[FOM] Unique readability-- history
rgheck at brown.edu
Fri Dec 31 09:10:23 EST 2010
On 12/29/2010 07:39 PM, John Baldwin wrote:
> Similary, when did `induction on formulas' arise as a proof technique?
I do not know if this can be found before Frege or not. It's certainly
possible that there are occurrences of the technique in Boole, though I
think I would have noticed it when reading Boole a few years back. The
other possibility would be in the Booleans, e.g., Venn and Schroeder,
though I do not know their work, and they are not much concerned with
Induction on complexity is used by Frege in the argument in sections
29--32 of /Grundgesetze der Arithmetik/. It's quite possible, however,
that this is not the "source" of the technique in later work, since
/Grundegesetze/ was not widely read. But it was known to some of the
crucial players: Carnap, for example.
Richard G Heck Jr
Romeo Elton Professor of Natural Theology
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