; y \succsim x$$

Where $\neg$ is the negation symbol.

So we want to show both

$$x \succsim z \; and \; \neg z \succsim x$$

We are given

$$\tag{2} y \succsim z$$

By $(1)$ and $(2)$ and transitivity of $\succsim$ (since $\succsim$ is rational),

$$\tag{3} x \succsim y \succsim z \Rightarrow x \succsim z$$

We also need $\neg \; z \succsim x$

Suppose the contrary that $z \succsim x$, but then

$$z \succsim x \succ y \succsim z$$

Such that

$$\tag{4} z \succ z$$

is a contradiction (as $\succ$ is irreflexive) so it must be that

$$\tag{5} \neg \; z \succsim x$$

Applying $(3)$ and $(5)$ we have the desired property

$$x \succsim z, \; \neg \; z \succsim x \Rightarrow x \succ z$$

My question is if I am allowed to arrive at the statement $(4)$ from the line above it?

• No. Getting to $(4)$ the way you do requires the sort of "transitivity" on $\succ$ that you are trying to show in the first place. Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 22:12

By contradiction, assume $z \succsim x$. However, we already know that $y \succsim z$, which is a contradiction (after a couple more steps). Can you now see this?