Logic books of the year?

It is the time of year when the more serious newspapers invite panels of authors, reviews editors, and others to pick out their books of the year, leaving the rest of us to feel hopelessly out of touch and wondering how to find the time to read more … (Only a few months late, I did greatly enjoy and admire one of last year’s oft-chosen books, Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. I try to alternative reading novels old(ish) and new(ish), and the returned-to-modern-classic that I got lost in, and wished hadn’t come to an end, even though it is one of the longest single novels in the language, was Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy.)

But what about the logic books of 2014 (mathematical or philosophical)?

My patience with philosophy seems frankly to be getting less and less. I was disappointed by Stewart Shapiro’s Varieties of Logic, and haven’t yet read Penelope Maddy’s new The Logical Must. I’m sure Roy Cook’s The Yablo Paradox is a good thing, but again I haven’t mustered the enthusiasm to tackle that. But what else broadly in the area of philosophy-of-logic/philosophy-of-maths has newly appeared this year? I’m probably being forgetful, but as I look along my shelves I can’t recall anything that got me excited!

As for more technical stuff, however, I can be much more positive. The stand-out book for me is

Tom Leinster, Basic Category Theory (CUP, viii + 183 pp.).

To be sure, this is not for everyone who visits Logic Matters, for it is a mathematics text (published in the Cambridge Studies in Advanced Mathematics series), and also it won’t tell you about the more specifically logic-related topics in category theory. But the book’s treatment of the basic topics that it does cover strikes me as a particularly fine expository achievement, balancing economy of scale with accessibility. So that‘s my logic book of the year for 2014.

What are your logic/phil maths book highlights of the year?

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13 Responses to Logic books of the year?

  1. Peter Smith says:

    @TobyMeadows tweets: Ralf Schindler’s text “Set Theory” has a lot of great results and makes fine structure (more) accessible.

    And yes, though I haven’t myself worked very far through this book, I agree that it looks good.

    • Rowsety Moid says:

      I also thought Set Theory: Exploring Independence and Truth looked interesting, but I haven’t yet started reading my copy.

      I also liked the look of Nik Weaver’s Forcing for Mathematicians.

  2. David Auerbach says:

    Well, I’ve only just started it but it starts well: Yablo’s Aboutness . Of course, it isn’t a logic book, but a mere philosophy book.

  3. Pepe says:

    Pavel Pudlák, “Logical foundations of Mathematics and computational complexity. A gentle introduction”, Springer, xiv + 695 pp.

    • Peter Smith says:

      Published mid-2013 so strictly doesn’t count for a best-of-2014 list. But still, many thanks for the pointer to the book which I didn’t know about!

      • David Auerbach says:

        Prompted by this, I checked my university library and was able to download the entire book as a pdf. ( and $0<$180). W0rth a try at your U.

  4. Daniel Nagase says:

    Well, Charles Parsons’s Philosophy of Mathematics in the Twentieth Century was published this year. The collection The Metaphysics of Logic, edited by Penelope Rush, is also 2014. And we also saw the English translation of Frege’s Grundgesetze, which is, I think, a significant publication.

    • Peter Smith says:

      Yes, of course, the Grundgesetze translation was more than significant: but it was published October 2013. I found Charles Parsons’s book just a bit disappointing to be honest (though I was glad to have those papers collected together). As to the Metaphysics of Logic collection, when it arrived on the new books shelf at the CUP Bookshop I (unusually for me!) didn’t find myself tempted to buy it — it looked too much of a mixed bag. But maybe I’ve missed a treat there!

  5. Rowsety Moid says:

    These also look promising:

    Johan Van Benthem, Logic in Games.

    David Spivak, Category Theory for the Sciences.

    • Peter Smith says:

      I did get a copy of the van Bentham on the basis of the publisher’s blurb, but on a closer look when I had it in my hands, it hasn’t risen to the top of the pile to actually read yet.

      Another book I’ve bought, that I will get round to sooner as it looks as if it should be helpful for those (like me) who don’t know the area is the recently published Type Theory and Formal Proof by Rob Neerpelt and Herman Geuvers (CUP).

  6. Another from late 2013 (November, if I recall correctly), but well-worth a look: Jim Garson’s What Logics Mean. In short (and likely somewhat simplified), Garson has found a way of ‘reading off’ model-theoretic semantics for the different connectives from their respective rules in different proof systems. One interesting result is that it turns out that the standard rules for classical ND systems fix a semantics closer to intuitionism than classical logic. Also includes a number of interesting philosophical applications.

  7. Rowsety Moid says:

    Some more books.

    I like the look of this text but (as with every 2014 other book, it seems) haven’t yet read it: The Logic of Infinity, by Barnaby Sheppard.

    This too: Articulating Medieval Logic, by Terence Parsons.

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