It’s that time again when the weekend papers are full of their lists of books of the year. I have to say that so many recommendations sound frankly quite unappealing — surely, there’s a lot of literary virtue-signalling going on! — but that still leaves me wanting to read more than I will ever have time to get round to. But one book (perhaps not exactly a philosophy book but certainly of philosophical interest) which has been warmly recommended a number of times is Sarah Bakewell’s At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being and Apricot Cocktails. I loved Bakewell’s book on Montaigne, How to Live. So, overcoming my analytical prejudices, I’ve just bought her new new book on Sartre and company as a holiday read. I’ll let you know what I think!
But what about logic books this year (or come to that, books on philosophical logic, philosophy of maths, or other topics broadly related to logic matters)? I have bought a number of older books in the last twelve months, but my haul of recent publications in logic, even broadly construed, seems to have been very modest. I’ve mentioned here two collections of essays, the Cambridge Companion to Medieval Logic, edited by Catarina Dutilh Novaes and Stephen Read (not quite what I’d hoped for) and Kurt Gödel, Philosopher-Scientist, edited by Gabriella Crocco and Eva-Maria Engelen (a very mixed bag, and pretty disappointing). But I balked at the price of another collection, Gödel’s Disjunction, edited by Leon Horsten and Philip Welch, as the papers again looked likely to be a pretty mixed bag: so I can’t comment on that. The only logic monograph I bought was the significantly expanded second edition of Alex Oliver and Tim Smiley’s Plural Logic. Otherwise, my purchases seem to have been more skewed towards pure mathematics — the most accessible and fun read being Barry Mazur and William Stein’s Prime Numbers and the Riemann Hypothesis.
So I’m not really in a position to recommend a logic (etc.) Book of the Year. All suggestions about what I’ve been missing out on will therefore be very welcome!
Update. I guess I should have mentioned the second edition of Hartry Field’s Science Without Numbers as of interest for its new fifty-page preface. But with this post now having already been read well over 800 times and with a dearth of new suggestions offered, perhaps my impression that 2016 hasn’t been a rich year for new books on logic/philosophy of maths is right!