University of Calgary
UofC Navigation

All LogBlog Posts

Cleaning House

Submitted by Richard Zach on Wed, 09/10/2008 - 3:20pm

So, sabbatical is over, I'm back in Calgary, started to teach yesterday (history of analytic, and Gödel's incompleteness theorem--from Peter's book). I saved so many posts in my reader over the summer that now there's more saved posts than new posts every day. Let's clean house.


LHC is in da House!

Submitted by Richard Zach on Wed, 09/10/2008 - 2:07pm

Wow, this is amazing:
Now that's what I call science communication! I look forward to the new EP from Kate McAlpine (emcee) and Will Barras (beats).

PS: xkcd is on today as well.

Summer Schools in Logic and Learning (in the Winter)

Submitted by Richard Zach on Mon, 09/08/2008 - 3:27pm

The Summer Schools in Logic and Learning will be held January 26-February 6, 2009, and you're invited:

An Open Invitation to attend the

Summer Schools in Logic and Learning

26 January to 6 February 2009
Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

One of the grand challenges in science and engineering is to build computer systems that are trustworthy and intelligent. While achieving this goal could be many decades away, computer systems are clearly getting smarter and more reliable year by year and human society is becoming more reliant on exploiting their increasing intelligence. Logic and machine learning are two indispensable parts of the efforts to meet this challenge.

Join us for a new summer school experience where you have a unique two week opportunity to combine the solid foundations of logic and machine learning, with an introductory track in artificial intelligence in the second week.

Courses are taught by some of the world's leading computer scientists and blend practical and theoretical short courses with lectures and demonstrations in state-of-the-art computer facilities at ANU.

Courses and Speakers

Artificial Intelligence Courses
Logic Courses
Machine Learning Courses

Fees and Registration
More information

If you would like to discuss this invitation in more detail, including advice on suitable candidacy, please go to:

The Summer Schools in Logic and Learning are supported by ANU and NICTA.

Dr Tiberio Caetano, Convener
Professor John Slaney, Convener
Dr Alwen Tiu (Acting Convener)
Diane Kossatz
Michelle Moravec

Intuitionism in the SEP

Submitted by Richard Zach on Sat, 09/06/2008 - 3:13pm

Rosalie Iemhoff has a new entry on intuitionism in the philosophy of mathematics for the Stanford Encyclopedia. It explains the basics of intuitionistic mathematics. Together with Mark van Atten's entries on the history of intuitionistic logic and on Brouwer, and Joan Rand Moschovakis's entry on intuitionistic logic, the SEP is now probably the premier source for information on intuitionism on the Internets.

2008 Canadian Research Grants to Philosophers

Submitted by Richard Zach on Fri, 09/05/2008 - 6:26pm

SSHRC has posted the list of funded projects from the most recent Standard Research Grants competition. These grants are for three years. Last year's results are here (plus lots of discussion on the politics of SSHRC in the comments section).

This year's stats: 92 applications (2007: 88; 2006: 85, 2005: 96, 2004: 92), 28 grants, for a success rate of 30% (2007: 29%; 2006: 37%, 2005: 38%, 2004: 48%). Full stats here.

I went through the approx. 900 project titles for you; here's a list of the projects that jumped out at me as being philosophy projects or where I recognized the applicants as philosophers. The list doesn't give the department, nor does it give the grant selection committee, so some of these may have applied to a GSC other than philosophy--I don't think there's a way to tell. Also, As always, please email with corrections and additions. Congratulations to all (except the last)!

