It’s the season when the literary supplements are full of choices of books of the year. And I for one am made to feel I just Haven’t Been Keeping Up. Ah well …
In fact, the only 2017 published novel I seem to have read this year — though with great enjoyment and at the warm recommendation of Mrs Logic Matters — has been John Banville’s Mrs Osmond (his sort-of-sequel to Portrait of a Lady).
What about new logic/philosophy of maths books? It seems to have been a relatively thin year (or again, have I not been keeping up?). I have mentioned over the year a couple of new books by Jan von Plato. First, his introduction to and translation of Gentzen’s shorthand notebooks (which seems a major achievement — and of considerable interest even if the history of logic is not your primary concern). And second, his partial and opinionated (but therefore interesting and instructive) history of theories of deduction and computation. As I said before, the book retains the flavour of a thought-provoking and engaging lecture course, which makes for readability.
The other book I have highlighted here is Neil Tennant’s Core Logic, the result of some forty years of wrestling with entailment, the transitivity of entailment, the avoidance of explosion, and related matters. Some (many?) will think we should just keep things simple, allow that a contradiction entails anything, and not fuss. Neil has much to say about the gains in being fussy.
Just in the last few days I have got two newly published books, Cezary Cieśliński’s The Epistemic Lightness of Truth, and Elaine Landry’s edited collection Categories for the Working Philosopher (both, by the way, outrageously expensive, even after discounts). The latter seems to be a very mixed bag (of the three papers I’ve read, one bad, one no real news at all, and one very helpful). The former, however, looks good. If, like me, you are (a) interested in formal theories of truth, and (b) are inclined to some deflationist/minimalist view about truth according to which ‘It is true that p‘ shouldn’t get you much further than plain ‘p‘, then you will be very interested in Cieśliński’s project: and the opening chapters are promisingly crisp and clear and accessible (though probably presuppose a bit more from the reader than the author thinks).
So what have I forgotten/overlooked? What are your logic/phil maths picks of 2017?