Category Archives: This and that

A word for our times

TrumpBrexiety (© Lucy Mangan)

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Raymond Smullyan (1919–2017)

I first came across Raymond Smullyan’s work — surely  like many of my sort of vintage — through his wonderfully inventive and illuminating short(ish) paper “Languages in which self-reference is possible” which was reprinted in Hintikka’s 1969 The Philosophy of Mathematics (in the Oxford Readings series). Still … Continue reading

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Conditionals again

Here are two draft chapters on conditionals for the second edition of my Introduction to Formal Logic (to replace chapters 14 and 15 of the current edition). I’ve got to the point that I’d very much welcome comments on these. … Continue reading

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Serendipitous distractions

So the CUP Book Sale is over for another twelve months — and with changed rules after last year’s unseemly scrums, this year’s Sale was a very much more enjoyable and civilised affair. After a few pretty abstemious visits, I still came away … Continue reading

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Scott Aaronson on P ?= NP

As of course is the way with these things, no sooner had I put online TYL2017 than something appears which I would like to add to the Guide. Scott Aaronson has put together a 120 pages survey article on the … Continue reading

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The material conditional and the logic textbooks (1)

What is the relationship between the ordinary language conditional and the material conditional which standard first-order logic uses as its counterpart, surrogate, or replacement? Let’s take it as agreed for present purposes that there is a distinction to be drawn … Continue reading

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A Christmas card

With all good wishes for a very happy and peaceful Christmas.

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IFL2 news

I have just heard that CUP are definitely going to offer me a contract for a shiny new edition of my Introduction to Formal Logic. If the press had never mentioned the idea, I would have probably never taken a … Continue reading

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Postcard from Paris

So, as it happened, we left for Paris on the day of the Presidential Election, and woke up in our hotel to the grim news the next morning. At least, being away from home, with so much else to distract … Continue reading

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Life’s choppier waters

My non-logical readings are rather random, except for one pretty firm rule — I try to alternate between reading something new (or at least, new to me), and re-reading something familiar (or at least something that would be familiar, if only … Continue reading

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