[FOM] FOM Potential

Harvey Friedman friedman at math.ohio-state.edu
Thu May 22 02:23:59 EDT 2003

This is a brief comment concerning the potential of the FOM list.

The discussion of LW (Ludwig Wittgenstein) is a case in point.

Imagine if there were a moderated FOM email list devoted to serious 
discussion of fundamental issues in f.o.m. and related topics such as 
ph.o.m. from the time of LW's major contributions through the present 
and future?

The FOM list would be inviting LW to participate. Informal reviews of 
LW's work would appear. LW would see all of this in his email, or 
look into the FOM Archives, or his associates and colleagues would do 
so on his behalf and for their own benefit, etc.

There is no doubt that this would have led to an interactive 
clarification of LW's positions, and there would be a written record 
reflecting the developments. FOM would be a major source for 
historians. LW scholarship would be profoundly affected.

This is just a tiny tiny little example of the potential of the FOM email list.

Perhaps others can comment on what favorite topics of theirs they 
would like to see discussed on the FOM list, with a brief elaboration 
of what they have in mind.

But I think that all of you personally know many people who are not 
on the subscriber list http://www.cs.nyu.edu/mailman/roster/fom that 
should be. They and all of us would benefit from their presence and 

Also many of these colleagues could make extremely valuable postings 
on some of your favorite topics. I urge you to take the time to get 
them involved. Send them to


We have 680 subscribers now, and we should move easily to 1000 with your help.

It is also vital to make sure that as many as possible of the serious 
students of logic, mathematical philosophy, and logical aspects of 
computer science join the FOM.

And to the many distinguished subscribers at the top of their 
area(s), please make some quality postings! Let's all help make the 
FOM a place of transcendental importance for the history of ideas.

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