Monthly Archives: July 2008

Sounding off (x 50)

I’ve just noticed that I’ve now written 50 responses as a panelist for the admirable askphilosophers.org. You can read my efforts here. It’s been fun. And contributing is probably a rather more productive way of procrastinating on the web than … Continue reading

Posted in This and that | Leave a comment

A blast from the past

After an electrical storm, my new MacBook Air suddenly stopped recognizing the wireless network at home. It could pick up a signal from about six neighbouring houses, but not the Airport base station a few feet away, while the old … Continue reading

Posted in Geek stuff | 2 Comments

Logic’s Lost Genius again

The last appendix to Eckart Menzler-Trott’s book on Gödel is a thirty-six page essay “From Hilbert’s Programme to Gentzen’s Programme” by Jan von Plato. As you’d expect from this author, this is accurate and useful, as far as it goes. … Continue reading

Posted in This and that | Leave a comment

MacBook Air!

I’m a pretty minimal user of the mobile phone, and don’t use my iPod that much either … so it really would be an expensive self-indulgence to buy an iPhone and contract. OK, ok, let’s be honest, it’s still very … Continue reading

Posted in Geek stuff | Leave a comment

Smorynski on Hilbert’s Programme

As I mentioned before, Menzler-Trott’s biography of Gentzen has a number of appendices, including a fifty page essay “Hilbert’s Programme” by Craig Smorynski. (A better title might have been “The slow emergence of Hilbert’s Programme from Hilbert’s intermittent work on … Continue reading

Posted in Logic | Leave a comment

Parsons’s Mathematical Thought: Sec 13, Nominalism and second-order logic

A general comment before proceeding. Parsons himself says that this book has been a very long time in the writing. And I suspect that what we are reading is in fact a multi-layered text with different passages added at different … Continue reading

Posted in Logic, Math. Thought and Its Objects, Phil. of maths | 3 Comments

Once upon a time …

Recently, we cleared out the loft, preparatory to having some building work done. And since a couple of big boxes of vinyl records had been sitting up there untouched for a decade, we gave the lot to Oxfam (there were … Continue reading

Posted in This and that | Leave a comment

Logic’s Lost Genius

It has to be said that Eckart Menzler-Trott’s Logic’s Lost Genius: The Life of Gerhard Gentzen is a strange work. For those who haven’t seen it, a word about the structure. The main part (pp. 1-283) of this large-format, small-print, … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Logic | 1 Comment

What language is this?

I’m settling down to a serious read of Eckart Menzler-Trott’s biography of Gentzen. Supposedly the English version. But what language is this? The examination of the mathematics using means and methods of other sciences or humanities is still disgusting for … Continue reading

Posted in This and that | 3 Comments

Parsons’s Mathematical Thought: Sec. 12, Nominalism

This is a short and rather insubstantial section, which I’m just taking separately to get out of the way, because the next section is weighty (and one of the longest in the book). Parsons understands ‘nominalism’ Harvard-style — no surprise … Continue reading

Posted in Logic, Math. Thought and Its Objects, Phil. of maths | Leave a comment