I know that Part I was published while John McCarthy was working at MIT in 1960, in which he describes the LISP language, which he had invented 2 years prior, and is today considered one of the most seminal papers withing Computer Science. However, I can't seem to find any information about part II, other than an unreferenced sentence on Wikipedia stating that it "was never published".

If somebody has any information concerning the paper, I'd be very interested to hear it. For example, was it even started? What were its contents supposed to be (about)? Are there any drafts in existence? Why was it never published?


1 Answer 1


In "History of Programming Languages" by Richard L. Wexelblat page 178:

Part II was never written but was intended to contain applications to computing with algebraic expressions.

Note that this part of the book was written by John MacCarthy himself.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Vow, a definitive answer on such an obscure question, and from the first hand source! I wish I could upvote more than once. $\endgroup$
    – Conifold
    Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 19:38

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