Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Starting from the beginning

Am I alone in this? Suppose I want to look at someone's discussion of topic X in (as it might be) Chap. 7 of some techie book on logic. I find I just can't stop myself reading Chaps 1 to 6 first. Even if most of that is relatively elementary stuff that in a sense I know backwards. Ok, it slows me down: but on the other hand -- if it is a good enough author for me to want to read Chap. 7 in the first place -- I almost never regret going over the stuff: I almost always learn something interesting, get a new angle on this, a cute approach for doing that, see connections I hadn't fully appreciated before.

Today's topic X is ordinals, and the aim is to check out Thomas Forster's discussion in Chap. 7 of his idiosyncratic and insightful Logic, Induction and Sets. I flicked through this when it came out. But I've started reading again more carefully from the beginning of the book, and good fun it is too. Recommended.

Though if you follow the recommendation, check out the corrections page.


lumpy pea coat said...

I do it all the time--it's uncontrollable. By the way, that book does look fun.

Rowsety Moid said...

I agree about reading earlier chapters. However, Foster's book give a better return on this than most, precisely because it is idiosyncratic. It's one of my favourite into logic books for that reason.

(Thanks for the pointer to the corrections page, btw.)