Not so structural … so back to Gödel instead!

A week with many domestic distractions; so until today I’ve not been able to settle for any length of time to such logical matters as reading on in the Pre-History of Mathematical Structuralism.

And now returning to that book, I do confess I find that my interest is waning. Having read (increasingly speedily) the next four essays, I’m not particularly enthralled. When commenting on the piece by Ferreirós and Reck on Dedekind, I worried that (at least  by my lights) it was done with too broad a brush to paint in enough mathematically satisfying detail. I’ve had rather similar reactions to some of the other essays.  I may well yet return to jot down some notes on more of the essays in this book. But for the moment, I’m finding myself much more enthusiastic about a quite different project — a revised edition of Gödel Without (Too Many) Tears, which I started working on a little while back.

I’m making some minor revisions/clarifications of the content, but also changing the format as I go along. And I’ve been encouraged to make it available as a print-on-demand book. Which I will probably do;  so watch this space for an announcement, perhaps in a month’s time, of a 150 page book. If I get the hang of this self-publishing malarkey. What fun!

5 thoughts on “Not so structural … so back to Gödel instead!”

  1. David Makinson

    That’s great news! I am sure that many who, like myself, have read earlier versions of GWT, are looking forward to the outcome. One suggestion: why not give Gödel’s Master Argument a more prominent position, much earlier in the text. To be sure, it is weaker than any of the constructive arguments, but it is so beautiful and conveys the driving force behind more detailed work.

  2. I look forward to seeing the wee book, and to tales of self-publishing adventures.

    In a comment on an earlier post, I wondered whether structuralism might turn out not be very interesting, and (though I’m normally not averse to metaphysics) I’ve found it hard to be intrigued by the particular questions structuralists consider or by the answers they propose. I suspect that if there were more mathematically satisfying detail, the detail would be more interesting than the structuralism.

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