George Spencer-Brown‘s «Laws of Form» is a very inspired, ground-breaking work, about Logic and Philosophy. The author’s goal was to re-write modern Logic, reformulating its foundations. It’s good that Bertrand Russell himself approved of GSB‘s efforts (he also wrote reference letters and an introduction to the book itself). However, the book has remained more-or-less controversial, ever since.
George Spencer-Brown’s «Laws of Form» is a revolutionary book about Logic, which influenced many researchers and artists in the world, for about three decades. First published in 1969, «Laws of Form» expounded a new philosophical approach to the theory of Logic, deeply challenging for the foundations of modern Formal Logic. There are many sites in the Net about «Laws of Form«, despite the fact that George Spencer Brown does not have a site (or much sympathy for what he thinks as unnecessary publicity about him). Many excellent studies, essays and formal extensions of Brown’s Logic have been published ever since, in print as well as on line, by Richard Shoup, Dave Keenan, Tom McFarlane, Eddie Oshins, William Bricken, Lou Kauffmann, Jeff James, Francisco Varela, and others.
So, what happened to the Greek translation?
SHORT ANSWER: Basically… nothing happened! 🙂
- More precisely, I succeeded in contacting George Spencer-Brown himself, while finding a (reluctant) Greek publisher for the translation. I exchanged letters with GSB and he gave his permission, specifying his terms and royalty requirements. The publisher initially agreed, but eventually (on second thought) disagreed with GSB’s terms!
- Quite disappointed, I sought other publishers, but none was found: They said the book was «not sufficiently mainstream» to become a commercial success in Greece.
- After a few weeks of efforts – in vain- to find a publisher I gave up, dumped my typewritten sheets of paper in a storage box and went back to the UK (to study Computer Science) trying to forget the issue!
- Nevertheless, in recent years George Spencer-Brown and his book «Laws of Form» have become quite popular, partly because of tireless efforts by his disciples and devotees; e.g. Richard Shoup (founder of the «Laws of Form site» and the «Boundary Institute«), Maths professor Lou Kauffman (in Illinois University), the Australian logic designer Dave Keenan, the «Laws of Form forum» (where I participate actively since 2003), etc.
In any case, this post is only an introduction:
I.M.H.O, George Spencer-Brown‘s Laws of Form« can be considered a potential success in today’s Greek book market, so I am resuming efforts to find a Greek publisher.
- The translation’s drawback: It’s typewritten, largely unsuitable for OCR scanning, due to the bad font and paper quality, so (almost all of) it needs re-typing from scratch.
- Here are some scanned pages of the type-written LoF-translation:
Here is another scanned page:
(the book’s Preface; a carbon-copy of the original page, in blue ink)
- An introduction to Multiple Form Logic (in Greek)
- Google Translate Becomes the Best Free Online Translator [via Zemanta]