The Nachlass of A.N. Prior
a joint project between
Department of Information Studies - University of Copenhagen
Department of Communication and Psychology - Aalborg University

From J.J.C. Smart to Arthur N. Prior on 16/05/1955

Editor’s note: The letter is in the Prior archive box 3 at the Bodleian Library in Oxford and has been transcribed and commented by David Jakobsen and Martin Prior.

Download the PDF of this item
Please note that this text is extracted from the PDF, and is as such most likely not styled properly.
Letter from J.J.C. Smart to A.N. Prior,
May 16, 1955


Dear Arthur

Thnks for your letter. The experts here didn’t think tht the erythem nodosum

could have
possibly come from Mary and the children

the time ws too long go. I’m

wfully sorry I didn’t
mke tht quite cler; I don’t like the thought of Mry worrying. I lso hd  cht with the professor
here (strictly etween him nd me, nd the fct tht I hd it strictly etween you nd me; wouldn’t
want to [affect]

the suscept
ibilities of the practicing medical men!) He was reassuring. He said
most people hve hd this without erythem nodosum nd if I hdn’t hd the letter I’d proly
never have

had known [sic] about the lung

enlargement. He agrees with your man about present

dangers for Mary and the children. What a pity I cancelled my plane booking. It will be too late
now, nd perhps it is wise not to come on other grounds. I’ll e pretty usy in August, if ll goes
well, without conferences + ANZAAS

t I must try and se
e if I can sl
ip over to Christchurch for a
few days at any rate then. (Especially if my X
ray is favorable.) I do wish I could see you more

what a

these big distances are.

With due

respect for your superior judgment I wish you weren’t

lecturing on Time stuff for your
John Locke lecturers. As I see it the choice (after
) of Quine, Wang
, Prior

matl. Logic. I
really wish your John Locke lecturers were on Modal Logic, many
valued systems, etc., including
your stuff on
Ł in J.

. Systems,

and so on.

It is so aesthetically pleasing and
it is fundmentl sort of stuff. With your time stuff you’ll get involved in side issues, even stright
philosophy, nd not in the stuff tht will do Oxford most good. Tht’s

what I think. What does
Gilbert think? I really think that you should keep your best stuff for Oxford, and that I am inclined
to think is your modl logic stuff. (You’ll ring it in in the other, ut it won’t stnd out so netly).
Why not save the time di
stinction stuff for a small book, and keep the more (logically) fundamental
stuff for Oxford. Mind you, I’m proly wrong nd you right ut this is wht I think (very
{new page}

Thanks for your proof of CLCMpp


from CLCMpp

CMpLp. There wa
s a slip of the pen: you had

1. CLCMpp CMpLp


Editor’s note: The letter is in the Prior rchive ox 3 t the Bodlein Lirry in Oxford nd hs een trnscried nd
commented by David Jakobsen and Martin Prior.


Editors’ note: This is the most likely rendering of Smrt’s hndwriting.

Erethyma Nodosu
m is an inflammatory skin
condition that happily does not usually last too long.


Editors’ note: It is hrd to see wht Smrt writes here.


Editors’ note: The Austrlin & New Zelnd Assocition for the Advncement of Science.



note: Martin Prior notes here that due to
Mry, Mrtin nd Ann’s
in 1954 Arthur’s lectureship
was deferred one year and Hao Wang took his place in 1954


Editors’ note: Smrt is referring to: Turquette, A. R. Review: A. N. Prior, Modlity

de Dicto and Modality de re . J.
Symbolic Logic 20 (1955), no. 2, 167.


Editors’ note: The trnscription is not certin here.

2. CL Cpq CLpLq

1 x RL = 3

3. LCLMpp CMpLp

2 p/LCMpp q/CLpLq


It should be [referring to 3]


(I only mention this for proof reading purposes in case the same slip occurs in something



rof. of medicine (strictly etween him nd me nd you nd me) doesn’t think I should tret
myself too much as an invalid. He thinks walks would be OK,
, etc… ut proly
hockey. So I’ll get  little mild exercise
, not enough to get tired, and my moral

should rise again.
(Lack of exercise always has a bad psychological effect on me!).

Thanks very much for your kind investigations with your TB expert. What he said sounds very
much like what our Prof. of medicin

said. Anyway I very much appreciate it.

I find the example of page 9 of Kleen difficult to get the

of. Call the deduction in the
ottom of p. 90 ‘
’, tht on top of p. 91

then I’ve grsped his proof. 1

17 on p. 92.


But even

so I don’t quite figure it out. (Not tht there re 5 groupings ove corresponding to the
length 5 of the deduction of p. 87).

Yours Jack


Editors’ note: There is n rrow in the letter here. •  University of Copenhagen •  Aalborg University • 

18-12-2018 13:52:32 (GMT+1)