Behmann’s 1921 Lecture on the Decision Problem

Paolo Mancosu‘s and my paper on Heinrich Behmann’s 1921 lecture on the decision problem is out in the new issue of the Bulletin of Symbolic Logic.  (Hey you are a member of the Association for Symbolic Logic, right?  Comes with subscriptions to the Bulletin, the Review, and the Journal of Symbolic Logic!)

This is the abstract:

Heinrich Behmann (1891–1970) obtained his Habilitation under David Hilbert in Göttingen in 1921 with a thesis on the decision problem. In his thesis, he solved—independently of Löwenheim and Skolem’s earlier work—the decision problem for monadic second-order logic in a framework that combined elements of the algebra of logic and the newer axiomatic approach to logic then being developed in Göttingen. In a talk given in 1921, he outlined this solution, but also presented important programmatic remarks on the significance of the decision problem and of decision procedures more generally. The text of this talk as well as a partial English translation are included.

If you can’t wait for your copy of the Bulletin in the mail, there’s a free preprint on arXiv.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *