Sunday, July 15, 2007

Fixing Frege

I've just started (re)reading John Burgess' Fixing Frege. It is really full of useful things, but I still think what I thought on a first reading -- namely that this is a pretty annoying book, as it surely could have been done so much better. Done better, for a start, by being done more slowly, with some of the technical exposition being handled more carefully and more transparently, with more commentary. For example, which grad students are going to see what's natural about the Friedman/Simpson hierarchy of subsystems of second-order arithmetic just from the exposition on pp. 67-68? The book is a must-read; but it is also an unnecessarily difficult read given its presumbably intended audience.

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