[FOM] Principia Mathematica centenary

Irving ianellis at iupui.edu
Tue Jan 12 14:42:52 EST 2010

The following may be of interest to members of the list:
Call for Papers

The Bertrand Russell Research Centre in 2010 will 
host a conference to celebrate the 100th 
anniversary of the publication of the first 
volume of Russell and Whitehead's Principia Mathematica.

The publication in 1910 of the first of the three 
volumes of Russell and Whitehead’s Principia 
Mathematica was a landmark in the development of 
logic, the foundations of mathematics, and the 
application of logic in philosophy. The rapid 
development of these fields in the two decades 
after 1910 owes perhaps more to Principia 
Mathematica than to any other work. Subsequently, 
however, its lessons learnt in different ways by 
different people, it becomes more difficult to 
determine exactly what the world owes to this 
gigantic piece of work. Daunting both for its 
size and its technical difficulty, the book is 
now known more by reputation than by detailed 
study. Russell himself maintained, no doubt with 
some exaggeration, that he knew of only six 
people besides the authors who had read the 
entire three volumes. He remained dissatisfied 
with the foundations of the work and attempted a 
major revision (this time without Whitehead’s 
help) in a second edition published in 1925­27, 
which further complicated its historical legacy.

A century after its first appearance, a great 
deal has changed. Many of Russell’s working 
papers on the problems it addressed have been 
published, and this has led to significant 
re-interpretations of the work itself. Enough 
time has now passed to make it possible to 
evaluate what contributions it made, or failed to 
make, to philosophy, logic, and the foundations of mathematics.

Presenters Include: Patricia Blanchette, Charles 
Chihara, Warren Goldfarb, Ivor Grattan-Guinness, 
Leila Haaparanta, Allen Hazen, David Kaplan, 
Gregory Landini, Peter Simons, Alasdair Urquhart, and Richard Zach.

Submissions to the conference are sought in all 
areas relating to Principia Mathematica or to the 
development of logic and to the philosophy and 
foundations of mathematics in the years between the two editions.

Contributors are asked to submit two copies of an 
essay suitable for 30­45 minute presentation with 
an abstract no later than 1 Februrary 2010 to:

Professor Nicholas Griffin, Director
The BertrandRussell Research Centre
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario

EMAIL: ngriffin at mcmaster.ca
FAX: 905-577-6930

Graduate students are also encouraged to submit. 
Announcements of acceptances for the program will 
be made by the end of February 2010.

Conference Co-Organizers:

Nicholas Griffin
The Bertrand Russell Research Centre
McMaster University
ngriffin at mcmaster.ca

Bernard Linsky
Department of Philosophy
University of Alberta
bernard.linsky at ualberta.ca

Additional informations is available at: http://pm100.mcmaster.ca/

Irving H. Anellis
Visiting Research Associate
Peirce Edition, Institute for American Thought
902 W. New York St.
Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis
Indianapolis, IN 46202-5159
URL: http://www.irvinganellis.info

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