Jack Copeland, Carl J. Posy, and Oron Shagrir eds. This work and its legacy is the focus of the volume under review. A reader of this volume will acquire a broad acquaintance with the history of the theory of computation in the twentieth century, and with ways in which this theory will continue to develop in the twenty-first century.
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For a number of those years, back in the s, I was pretty deeply involved in mathematical logic, largely due to the influence of a fabulous and charismatic rookie professor, Telis K. I just learned that Professor Menas passed away only recently, in — God rest his soul.
As things unfolded, I opted for a minor in philosophy and so, in due course, enrolled in a seminar with Alonzo Church himself. Indeed, his office was in the philosophy department, many buildings over from the mathematics department, and I only saw him in the latter building once. And the subject of the book, as the title has it, is Computability. Introduction, p. The essays also include a number of discussions of philosophical interest.
The material, while obviously fascinating, does require a measure of experience with these parts of mathematical logic, and can be pretty sticky in places. But there is an awful lot here that makes for good browsing at least for some one like me, a dilettante and occasional fellow-traveller.
But that is perhaps being unfair to what is ultimately serious scholarship: for the right audience, these essays are proper candidates for dissection and digestion. Soare, Umesh V.