  1. Donald C. Ainslie, University of Toronto $53,500
    Hume's bundle: scepticism and self-consciousness in the Treatise
  2. Robert W. Batterman, The University of Western Ontario $84,984
    Idealizations, singularities, and the applicability of mathematics
  3. Deborah L. Black, University of Toronto $45,400
    Cognition and the brain in medieval philosophy: the internal senses
  4. Ingo Brigandt, University of Alberta $66,652
    Integrating different biological approaches: a philosophical contribution
  5. M. Bryson Brown, The University of Lethbridge $94,618
    Raymond E. Jennings, Simon Fraser University
    Peter K. Schotch, Dalhousie University
    Preservationism: applications and extensions
  6. James Robert Brown, University of Toronto $114,924
    The nature of thought experiments
  7. Phil Corkum, University of Alberta $18,424
    Aristotle on ontological dependence
  8. Peter S. Eardley, University of Guelph $32,585
    The origins of ethical secularization: Aquinas to Luther
  9. Carlos Fraenkel, McGill University $81,394
    Religion as the handmaid of philosophy: the impact of Plato's political thought on the philosophical interpretation of religion in antiquity, the middle ages, and the early modern period
  10. Lloyd P. Gerson, University of Toronto $54,950
    From Plato to Platonism
  11. Pablo Gilabert, Concordia University $60,879
    Basic global justice and the boundaries of normative responsibility
  12. Jean Grondin, Université de Montréal $102,920
    Herméneutique et déconstruction : le débat entre Gadamer et Derrida
  13. Ishtiyaque Haji, University of Calgary $76,802
    The relevance of free will to the intrinsic value of lives and worlds
  14. Benjamin D. Hill, The University of Western Ontario $25,960
    John Locke's early epistemology and his practice of medicine
  15. David A. Hunter, Ryerson University $54,3400
    Belief and intention
  16. Philip A. Kremer, University of Toronto $55,482
    Truth and paradox
  17. Thomas M. Lennon, The University of Western Ontario $21,095
    Sacrifice: the philosophical significance of quietism
  18. Bernard Linsky, University of Alberta $51,778
    Studies in Whitehead and Russell's principia mathematica
  19. Peter Ludlow, University of Toronto $96,240
    The philosophy of generative linguistics
  20. Ginette Michaud, Université de Montréal $70,981
    Édition des séminaires de Jacques Derrida -EHESS, 1995-2003
  21. Marleen Rozemond, University of Toronto $29,000
    The Achilles argument and the mind-body problem in the early modern period
  22. Ileana Paul, The University of Western Ontario $47,700
    Robert Stainton, The University of Western Ontario
    Varieties of predication
  23. Daniel J. Regnier, St. Thomas More College $54,791
    Phantasia - imagination - in ancient Greek philosophy
  24. Alexander Rueger, University of Alberta $70,930
    Kant's aesthetic theory in context
  25. Robert Stainton, The University of Western Ontario $82,840
    Benjamin D. Hill, The University of Western Ontario
    Henrik Lagerlund, The University of Western Ontario
    History of philosophy of language
  26. Sergio Tenenbaum, University of Toronto $43,950
    Good and good for
  27. Douglas N. Walton, The University of Winnipeg $98,400
    Argumentation in artificial intelligence and law
  28. Richard Zach, University of Calgary $64,900
    Dirk Schlimm, McGill University
    The collected works of Rudolf Carnap

Interpolations: Essays in Honor of William Craig

Submitted by Richard Zach on Fri, 09/05/2008 - 5:27pm

Last year in May, Berkeley held a conference in honor of Bill Craig, who will turn 90 this coming November. Bill is probably best known for the Craig Interpolation Theorem and the theorem that every recursively enumerable theory is recursively axiomatizable. Just in time, the Festschrift arising from that conference has appeared online. It's a special issue of Synthese, edited by Paolo Mancosu. The table of contents is below; Paolo's introduction contains a nice outline of Bill's life and work.

  1. Paolo Mancosu, Introduction
  2. William Craig, Elimination problems in logic: a brief history
  3. William Craig, The road to two theorems of logic
  4. Solomon Feferman, Harmonious logic: Craig’s interpolation theorem and its descendants
  5. William Demopoulos, Some remarks on the bearing of model theory on the theory of theories
  6. Michael Friedman, Wissenschaftslogik: The role of logic in the philosophy of science
  7. Jouko Väänänen, The Craig Interpolation Theorem in abstract model theory
  8. Giovanna D’Agostino, Interpolation in non-classical logics
  9. Gerard R. Renardel de Lavalette, Interpolation in computing science: the semantics of modularization
  10. Johan Benthem, The many faces of interpolation

Henri Cartan, 1904-2008

Submitted by Richard Zach on Fri, 09/05/2008 - 3:05pm

Henri Cartan, last surviving member of the original Bourbakistes, died on August 13. He'll be remembered not just for his mathematical work, but also for his political engagement for human rights and European federalism. Obits:

Daily Telegraph
Die Zeit
Le Figaro
Le Monde
New York Times
Washington Post

(HT: Giuseppina Ronzitti)

Computability in Europe Association

Submitted by Richard Zach on Fri, 09/05/2008 - 2:52pm

The CiE series of conferences now has an associated association. At 0 EUR, membership is pretty cheap! By the way, next year's CiE in Heidelberg will be a blast for the logic-y side of computation. Jeremy Avigad has agreed to be one of the invited speakers, Pavel Pudlák will give a tutorial, and there will be a session on philosophical and mathematical aspects of hypercomputation organized by Phil Welch and James Ladyman. Deadline for paper submission is January 20, 2009.

After four very successful conferences in Amsterdam in 2005, Swansea in 2006, Siena in 2007 and Athens in 2008, our community has officially formed the association
Computability in Europe

at the Annual General Meeting at this year's Computability in Europe conference in Athens. The object of the Association is to promote the development, particularly in Europe, of computability-related science, ranging over mathematics, computer science, and applications in various natural and engineering sciences such as physics and biology. This also includes the promotion of the study of philosophy and history of computing as it relates to questions of computability. A draft constitution of the Association can be found at

We invite every researcher interested in the object of the Association to become a member. The initial membership fee is set at zero, and lasts until 30 June 2010.

