BELA FOGARASI. Logik. Translated by Samuel Szemere. Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin 1955, 423 pp.

This is a German translation of a book of which the second edition in Hungarian appeared in 1953. The content is a treatment of logic on what the author describes as a dialectical-epistemological basis. And although the viewpoint of Marxism is ostensibly maintained throughout, both in the discussion of logical matters and in the selection of examples, the main body of traditional formal logic is set forth at some length because the author holds that without acquaintance with it an understanding of dialectical logic is not possible.

Considerable space is also given to adverse criticism of symbolic logic—with reference in particular to Russell, Carnap, and Hilbert-Ackermann—and of such related matters as the many-valued logic of the Polish school and the so-called formalism of Hilbert. The criticisms are in each case based on a rather superficial account of what the author regards as the main points of the development criticized. Sometimes evident misunderstandings are involved. And many (but not all) of the specific criticisms are such as are familiar in the writings of traditional logicians, and are more strongly suggestive of traditional logic than of Marxism.

In the preface to the German edition the author explains that “unsere ablehnende Stellungnahme zur Logistik keineswegs die Ablehnung der mathematischen Logik als Untersuchung der logischen Grundlagen der Mathematik bedeutet. ... Die Logik als  philosophische Wissenschaft hat aber das gesamte menschliche Denken und nicht nur das mathematische Denken zum Gegenstande.” It is not clear to the reviewer how this is to be reconciled with the passage on page 68 in which the author seems to extend his adverse criticism of Hilbertian formalism to “die ganze axiomatische mathematische Logik,” and indeed to the axiomatic method in mathematics generally.


SOURCE: Church, Alonzo. Review: Béla Fogarasi, Logik; The Journal of Symbolic Logic, vol. 21, no. 3, September 1956, p. 314.

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