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The Evolution of Principia Mathematica
Bertrand Russell's Manuscripts and Notes for the Second Edition


  • Date Published: June 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107003279

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About the Authors
  • Originally published in 1910, Principia Mathematica led to the development of mathematical logic and computers and thus to information sciences. It became a model for modern analytic philosophy and remains an important work. In the late 1960s the Bertrand Russell Archives at McMaster University in Canada obtained Russell's papers, letters and library. These archives contained the manuscripts for the new Introduction and three Appendices that Russell added to the second edition in 1925. Also included was another manuscript, 'The Hierarchy of Propositions and Functions', which was divided up and re-used to create the final changes for the second edition. These documents provide fascinating insight, including Russell's attempts to work out the theorems in the flawed Appendix B, 'On Induction'. An extensive introduction describes the stages of the manuscript material on the way to print and analyzes the proposed changes in the context of the development of symbolic logic after 1910.

    • Discoveries from the archives resolve several scholarly puzzles about the second edition
    • The first extensive use of modern LaTeX typesetting to reproduce the original symbols from Principia Mathematica
    • Provides an overview of the field of logic in the period from 1910 to 1925
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Linsky's book is important and very well done, and it is surprisingly accessible for a work dealing with some very technically detailed historical matters. It is essential reading for anyone working on the history and philosophy of mathematics. It is an exciting new contribution and a valuable resource for further work on Russell's philosophy of mathematics.' Gregory Landini, History and Philosophy of Logic

    '… very valuable to scholars of Russell and to anyone interested in the development of type theory and indeed of logic as a whole during this time … Linsky does a very good job of explaining the issues to the layman.' Russell: the Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2011
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107003279
    • length: 418 pages
    • dimensions: 255 x 181 x 27 mm
    • weight: 0.9kg
    • contains: 7 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Writing the second edition
    3. Logic since the first edition
    4. Notation and logic
    5. Improvements in the new edition
    6. Induction and types in Appendix B
    7. The reception of the second edition
    8. The list of definitions for Carnap
    Introduction to the second edition
    Appendix A
    Appendix B
    Appendix C
    Hierarchy of propositions and functions
    Amended list of propositions: notes

  • Author

    Bernard Linsky, University of Alberta
    Bernard Linsky is a Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Alberta.

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