These two books are a first version of Odifreddi’s collection of Kreisel’s expository papers, which together constitute an extensive, scholarly account of the philosophical and mathematical development of many of the most important figures of modern logic; some of those papers are published here for the first time.
Odifreddi and Kreisel worked together on these books for several years, and they are the product of long discussions. They finally decided that they would collect those essays of a more expository nature, such as the biographical memoirs of the fellows of the Royal Society (of which Kreisel himself was a member) and other related works. Also included are lecture notes that Kreisel distributed in
his classes, such as the first essay printed here, which is on the philosophy of mathematics and geometry.
Kreisel himself wrote all the texts, but Odifreddi has made some substantial editorial interventions, rearranging some of the material, breaking the text into sections and paragraphs, inserting titles, moving or removing some notes, and eliminating some digressions. These interventions were made in order to give the essays some of their original freshness and linearity, qualities that were lost in
Some other minor modifications were made here and there, consisting basically in the correction of a small number of erroneous references in the original manuscripts. Kreisel’s expository works are invaluable to logicians, and we hope that the reader may find the present edition to his advantage, even if there is still some editorial work to do.