Since reading Logicomix (which, as I said, I really like), I've been wondering about the "logic and madness" theme that runs through the book. In the making-of movie (which I also recommend), Papadimitriou says at the beginning, "We were both interested in this very curious fact, that the majority of the protagonists of this intellectual … Continue reading Logic and Madness?
A revised version of Hubert Kennedy's 1980 biography of Giuseppe Peano, is available as a free download and a cheap print-on-demand paperback through lulu.com: Peano: Life and Works of Giuseppe Peano.
Sydney Padua has produced a number of amazing and funny comics on Ada Lovelace, Charles Babbage, and the Difference Engine. It's a bit hard to navigate, to get to all three installments of "Lovelace and Babbage vs. The Economy" you have to click on the "Economic Model" link in the sidebar. The upside is, though, … Continue reading The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage
Several of the commenters on my previous post on motivating the study of logic in my intro class have suggested that one important aspect of logic is the precision it affords, and hence the usefulness of logic in avoiding ambiguities. So I tried to find some nice examples of where ambiguity in natural language—and the … Continue reading Deadly Ambiguity
Yesterday's mail contained my copy of Logicomix: An Epic Search For Truth, a graphic novel by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos Papadimitriou with art by Alecos Papadatos and Annie Di Donna. It is scheduled to be released in the US on September 29, but amazon.ca apparently already had it. The UK edition is now sold out … Continue reading Logicomix: An Epic Search For Truth
Here's an interesting new-ish paper on the issue of gender differences in mathematics aptitude:Janet S. Hyde, and Janet E. Mertz. Gender, culture, and mathematics performance. PNAS vol. 106, no. 22, (June 2, 2009). Abstract: Using contemporary data from the U.S. and other nations, we address 3 questions: Do gender differences in mathematics performance exist in … Continue reading Gender, Culture, and Mathematics Performance
Volker Peckhaus has a new entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia on the influence of Leibniz on the development of logic in the 19th century.
I got Herbert Feigl's Theorie und Erfahrung in der Physik from the library, and on the front flyleaf there's a handwritten dedication to Karl Menger that reads "Herrn Professor Menger ergebenst überreicht vom Verf., 13. VI. 1929."
Wow. Four students (Sean Geggie, Martin Have, Anders Nissen, Mikkel Vester) at the University of Aarhus, Denmark, constructed a Turing Machine tape read/write assembly in LEGO. This was a final project for the course Embedded Systems - Embodied Agents, taught by Ole Caprani of the LEGO Lab at Aarhus. On their blog Lego of Doom, … Continue reading Turing Machine Robot in LEGO
The new journal of the Association for Symbolic Logic, the Review of Symbolic Logic, started up in 2008. Two of the papers in that first volume were selected for the Philosopher's Annual, vol 28, which each year "attempts to select the ten best papers in philosophy published in each year". They are: Thomas Forster, The … Continue reading Review of Symbolic Logic Published Two of Ten Best Papers of 2008
In response to the petitions mentioned recently, the UK government has issued an apology. The statement in full, as published on the 10 Downing St website: 2009 has been a year of deep reflection - a chance for Britain, as a nation, to commemorate the profound debts we owe to those who came before. A … Continue reading Gordon Brown Apologizes to Alan Turing
Next week it's back to the classroom for me, and I'm teaching intro logic again. I've been thinking a bit about what to do on the first day, especially in the "why you should take this course" department. There's the obvious reason: it's required (at least for philosophy and CS majors). So I'm really talking … Continue reading Why Study Formal Logic?
Exciting new entry in the SEP on Hermann Weyl, by John Bell.
David Johnston, of the University of Victoria Philosophy Department, has just released three apps for the iPhone (and iPod Touch), which will be of interest to students (and teachers) of introductory logic courses: Logic 100 These utilities for truth-functional logic allow you to check syntax, construct truth tables, and test for consistency and validity. Notation … Continue reading Logic on Your iPhone
As you probably know, logic pioneer Alan Turing invented the Turing machine model of computation, proved the undecidability of the halting problem and (independently of Church) the undecidability of the decision problem, and played an important role in the work at Blechley Park that broke various German ciphers during World War II. He was also … Continue reading Apology for Alan Turing
Leila Haaparanta, ed., The History of Modern Logic. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 318-471 (with Paolo Mancosu and Calixto Badesa)
Reprinted in Paolo Mancosu, The Adventure of Reason. Interplay Between Philosophy of Mathematics and Mathematical Logic, 1900-1940. Oxford: Oxford University press, 2010
I had to look up a Russell quote the other day, and that's when I noticed that many of his books -- including the Foundations of Geometry, Our Knowledge of the External World, Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy, Analysis of Mind, Principles of Mathematics, Mysticism and Logic, and Principia Mathematica (annoyingly, only vol. II) -- are … Continue reading Books by Russell (and others) in Google Books