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?