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Old 02-01-2010, 02:53 AM   #1
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Russell, Bertrand: Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy. PDF V1. 01 Feb 2010

From the original dust cover:


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.


Although published in 1919, this work is considered a classic of analytic philosophy, and is still an important source of ideas for logic and the philosophy of mathematics, and is also an interesting guide to an important philosopher's thoughts, and hence is important for the history of philosophy. It was originally written as an informal introduction to the ideas found in Russell and Whitehead's monumental three volume work, Principia Mathematica, published in 1910-1914.

Bertrand Arthur William Russell (1872-1970), F.R.S., the 3rd Earl Russell, was a well known British philosopher, mathematician, logician and political activist. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950, and is widely considered one of the principal founders of analytic philosophy. He recently came in second in a vote of academic philosophers of the most important philosophers of the 20th century, behind only his student, Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Online Corrected Edition V1.

Based on the 1920 Second Edition of Allen & Unwin. Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy is in the public domain. This version, however, contains a number of fixes resulting from checking previous published editions against Russell's original manuscript. The list of changes, by Kevin C. Klement (that's me, frabjous), is released under a Creative Commons-Attribution-Share Alike US License 3.0.

Two PDF versions are available, both made especially for portable devices. One is made for 90x120mm screens, such as the Sony Reader PRS-505 and similarly sized devices. The other is especially made for a tiny screen (50mm x 75mm) such as an iPhone.

(Other sized PDFs are available on this webpage.)

The book is also available in ePub format, although the PDF versions are in many ways superior typographically.
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