Richard Zach
University of Calgary
Landon D. C. Elkind
Western Kentucky University
The use of the symbol ∨ for disjunction in formal logic is ubiquitous. Where did it come from? The paper details the evolution of the symbol ∨ in its historical and logical context. Some sources say that disjunction in its use as connecting propositions or formulas was introduced by Peano; others suggest that it originated as an abbreviation of the Latin word for “or”, vel. We show that the origin of the symbol ∨ for disjunction can be traced to Whitehead and Russell’s pre-Principia work in formal logic. Because of Principia’s influence, its notation was widely adopted by philosophers working in logic (the logical empiricists in the 1920s and 1930s, especially Carnap and early Quine). Hilbert’s adoption of ∨ in his Grundzüge der theoretischen Logik guaranteed its widespread use by mathematical logicians. The origins of other logical symbols are also discussed.
Keywords logic  disjunction  symbols  Russell  Peano
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Reprint years 2022
DOI 10.1017/s1755020321000587
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References found in this work BETA

The Development of Logic.William Kneale & Martha Kneale - 1962 - Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
The Principles of Mathematics.Bertrand Russell - 1903 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 11 (4):11-12.

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The Notation in Principia Mathematica.Bernard Linsky - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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