Postcard from Siena – 1

We have decamped back to Siena for the better part of a month. Or rather to a small village about 15km to the east. Siena is already bustling with tourists, but here things are very quiet. From one window, a few domestic sounds of village life; from another I can see half-a-dozen men slowly working in a line between the vines below the village walls.

I suspect that logic postings here might be infrequent for a while, though I’ve brought a laptop and some things to work on when the mood takes me. But I have, at last, belatedly finished a review of the Absolute Generality volume (I’d have finished it a lot sooner if I’d bothered to check the word length and realized that I’d already written too much by a factor of four). The headline is: if you read nothing else, read the paper by Shapiro and Wright. That is terrific. Otherwise, I found the collection rather disappointing and frustrating. The editors should have rapped the knuckles of the unclear and the prolix. (Search back through this blog for more.)

I’m also still trudging through my Intro to Formal Logic, with one last search for typos and small ways of improving things. As things have turned out, I’ve found quite a large number of small changes worth making: but I’ve only made one significant addition, to Sec. 9.3, where I first start talking about valuations of propositional logic wffs. I now say a necessary three paras more about the classical assumption that we are dealing with wffs that are determinately true or false. (By great good fortune, the chapter previously finished near the top of the page, so I’ve been able to add material without changing pagination downstream.) Overall, I think the book is much improved for the changes.

Now a difficult decision. Go for a walk locally? Or into Siena to people watch over a drink in the Campo? Life is tough sometimes …

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