Logic and Madness?

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?

Free Peano Biography

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.

Deadly Ambiguity

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

Library Book Dedication

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."

Why Study Formal Logic?

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?

Logic on Your iPhone

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

Apology for Alan Turing

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