Prior Studies

Life and Work of Arthur Norman Prior

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Box 1

Anderson to Bennett - Correspondence

Last updated: 2018-06-29 12:31:11

1. The Prior-Anderson correspondence (including some papers)

This comprises 68 letters from Alan Ross Anderson (ARA) to Prior, dated from 28.06.1955 to 03.03.69; and 88 letters from Prior to Anderson, dated from 21.06.1955 to 12.02.1969.

It seems that the contact between Anderson and Prior was first brought about by an explicit suggestion by Alonzo Church (q. v.) in a letter to Prior.
--- Per Hasle

(The copies of letters from Anderson to Prior were sent by Anderson to Mary Prior not long after ANP's death.)

The correspondence falls, temporally as well as content-wise, into three major groups:

1) Anderson 28.06.55-05.08.57 (16 letters), Prior 21.06.55-20.11.57 (30 letters).

These letters are substantial. They contain a discussion of Prior's Q-system, as well as a number of proposals of matrices for the Q-predicate. They also contain observations on deontic logic and strict implication.

2) Anderson 09.03.59-24.06.59 (3 letters), Prior 20.02.59-19.04.59 (3 letters).

These letters show an incipient professional disagreement between Anderson and ANP, the latter not wishing to adopt Anderson's approach to relevance logic.

3) Anderson 20.11.61-03.03.69 (49 letters), Prior 21.06.55-12.02.1969 (55 letters).

These letters contain some logical discussion, but much more is practical (e.g. the Priors' going to America), etc.

Furthermore, this folder contains some correspondence between Mary Prior and Carolyn Anderson (wife of Alan Ross Anderson).

The folder containing the Prior-Anderson correspondence also holds some important papers and drafts:

- ANP: Equational Logic. Notes from a talk by ANP at Yale University, January 1962. TU (2 p.). (cf. 1968f) (See also Box 8).

Given in early 1962, when ANP was a Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago. See also the 'Reading programs' below.
--- Per Hasle

- ANP: Some Extensions to the System Q of ''Time and Modality' 1957a. TU (3 p.).

- 'Entailment, Possibility and Possible Truth' from John Buridan's 'Sophismata', chapter 8. The translation is Prior's own, based on a copy of Buridan's text, written by hand by Peter Geach. 

- ANP: Postulate Sets for Tense Logic, TU (7 p.), (ca. 1966; see next item).

- ANP: Postulates for Tense Logic, HW (12 p.), dated January 1966.

Probably draft of 1966a, which was meant as a part of 'PPF' (1967a), but arrived at the publisher too late for inclusion.
--- Per Hasle

- Anderson: Comments on "Prior's paper" (i.e. 1962f.) T (8 p.). 

- A.N. Prior and C.A. Meredith: The Axiomatics of the Propositional Calculus, T (40 p.) ORIG 1963b

- A.N. Prior et al.: Postulate Sets and Proofs, TU (1 p.) Ca. 1969 (?)

This might have something to do with 1969a
--- Per Hasle

- ANP: Logic Exercises TU (4 p.) 1965 (also in Box 9).

- ANP: Reading program for 'History of Logic' Winter Quarter 1962. TU (6 p.). (See next item)

- ANP: Reading program for 'logical systems' Winter Quarter 1962. TU (4 p.).

Lecture Notes for courses given in the University of Chicago, early 1962, when ANP was a Visiting Professor there.
--- Per Hasle

- A list of philosophical papers and books by ANP up to May 1963 (with continuation into 1964 added by hand) (cf. ANP's own bibliography/Box 10)

- Review of Sören Halldén, 'On the Logic of 'better' '. ORIG 1960d.

– Miscellaneous:

- three pages of handwritten formulas (by ANP),

- note of change of address (for the Prior family),

- four loose sheets.

2. The Prior-Belnap correspondence

Three letters from Belnap to Prior:

07.03.60: Belnap asking Prior for a copy of 'Calculi of Pure Strict Implication'. I.e. 1969a

22.03.60: On 'PIF' (pure implicational fragment) of system E

05.04.60: ...

05.02.62: On problems about E

26.09.62: On E, and implicational calculus

Four letters from Prior to Belnap:

12.03.60: ...

28.03.60: ...

10.04.60: - On some implicational formulas.

31.01.62: - On implicational calculus.

3. The Bull correspondence 

A substantial number of letters from Robert Bull to Prior on logical and other subjects 1959-1969.

See also Bull/Seventh Folder/Box 4.

4. The Prior-Cocchiarella correspondence

Six letters from Nino Cocchiarella (07.10.65–21.10.68) on various logical matters;

Seven letters from Prior (20.12.67–10.10.68) on various logical matters;

Plus two letters from Cocchiarella (both 1965) to John Lemmon and Richard Montague, forwarded to Prior, and one from Mary Prior to Libbie Cocchiarella.

5. The Cargile correspondence

Four undated letters from Cargile to ANP, probably sometime between 1966 and 1969. 

6. The Alonzo Church correspondence

Seven letters (29.06.1953–24.11.56, one letter undated) on various logical matters. In a letter 13.06.1955, where Church is disputing some of Prior's premisses for modal logic, Church mentions to Prior that it might be a good idea for him to get in touch with Alan Ross Anderson (cf. Prior-Anderson correspondence/Box 1).

7. The Clifford correspondence

Three letters 1966-67, discussing tense logic.

8. The Dawson correspondence

Seven letters 04.01.58–24.03.62, discussing modal calculi, epistemic logic and strict implication. (See also Extracts from letters on Modal Systems containing S4/Box 4).

9. The Forder correspondence

Seven letters from 1957-67, mainly on group-theory (related especially to Robert Bull's work in group theory).

10. The Bennett correspondence

A very large number of letters from 1951-1967 on logic, on personal matters, and Bennett's proof-reading of ANP's 'Formal Logic' (1955a). The great majority of these letters are from 1951 to 1956.

Bennett's letters in general mixed scientific and personal matters. He was a student of ANP's in NZ; he went to Oxford in the early fifties, and wrote about his personal experiences there.

Per F. V. Hasle ©
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Peter Øhrstrøm ©

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David Jakobsen ©

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