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The Evolution of Principia Mathematica
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Book description

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.

Reviews

'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 Source: History and Philosophy of Logic

'… very valuable to scholars of Russell and to anyone interested in the development of type theory and indeed of logic as a whole during this time … Linsky does a very good job of explaining the issues to the layman.'

Source: Russell: the Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies

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