The laws of thought. Introduction by John Corcoran. Reprint of the 1854 original. (English) Zbl 1035.03003

Great Books in Philosophy. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books (ISBN 1-59102-089-1/pbk). xlviii, 424 p. (2003).
George Boole (1815–1864) was already a celebrated mathematician when he published The laws of thought in 1854. Undoubtedly, this book started mathematical logic in the same way as Aristotle’s writings started logic in general. Those who want to understand modern mathematical logic should begin with The laws of thought. Let us underline that, among many wonderful things regarding this book, apart from some basic algebra and some beginning logic, the reader needs no serious previous knowledge of mathematical logic.
The book contains a well-dosed introduction by J. Corcoran helping the reader to better understand the significance of Boole’s work for the development of mathematical logic. Let us conclude, having in mind that the literature on Boole is growing [see S. Nambiar, Origins of mathematical logic: Boole’s assimilation of traditional logic to mathematical analysis (2003)], as the author of the introduction points out, that ‘this is a good time to start to study Boole’.
This book presents one of the real jewels in Prometheus’ Great Books in Philosophy series.


03-03 History of mathematical logic and foundations
01A55 History of mathematics in the 19th century
01A75 Collected or selected works; reprintings or translations of classics
03A05 Philosophical and critical aspects of logic and foundations