I’m much enjoying at the moment re-reading Hartley Rodgers’s Theory of Recursive Functions and Effective Computability. What prompts me to take the book off the shelf again is the treatment of constructive ordinals some two hundred pages in; but (one of the upsides of retirement) I’ve got the time to start reading from the beginning, and it is well worth spending the time doing so. The book is as good and illuminating as I remembered it as being. In fact more so, as I’m sure I didn’t really appreciate it, back in the day.
I bought my copy at the end of 1970, and paid seven pounds and nine shillings for it (the bookseller’s pencilled markings are still on the flyleaf). That was a lot more than we could afford, and I expect I didn’t fess up to my extravagance, for it would then have been about 8% of my monthly take-home pay. Such was my devotion to logic. Or my obsessive book-buying habit.
The book-buying has had to be much reduced, as we are pretty much constrained to a one-in, one-out policy (not of course, that it quite works like that). But I did get in the post today a copy of Rózsa Péter’s great Recursive Functions — the copy was relatively inexpensive and though it once belonged to the library at the National Physical Laboratory was seemingly hardly touched. I’m not sure quite why, but I take real pleasure in having a copy at last.
Question (since the gender gap is vexing the philosophical interwebs these days): is Rózsa Péter the only woman so far who is the sole author of an indisputably significant mathematical logic book? Or am I having a senior moment and forgetting someone? (Even more run of the mill math. logic textbooks solely by women seem very few and far between: there’s Judith Roitman’s nice set theory text, and then ….?)