Learning the foundations of math

by jsalvatier1 min read24th Oct 201033 comments


Personal Blog

I have recently become interested in the foundations of math. I am interested in tracing the fundamentals of math in a path such as: propositional logic -> first order logic -> set theory -> measure theory. Does anyone have any resources (books, webpages, pdfs etc.) they would like to recommend?

This seems like it would be a popular activity among LWers, so I thought this would be a good place to ask for advice.

My criteria (feel free to post resources which you think others who stumble across this might be interested in):

  • The more basic the starting point the better: I would prefer a resource that defines propositional logic in terms of a context free grammar and an evaluation procedure (don't know if that is possible, but that's the sort of thing I am interested in) to one that just describes propositional logic in English; I would prefer a resource which builds first order logic from propositional logic + some definitions to one that just describes how first order logic works; etc.
  • The fewer axioms (perhaps that's not quite the right word) the better. I prefer a resource defines describes propositional logic with just two operators (say negation and conjugation) and then builds the other operators of interest to one that defines it with 5 or 6 operators (I've seen many resources which do this).
  • I expect that there are multiple ways to build math from basic building blocks. I am more interested in standard ways than than non-standard ways.