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The Evolution of Principia Mathematica: Bertrand Russell's Manuscripts and Notes for the Second Edition [Hardcover]

Bernard Linsky

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Book Description

July 11 2011 0521519349 978-1107003279 2
Originally published in 1910, Principia Mathematica led to the development of mathematical logic and computers and thus to information sciences. It became a model for modern analytic philosophy and remains an important work. In the late 1960s the Bertrand Russell Archives at McMaster University in Canada obtained Russell's papers, letters and library. These archives contained the manuscripts for the new Introduction and three Appendices that Russell added to the second edition in 1925. Also included was another manuscript, 'The Hierarchy of Propositions and Functions', which was divided up and re-used to create the final changes for the second edition. These documents provide fascinating insight, including Russell's attempts to work out the theorems in the flawed Appendix B, 'On Induction'. An extensive introduction describes the stages of the manuscript material on the way to print and analyzes the proposed changes in the context of the development of symbolic logic after 1910.

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Review

"Linsky's book is important and very well done, and it is surprisingly accessible for a work dealing with some very technically detailed historical matters. It is essential reading for anyone working on the history and philosophy of mathematics. It is an exciting new contribution and a valuable resource for further work on Russell's philosophy of mathematics."
Gregory Landini, History and Philosophy of Logic

"Linsky has also included notes made during the preparation of Appendix B, which throw interesting light on Russell's thinking and on his working methods, together with a reconstruction of a manuscript entitled 'Hierarchy of propositions and functions' from which much of the new material in the second edition was derived."
Michael D. Potter, Mathematical Reviews

Book Description

Originally published in 1910, Principia Mathematica led to the development of mathematical logic and computers and thus to information sciences. This fascinating and insightful book includes transcriptions of previously unpublished material, with introductory chapters explaining the symbolic notation and content of Russell's revisions for the second edition in 1925.

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