Centenary of IMP

We missed the anniversary by a month and a few days, but on 4 March 1919, Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy was published (see Russell’s letter to Constance Malleson). A free copy of the text in various formats can be found here, thanks to our Vice President, Kevin C. Klement (UMass Amherst). A free audio book recording of it can be found here, thanks to our Treasurer, Landon D. C. Elkind (University of Iowa).

Readers may be pleased to know that Russell wrote a blurb for this book. The blurb is given below:

This book is intended for those who have no previous acquaintance with the topics of which it treats, and no more knowledge of mathematics than can be acquired at a primary school or even at Eton. It sets forth in elementary form the logical definition of number, the analysis of the notion of order, the modern doctrine of the infinite, and the theory of descriptions and classes as symbolic fictions. The more controversial and uncertain aspects of the subject are subordinated to those which can by now be regarded as acquired scientific knowledge. These are explained without the use of symbols, but in such a way as to give readers a general understanding of the methods and purposes of mathematical logic, which, it is hoped, will be of interest not only to those who wish to proceed to a more serious study of the subject, but also to that wider circle who feel a desire to know the bearings of this important modern science.

Bertrand Russell, Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy, 1919 (cover blurb)

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