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Friday, July 28, 2006

Fitch, Church and Nagel Papers (Salerno)

Berit has publicly shamed me as one of her all too quiet guest bloggers. So I'm cross posting this from Knowability.

Below is a chronological catalog of archival documentation pertaining to the early history of Fitch's knowability paradox. The items were identified for the first time by myself or those aiding my research. I discuss their content in "Knowability Noir: 1945-1963", which will appear in New Essays on the Knowability Paradox.

The documents can be found in one of three archives:

(FFP) Frederic B. Fitch Papers: Manuscripts and Archives. Yale University Library.

(ACP) Alonzo Church Papers: Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. Princeton University Library.

(ENP) Ernest Nagel Papers: Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Columbia University.

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* Church, Alonzo. "First Anonymous Referee Report on Fitch's 'A Definition of Value'". January or February 1945. Hand written by Alonzo Church to Ernest Nagel, coeditor of JSL. Contains the first proof of the modal epistemic result, today known as the knowability paradox. (ENP: Box 1)

An edition of this and the second referee report (listed below) is being prepared by Julien Murzi and myself for publication in New Essays on the Knowability Paradox.

* Nagel, E. "Letter to Church: March 6, 1945". Explains that Fitch has returned the manuscript and offered replies to the first report. (ACP: Box 20)

* "Second Anonymous Referee Report on Fitch's 'A Definition of Value'". Late March or early April 1945. Includes a more formal characterization of the knowability result in Lewis and Langford's proof theory. Includes replies to Fitch's discussion of the first report. (ENP: Box 1)

* Nagel, E. "Letter to Church: April 13, 1945". Announces that Fitch has withdrawn his paper owing to a defect in his definition of value. (ACP: Box **)

* Fitch, F. "A Logical Analysis of Some Value Concepts". Fitch's December 23, 1961 Presidential Address to the Association for Symbolic Logic. (FFP: Box 33)

* Fitch, F. "A Logical Analysis of Some Value Concepts". Penultimate draft. (FFP: Box 33)

* Postcard to Fitch: January 18, 1963. Regarding remaining typographical edits to be made prior to the printing of "A Logical Analysis of Some Value Concepts" in JSL. (FFP: Box 33)

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