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Alfred Tarski

Mathematician and Logician.

Alfred Tarski (January 14, 1901 – October 26, 1983) was a Polish logician and mathematician. Educated at the University of Warsaw and a member of the Lwow-Warsaw School of Logic and the Warsaw School of Mathematics and philosophy, he emigrated to the USA in 1939, and taught and carried out research in mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1942 until his death.

A prolific author best known for his work on model theory, metamathematics, and algebraic logic, he also contributed to abstract algebra, topology, geometry, measure theory, mathematical logic, set theory, and analytic philosophy.

His biographers Anita and Solomon Feferman state that, "Along with his contemporary, Kurt Gödel, he changed the face of logic in the twentieth century, especially through his work on the concept of truth and the theory of models."

Tarski's student, Vaught, has ranked Tarski as one of the four greatest logicians of all time --- along with Aristotle, Gottlob Frege, and Kurt Gödel. However, Tarski often expressed great admiration for Charles Sanders Peirce, particularly for his pioneering work in the logic of relations.


1.) "Most of the Socialist Party members were also in favor of assimilation, and Tarski's political allegiance was socialist at the time. So, along with its being a practical move, becoming more Polish than Jewish was an ideological statement and was approved by many, though not all, of his colleagues. As to why Tarski, a professed atheist, converted, that just came with the territory and was part of the package: if you were going to be Polish then you had to say you were Catholic." Anita Burdman Feferman, Solomon Feferman, Alfred Tarski: Life and Logic (2004), page 39.

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