New book series: PhD dissertations in logic

College Publications is now launching a new series potentially of great interest to M-Phi’ers at large: Logic PhDs. The goal of the series is to publish historically important doctoral theses as well as remarkable recent ones, but for now the planned volumes are all historical landmarks:

Christine Ladd-Franklin, 1882, The Johns Hopkins University
On the Algebra of Logic
PhD advisor: Charles Peirce
Volume prepared by Irving Anellis (Indiana University and Peirce Edition Project, USA)

Haskell Curry, 1930, University of Göttingen
Grundlagen der kombinatorischen Logik (Foundations of Combinatory logic)
PhD advisor: David Hilbert
Volume prepared by Jonathan Seldin (University of Lethbridge, Canada)

Gerhard Gentzen, 1933, University of Göttingen
Untersuchungen über das logische Schließen (Researches on Logical Deduction)
PhD advisor: Paul Bernays
Volume prepared by Jan von Plato (University of Helsinki, Finland)

Saunders Mac Lane, 1934, University of Göttingen
Abgekürzte Beweise im Logikkalkul (Abbreviated Proofs in the Logical Calculus)
PhD advisors: Hermann Weyl and Paul Bernays
Volume prepared by Peter Arndt (University of Regensburg, Germany)

Jean Porte, 1965, University of Paris
Recherches sur la Théorie Générale des Systèmes Formels et sur les Systèmes Connectifs
(Researches in the General Theory of Formal Systems and in Connectives Systems)
PhD advisor: René de Possel
Volume prepared by Marcel Guillaume (University of Clermont-Ferrand, France)

Hans Kamp, 1968, UCLA
Tense Logic and the Theory of Linear Order
PhD advisor: Richard Montague
Volume prepared by Alexander Rabinowitz, (Tel Aviv University, Israel)

Krister Segerberg, 1971, Stanford University
An Essay in Classical Modal Logic
PhD advisor: Dana Scott
Volume prepared by Patrick Blackburn (University of Roskilde, Denmark)

Jean-Yves Béziau, the series editor, informs me that volumes are already planned for the doctoral theses of Alfred Tarski, Emil Post, Paul Bernays, John von Neumann, Jacques Herbrand, Kurt Gödel, Stephen Kleene, Roland Fraïsse, Nuel Belnap, Jon Michael Dunn, Dov Gabbay, Johan van Benthem.

This seems like a great initiative, which will greatly facilitate the study of the history of logic. Many important results were first proved in doctoral dissertations (Gentzen and Gödel spring to mind, but there are many others), so it makes good sense to make these texts more readily available (those not originally in English will be translated). Moreover, each volume will contain an extensive presentation of the author and his/her work and the historical context, as well as further developments inspired by the work in question. (And last but not least, College Publications is a non-profit publisher with the mission of publishing high-quality books at reasonable prices, including those in this series.)

The series is open to further suggestions, so if readers have ideas of other doctoral dissertation meriting to be included, please speak up in comments. (I am very glad to see Ladd-Franklin's dissertation as one of the volumes in preparation, but it would be great if the series could publish many more female authors as well.)


  1. Great! So now the question becomes: how affordable will these be?

    1. The usual price for College Publications volumes is around 10, 20 pounds, so my guess is that these volumes will be *affordable*, in the real sense f the term.

  2. That is great news!

    Was Ruth Barcan-Marcus's phd on logic? If so, she'd be a good addition.

    Rósza Péter could also be a candidate for a volume. I'm having some trouble finding her thesis title.

  3. Ruth was a student of Frederic Fitch, it looks like her dissertation was titled "A Functional Calculus of First Order Based on Strict Implication" (1946) (the Yale catalog seems down right now so I could not verify it).

    An excellent addition for the College Publication series.

  4. Another candidate would be Helena Rasiowa, whose thesis was on Algebraic Treatment of the Functional Calculi of Lewis and Heyting,in 1950 under Andrzej Mostowski.

  5. Per Martin-Löf's Notes on Constructive Mathematics is difficult to get hold of outside good libraries.

  6. Göran Sundholm23 July 2013 at 12:19

    Perhaps it would be regrettable if the series were to be restricted henceforth solely to dissertations by female researchers? Be that as it may; by any standards, still after 50 years, the dissertation by Raili Kauppi, "Über die Leibnizsche Logik mit besonderer Berücksichtigung des Problems der Intension und Extension", Acta Philosophia Fennica, Fasc. XII, Helsinki, 1960, does remain one of the finest works on Leibniz ever written, and it is in no way surpassed.

  7. Florene Willis24 July 2013 at 06:58

    This would certainly help a lot of grad student who are having a hard to finding sources of information and data for their phd dissertations writing. And it would also be a good idea for some people to post their dissertation online to be better help for people who are on the same field as them.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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