LaTeX for Philosophers? Logic and other Shenannigans

Today, I wanted to share LaTeX resources for philosophers with you in a short post. I was included in a Twitter discussion yesterday about whether there wasn’t a post like that and I remembered there was – because a fairly long time ago I had been planning to write a post like that myself and already had a draft lying around in the depths of my WordPress account. So this is it, a short review of resources regarding the question: Should philosophers use LaTeX and what resources are there?

Personal backstory which is totally irrelevant to the actual post: Funnily enough, one of my degrees is actually a Master’s degree in Philosophy, so you could say I know the field. However, I would think of my time at the Philosophy department more like a “field trip”, so to say. (Uh-oh, today is one of those bad-pun days.) I felt like getting to know the field to broaden my horizon or something. And I did. But mostly to come to the realization that Philosophy as a field isn’t for me. I like to reflect on things but Philosophy was too theoretical for me personally. I had liked the ancient philosophy classes at the Classics Department – where we looked at philosophical texts but ultimately still from a philological perspective – but the ones at the Philosophy Tower (yes, we had an actual tower for philosophy, it wasn’t ivory though 😉 ) just weren’t my thing in the end. I wrote my Master’s thesis on the role of emotions in value judgement in Greek tragedy using Max Scheler’s Zum Phänomen des Tragischen (1914). That was fun but in the end, Phenomenology wasn’t for me though. Especially not as a career.

Why should a philosopher be interested in using LaTeX and what are common objections?

Well, LaTeX for logic already seems to be a thing among logicians – which is why there is an excellent resource out there to get you started in no time: LaTeX for Logicians

Otherwise, well, LaTeX has many advantages which I have discussed on many occasions, like in the posts How to quit MS Word for good or LaTeX for PhD students. And it’s really not all that hard to learn (see resources linked below).

I had initially just wanted to quickly edit this post with a few things which came to my mind but it ended up being so much that I decided to put it into a separate blog post (to come soon) because after all, it’s not just relevant for philosophers 😉 

 

Weren’t there some blog posts about why philosophers should use LaTeX? Yes!

So now, here come the resources:

  1. Richard Zach’s LaTeX for Philosophers 
  2.  A very brief starting guide to LaTeX for philosophers
  3. Some of my suggestions on Twitter in the unrolled thread
  4. Reddit’s “Should philosophers write their papers in `#TeXLaTeX`?”
  5. StackExchange ‘s „What #TeXLaTeX resources are there that are aimed at the field philosophy?“
  6. #TeXLaTeX for Philosophers (and other Humanitarians)
  7. #TeXLaTeX: A Guide for Philosophers
  8. And the Github to go with “LaTeX for Philosophers” by  Charlie Tanksley
  9. There apparently is also a publication from 2014 why philosophers really shouldn’t use LaTeX but it’s not available. That leads me to the only possible solution that really, philosophers should be using LaTeX ❤ (also, dear philosophers, don’t kill me for the flawed logic 😀 philosophical logic never was my strongest class).
  10. It also seems that the subject has come up on Twitter multiple times… (can’t unroll the following one because it’s apparently too old, so you’ll have to weed through it for yourselves).

 

LaTeX for logicians

  1. Wikipedias List of logic symbols lists the LaTeX notations. Also here.
  2. Symbolic logic and LaTeX (PDF).
  3. GeeksForGeeks’ Logic Notations in LaTeX
  4. And some more in-depth material: LaTeX for logicians.

Getting started with LaTeX or LaTeX for PhD Writing

I also wanted to inform you that this blog offers categories for both getting started with LaTeX and also LaTeX for PhD. Maybe check out Jumpstarting: Learn LaTeX in 3min.

Also, more generally, check out the starter tutorials on http://latex.silmaril.ie/, Learn LaTeX in X minutes, and LearnLaTeX whose new fancy features were presented at TUG2020.

So that’s it for today. I hope this helped as a list for resources. I didn’t want to unnecessarily repeat what those people already said.

Cheers to the New Year,

the Ninja

 

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