Theory of Science: A Selection, with an Introduction

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Springer, Dec 31, 1973 - Science - 424 pages
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Bolzano’s 1837 Wissenschaftslehre was, with the possible exception of Boole’s Mathematical Analysis of Logic, the most important logic book published between the death of Leibniz and the publication in 1879 of Frege’s Begriffsschrift. It was a mammoth: 4 volumes and over 2,000 pages. This gargantuan size, its plethora of novelties, and Bolzano’s politico-religious persecution under the Metternich regime, all conspired to render it obscure until the later 19th century. While it did not employ algebra or axiomatics like Boole or Frege, it places logic on a comprehensive semantic footing, using the ideas of abstract Platonic propositions (in themselves), ideas (in themselves), and an ingenious technique of variation. Bolzano defined many concepts that were only rediscovered a century later by Tarski and Carnap. Both English translations are partial, they cover similar but not identical parts out of the work’s 718 sections, and both give a decent flavour of the original, which even Bolzano thought was too long. Both are reliable, though their English renderings of Bolzano’s technical German terms vary slightly. Indispensable reading for anyone interested in the history of logic in the 19th century. 

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