[FOM] Logicomix

Alasdair Urquhart urquhart at cs.toronto.edu
Wed Apr 21 11:44:05 EDT 2010

On Tue, 20 Apr 2010, Charles Silver wrote:

> 		   But is it *true*?

I enjoyed Logicomix, but anybody looking into it for
an accurate history of logic and foundations of mathematics
will be disappointed.  Here is a list of a few historical
inaccuracies in the book.

 	Russell never met Frege.

 	Russell never met Cantor.

 	Russell did not attend a lecture by Goedel on the incompleteness results.

 	Russell's Uncle William was insane, but not locked up at Pembroke Lodge.

 	Russsell never confessed his love to Evelyn Whitehead (though he does
 	seem to have been attracted to her).

In defence of Doxiadis and Papadimitriou, they admit that they have
invented all kinds of things that never happened.

One thing that irritated me about the book is that they make Russell,
who spoke impeccable prose, into a ridiculous stage Englishman with 
phrases like "old bean", "old chap" and so on and so forth.

Whether the book would attract younger readers to logic is debatable,
since one the main themes of the novel is that there is a close
connection between logic and madness.

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