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Foundations of mathematics for the working mathematician

  • N. Bourbaki (a1)

I am very grateful to the Association for Symbolic Logic for inviting me to give this address—an honor which I am conscious of having done very little to deserve. My efforts during the last fifteen years (seconded by those of a number of younger collaborators, whose devoted help has meant more to me than I can adequately express) have been directed wholly towards a unified exposition of all the basic branches of mathematics, resting on as solid foundations as I could hope to provide. I have been working on this as a practical mathematician; in matters pertaining to pure logic, I must confess to being self-taught, and laboring under all the handicaps that this implies; and if, after no little self-questioning, I am speaking here today, I am doing so chiefly in order to enjoy the benefit of your professional advice and criticism, by which I hope to correct my views before I venture into print with them.

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An address delivered, by invitation of the Program Committee, at the eleventh meeting of the Association for Symbolic Logic, at Columbus, Ohio, on December 31, 1948.

1 This will usually be of oblong shape, according to the length of the formula inside it.

2 My attention has been drawn to the fact that American logicians use the word “relation” with another meaning. I shall, however, go on using it here in the sense to which I am accustomed, and which is in agreement with French usage.

3 For typographical reasons, parentheses had to be substituted for surrounding lines wherever these occurred in the present address; thus, “not (R)” takes the place of “not ®”.

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The Journal of Symbolic Logic
  • ISSN: 0022-4812
  • EISSN: 1943-5886
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-symbolic-logic
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