Has anyone attempted to read Principia Mathematica by Russell and Whitehead?
I have not seen a copy yet. However, I read accounts on them by Russell himself. He said it consists of 3 volumes, each co-author went thru the drafts in a hotel an average of 3 times. They attempted to reduce mathematics to logic. Russell mentioned about the book in his "My Philosophical Development."
Among their results: One is a class with a lone member. Zero is a class without a member. Two is a class of couples. Three is a class of triplets. There are more classes than there are things. Therefore a number is not a thing. They also developed symbolic logic. There are ways of counting other than by arithmetic
.I am writing from memory now. I would like a copy of each volume.
Yes indeed, I read most of it when I was at University. Not that I remember much about it, but I know I found it clearer than some of the more dense philosophy books I was also reading at that time. If I remember rightly, I used Russel's text as the basis of a paper I had to write for one of the subjects I was taking at that time. Those were the days!
I am glad to hear that someone else in the universe has! I found that first reading the Wikipedia article about Principia Mathematica helped because it explains how to interpret the obscure notation into the modern usage -- in particular the Sheffer stroke ("|") which is the equivalent of the "NAND" logical function. On the second round I found that I could begin to understand the fundamentals. It's a great intellectual challenge...!
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