[FOM] Book on the history of logic
Irving
ianellis at iupui.edu
Thu Feb 17 13:34:35 EST 2011
Sam Sanders asked:
Can someone explain to me why Kneale & Kneale's account of logic is
"extremely narrow"?
If their account is indeed of such nature, what else should have been
included?
The short answer to that question must be that it depends on what one
is looking for. But it is fair to say that, like a number of mid 20th
century accounts, it is long on the Russello-Fregean history and
comparatively short on the Boole-De Morgan-Peirce Schröder line.
(Kneale & Kneale also devotes much more space to the medieval logicians
than of Boole, De Morgan, Peirce, and Schröder.)
Another such example of the comparatively sparse coverage of algebraic
logic would be Bochenski's "History of Formal Logic", which has the
added feature of being primarily composed of a patchwork of translated
selections taken from the authors being discussed, held together by a
few interstitial lines of connective tissue.
Nathan Houser and I discussed this in "The Nineteenth Century Roots of
Universal Algebra and Algebraic Logic", in Hajnal Andreka, James Donald
Monk, Istvan Nemeti (eds.), Colloquia Mathematica Societis Janos Bolyai
54. Algebraic Logic, Budapest (Hungary), 1988 (Amsterdam/London/New
York: North-Holland, 1991), 1-36.
For works of the same vintage, one would do well, if adopting a work
such as Kneale & Kneale, to supplement that book with Nikolai
Styazhkin's "History of Mathematical Logic from Leibniz to Peano" (MIT
Press), to fill in the details of the algebraic logicians that are
missing from the more standard Russello-Fregean histories. (If I
remember correctly, Elliott Mendelson was the translator of Styazkin's
book.)
From the standpoint of historiography, one might consider Ivor
Grattan-Guinness's distinction (which he formulated in his writings on
history of mathematics) between history are heritage, the former asking
'What happened in the past?', the latter asking 'How did we get to
where we are today?', or equivalently, 'what happened in the past that
leads to me?' (The differences are discussed in my "Navigating History
of Mathematics: Essay-Review of Ivor Grattan-Guinness, Routes of
Learning: Highways, Pathways, and Byways in the History of
Mathematics", Annals of Science
(http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a921891984~tab=content~order=pubdate).
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
USA
URL: http://www.irvinganellis.info
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