Restall’s new project: Proof and Counterexample

Greg Restall has a new book projct: Proof and Counterexample, a text on basic proof theory (sequent calculus and natural deduction, cut elimination and normalization, and such). Knowing Greg’s interests, this will cover proof theory for many non-classical logics. Greg’s draft is online, and the wiki devoted to the book also has a bunch of interesting and useful pointers on typesetting logic and, in particular, proofs. It’s editable, so you, too, can contribute to the project. (Charles already has.)

Bill Tait: The Provenance of Pure Reason

I’ve been waiting for it for a while, and it has finally arrived: my copy of William Tait’s collection of “essays in the philosophy of mathematics and its history,” The Provenance of Pure Reason. Neither OUP nor Amazon has a table of contents for it up, so here it is:

Introduction 3
1 Finitism 21
2 Remarks on finitism 43
1 Appendix to Chapters 1 and 2 54
3 Truth and proof : the Platonism of mathematics 61
4 Beyond the axioms : the question of objectivity in mathematics 89
5 The law of excluded middle and the axiom of choice 105
6 Constructing cardinals from below 133
7 Plato’s second-best method 155
8 Noesis : Plato on exact science 178
9 Wittgenstein and the “skeptical paradoxes” 198
10 Frege versus Cantor and Dedekind : on the concept of number 212
11 Cantor’s Grundlagen and the paradoxes of set theory 252
12 Gödel’s unpublished papers on foundations of mathematics 276

I’m looking forward to reading the appendix to Chapters 1 and 2, which is where Bill takes my dissertation apart.

Logical Lyrics: From Philosophy to Poetics

Just got this via FOM:

Logical Lyrics: From Philosophy to Poetics is available,

see Amazon UK and Amazon US [and Amazon Canada]:

I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your pertinent citations and aphorisms for Logical Lyrics: From Philosophy, Vincent F. Hendricks, King’s College Publications, March 2005, ISBN 1904987044, the independent follow-up to Feisty Fragments: For Philosophy.

Logical Lyrics contains almost 550 quotations on logic, logicians and logical matters (from a diverse fan of figures including Napoleon Bonaparte and Helena Christensen via Alfred Tarski, Stephen C. Kleene, A.N. Whitehead to Talking Heads and Supertramp) (about 210 individuals total) of which about 80 of these stem from PHILOG members (22 contributors; there is a credit line below your suggestions and all of you are listed alphatically (with country affiliation; The Netherlands, USA, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Ukraine, Canada, Sweden, Iran, Brazil and United Kingdom) at the end of the book under “Contributors”. It took roughly 4 months to collect all of the 550 quotations and track the references, 3 months to obtain the 278 permissions required.

Raymond Smullyan and Melvin Fitting kindly provided the blurbs for the back cover:

I found this collection utterly absorbing from beginning to end. It combines some very sagacious ideas with some choice bits that are delightfully funny.

Raymond M. Smullyan, New York

“If I were you, I would buy this book.” What does that mean? It means, “buy this book.” Why does it mean that? Perhaps this book will help you understand. Or perhaps not, but it will certainly be entertaining reading in the meantime.

Melvin Fitting, City University of New York

Although Logical Lyrics officially is released in March 2005, it is actually already available online with various online booksellers like Amazon (US, UK), Barnes and Noble, etc. The list price is £9 / $15 (196 pages including table of content, preface, disclaimer, A-Z, Contributors, Index).

Metatome on Teaching Formal Logic

Over at Metatome, Adam Potthast asks, “Does anyone have any special things they do to give formal logic more take-home value?” By which he means, “how do you motivate teaching formal logic to students who aren’t math, physics or philosophy majors.” And that’s a good question. I’ve so far only tried to increase the “take-home value” of formal logic for math, CS, and philosophy students. One suggestion is to include more history of logic. That, it seems to me, is important because otherwise it’s hard for the kids to see why anyone would even want to do all this stuff with formal symbols. But I’m not sure how much this will be appreciated by the students who aren’t math, CS, or philosophy majors. Well, maybe by the philosophy majors need to be specially motivated anyway, and talking about logic and Frege and Russell, Wittgenstein and Carnap might do that. And Leibniz, of course.

Wff ‘n Proof

I heard about this from a colleague, who played it as a kid, and then I saw it today on another colleague’s shelf, who promptly gave it to me as a gift (Thanks, Jack!). It is some kind of game with wff’s (in Polish notation), I haven’t looked at the instructions yet. I thought something this weird could not have survived on the market for long. But apparently you can still get it from or used from Amazon etc. Does anyone still play this?