To apply for membership of the Association, please complete and submit the form at

Any enquiries concerning association CiE membership should be sent to the Membership Secretary, Arnold Beckmann, at

Honest Toil

Submitted by Richard Zach on Sat, 08/30/2008 - 4:39pm

Another exciting new blog, by Chris Pincock: Honest Toil.

Entia et Nomina

Submitted by Richard Zach on Sat, 08/30/2008 - 4:31pm

My former student Rafa? Urbaniak has a new blog, Entia et Nomina.

Imre Ruzsa, 1921-2008

Submitted by Richard Zach on Fri, 08/08/2008 - 5:53am

van Atten on Intuitionistic Logic, Brouwer Stamp

Submitted by Richard Zach on Thu, 07/17/2008 - 9:57am

Mark van Atten's excellent entry on the history of intuitionistic logic for the Stanford Encyclopedia is out. And last week in Jena, my Carnap Project colleague Steve Awodey got an awesome stamp commemorating the centennial (last year) of Brouwer's thesis (not from me, so don't ask):

Segerberg in Calgary 2008/09

Submitted by Richard Zach on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 11:01am

Krister Segerberg will be visiting the Philosophy Department at the University of Calgary during the 2008/09 academic year as Killam Visiting Scholar. He'll be teaching two courses, an intro to modal logic course in the Fall and an advanced course in the Winter term. There will also be a little two day workshop, most likely in January, with him, Aldo Antonelli, and Nuel Belnap.

Tenure-Track Job in Logic at Calgary!

Submitted by Richard Zach on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 9:44am

My department is advertising for a junor position in logic. Please apply or tell me if you know of any promising candidates. If you need more information, you can contact Ali Kazmi (contact details below) or me, of course. We also have a recruitment page. Salient details missing from the ad: teaching load is 2-2, instruction is in English.

The Department of Philosophy at the University of Calgary invites applications for a tenure?track position at the rank of Assistant Professor beginning July 1, 2009. A PhD or equivalent is required. The Department is seeking candidates who are able to teach a range of courses in logic, from elementary formal logic to the advanced levels, including the meta?theory of first?order logic, undecidability, incompleteness, and non?classical logics. The area of specialization for this position is Logic or a related field of study.

Teaching duties include undergraduate and graduate instruction as well as graduate supervision. Complete dossiers, including a curriculum vitae, at least three confidential letters of reference, post?graduate transcripts, a recent sample of writing, and evidence of teaching effectiveness may be sent to:

Merlette Schnell
Department of Philosophy
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4

The Selection Committee will begin to assess applications after NOVEMBER 21, 2008.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority. The University of Calgary respects, appreciates, and encourages diversity. Specific inquiries about this position may be directed to:

Ali Kazmi, Head
Department of Philosophy
University of Calgary
(403) 220?5535

Studia Logica Issue on Psychologism in Logic

Submitted by Richard Zach on Sun, 06/29/2008 - 12:34pm

Hannes Leitgeb has edited an interesting special issue of Studia Logica on "Psychologism in Logic?". From the introduction:

There is no doubt that Frege’s and Husserl’s famous attack on Psychologism in logic had a significant influence on the emergence of logic as a separate discipline. Now that this battle can be safely regarded won, it is time to reconsider psychologism from a modern point of view. Logic has taken a cognitive turn in the meantime: formal representations of agents are used as parts of logical models, cognitive concepts are treated as logical constants in much the same way as the negation sign or the quantifiers, the logic of commonsense reasoning has become the joint interest of theoretical computer scientists and psychologists, and naturalistic accounts of logic and mathematics aim to reduce the gap between the apriori and the empirical. Does this necessitate a reassessment of psychologism in logic? That is the question to be addressed by this special issue.

Philosophy of Math at NYU

Submitted by Richard Zach on Wed, 06/25/2008 - 7:06am

NYU Philosophy is hosting a conference on the philosophy of mathematics, October April 10-12, 2008 2009. The speakers are John Burgess, Haim Gaifman, Joel Hamkins, Kai Hauser, Peter Koellner, Stewart Shapiro, Stephen Simpson, Bill Tait, Neil Tennant, and Hugh Woodin.

Gödel Centenary Fellowship Pics and Videos

Submitted by Richard Zach on Tue, 06/24/2008 - 6:45pm

Pictures and videos from the Gödel Centenary Fellowship are online here.

Gödel Centenary Fellowship Pictures and Videos

Submitted by Richard Zach on Tue, 06/24/2008 - 6:45pm

Pictures and videos from the Gödel Centenary Fellowship celebration are online here.