Logic in mathematics and computer science

In Filippo Ferrari, Elke Brendel, Massimiliano Carrara, Ole Hjortland, Gil Sagi, Gila Sher & Florian Steinberger (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Logic. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press (forthcoming)
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Logic has pride of place in mathematics and its 20th century offshoot, computer science. Modern symbolic logic was developed, in part, as a way to provide a formal framework for mathematics: Frege, Peano, Whitehead and Russell, as well as Hilbert developed systems of logic to formalize mathematics. These systems were meant to serve either as themselves foundational, or at least as formal analogs of mathematical reasoning amenable to mathematical study, e.g., in Hilbert’s consistency program. Similar efforts continue, but have been expanded by the development of sophisticated methods to study the properties of such systems using proof and model theory. In parallel with this evolution of logical formalisms as tools for articulating mathematical theories (broadly speaking), much progress has been made in the quest for a mechanization of logical inference and the investigation of its theoretical limits, culminating recently in the development of new foundational frameworks for mathematics with sophisticated computer-assisted proof systems. In addition, logical formalisms developed by logicians in mathematical and philosophical contexts have proved immensely useful in describing theories and systems of interest to computer scientists, and to some degree, vice versa. Three examples of the influence of logic in computer science are automated reasoning, computer verification, and type systems for programming languages.

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Richard Zach
University of Calgary


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