Heinrich Behmann’s 1921 lecture on the decision problem and the algebra of logic

Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 21 (2):164-187 (2015)
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Heinrich Behmann (1891-1970) obtained his Habilitation under David Hilbert in Göttingen in 1921 with a thesis on the decision problem. In his thesis, he solved - independently of Löwenheim and Skolem's earlier work - the decision problem for monadic second-order logic in a framework that combined elements of the algebra of logic and the newer axiomatic approach to logic then being developed in Göttingen. In a talk given in 1921, he outlined this solution, but also presented important programmatic remarks on the significance of the decision problem and of decision procedures more generally. The text of this talk as well as a partial English translation are included.

Author Profiles

Richard Zach
University of Calgary
Paolo Mancosu
University of California, Berkeley


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