PM@100: Logic from 1910 to 1927

Call for Papers
PM@100: Logic from 1910 to 1927

21 – 24 May, 2010
Bertrand Russell Research Centre
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario

The Bertrand Russell Research Centre in 2010 will host a conference to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of the first volume of Russell and Whitehead’s Principia Mathematica.

The publication in 1910 of the first of the three volumes of Russell and Whitehead’s Principia Mathematica was a landmark in the development of logic, the foundations of mathematics, and the application of logic in philosophy. The rapid development of these fields in the two decades after 1910 owes perhaps more to Principia Mathematica than to any other work. Subsequently, however, its lessons learnt in different ways by different people, it becomes more difficult to determine exactly what the world owes to this gigantic piece of work. Daunting both for its size and its technical difficulty, the book is now known more by reputation than by detailed study. Russell himself maintained, no doubt with some exaggeration, that he knew of only six people besides the authors who had read the entire three volumes. He remained dissatisfied with the foundations of the work and attempted a major revision (this time without Whitehead’s help) in a second edition published in 1925–27, which further complicated its historical legacy.

A century after its first appearance, a great deal has changed. Many of Russell’s working papers on the problems it addressed have been published, and this has led to significant re-interpretations of the work itself. Enough time has now passed to make it possible to evaluate what contributions it made, or failed to make, to philosophy, logic, and the foundations of mathematics.

Presenters Include: Patricia Blanchette, Charles Chihara, Warren Goldfarb, Ivor Grattan-Guinness, Leila Haaparanta, Allen Hazen, David Kaplan, Gregory Landini, Peter Simons, Alasdair Urquhart, and Richard Zach.

Submissions to the conference are sought in all areas relating to Principia Mathematica or to the development of logic and to the philosophy and foundations of mathematics in the years between the two editions.

Contributors are asked to submit two copies of an essay suitable for 30–45 minute presentation with an abstract no later than 1 January 2010 to:

Professor Nicholas Griffin, Director
The Bertrand Russell Research Centre
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario

FAX: 905-577-6930

Graduate students are also encouraged to submit. Announcements of acceptances for the program will be made by the end of February 2010.

Conference Co-Organizers:

Nicholas Griffin
The Bertrand Russell Research Centre
McMaster University

Bernard Linsky
Department of Philosophy
University of Alberta
bernard.linsky@ualberta. ca

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