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The Search for Mathematical Roots, 1870-1940 by I. Grattan-Guinness

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CHAPTER 7

Russell and Whitehead Seek the Principia Mathematica, 1903–1913

7.1 PLAN OF THE CHAPTER

This chapter covers the period during which Whitehead and Russell collaborated to work out their logicistic programme in detail. Mostly they prepared Principia mathematica at their respective homes at Grantchester near Cambridge and Bagley Wood near Oxford; thus much discussion was executed in letters, of which several survive at Russell’s end.

This chapter divides into two halves around 1906 and 1907 because of their change of strategy. After accumulating more paradoxes and axioms, and much work on denoting (§7.2–§7.4.5), Russell developed intensively a logical system which he called ‘the substitutional theory’ (§7.4.6–8); but then he abandoned ...

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