Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics: Papers from 1923 to 1938

Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics: Papers from 1923 to 1938

Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics: Papers from 1923 to 1938

Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics: Papers from 1923 to 1938

Excerpt

The setting free of Poland after the First World War was followed by intensive activity in her Universities. In the departments of philosophy and mathematics this took the form, in a number of places, of new and powerful investigations in the fields of mathematical logic, the foundations of mathematics, and the methodology of the sciences. Prominent in this movement was the Warsaw school led by Łukasiewicz, Kotarbiński, and Leśniewski. Under their skilled guidance a younger generation grew up and among these Alfred Tarski quickly distinguished himself.

Ever since I first enjoyed the hospitality of Professor Tarski in Warsaw in 1936, it has seemed to me that the importance and scope of the Polish school of logicians were insufficiently known and appreciated in the English-speaking world. Then came the Second World War, bringing ruin once more to Poland, killing men, destroying laboratories, and burning manuscripts and libraries. After this war it occurred to me that I should be performing a public service, as well as acknowledging in some small measure my debt to my Polish friends, if I prepared a collected edition of some of Professor Tarski's publications in English translation. When he visited England in 1950 to deliver the Sherman Lectures at University College, London, I mentioned my plan to him and received his approval.

This volume conta ins Tarski's major contributions to logic, semantics, and metamathematics published before the Second World War; their arrangement here corresponds to the chronological order in which they first appeared in print. With the exception of articles II and XI (which are too closely connected with, and too often referred to in, the other articles to be omitted), the volume does not include Tarski's studies in the foundations of special mathematical disciplines--set theory, group theory, etc. Neither does it contain his papers of a pronouncedly mathematical character, dealing with special topics from the domain of set theory, measure theory, abstract . . .

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