philosophy

Frank P. Ramsey and the Ramsey Theory

Frank P. Ramsey and the Ramsey Theory

On February 22, 1903, precocious British philosopher, mathematician and economist Frank Plumpton Ramsey was born. Although he died already at age 26, he had made significant contributions to logic, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of language and decision theory. He remains noted for his Ramsey Theory, a mathematical study of combinatorial objects in which a certain degree of order must occur as the scale of the object becomes large. Frank P. Ramsey was…
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Pierre Gassendi and his Trials to reconcile Epicurean atomism with Christianity

Pierre Gassendi and his Trials to reconcile Epicurean atomism with Christianity

You have read the title? I guess, you might be scared now, but Pierre Gassendi was a decent fellow… On January 22, 1592, French philosopher, priest, scientist, astronomer, and mathematician. Pierre Gassendi was born. Gassendi revived Epicureanism as a substitute for Aristotelianism, attempting in the process to reconcile Atomism‘s mechanistic explanation of nature with Christian belief in immortality, free will, an infinite God, and creation.He clashed with his contemporary Descartes on the possibility…
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Bernard Mandeville and the Fable of the Bees

Bernard Mandeville and the Fable of the Bees

Bernard Mandeville’s – The Fable of Bees On November 15, 1670, Dutch philosopher, political economist and satirist Bernard Mandeville was born. He became famous for The Fable of the Bees, a satire that suggests many key principles of economic thought, including division of labor and the “invisible hand“, seventy years before these concepts were more thoroughly elucidated by Adam Smith. Not very much is known about the life of Bernard Mandeville. He probably grew…
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Socrates and the Socratic Method

Socrates and the Socratic Method

Socrates by Leonidas Drosis, Athens – Academy of Athens Image: DIMSFIKAS at Greek Wikipedia Socrates was a classical Greek (Athenian) philosopher credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy. He remains an enigmatic figure in philosophy, because he did not leave as a single line of text. He is known chiefly through the accounts of later classical writers, especially the writings of his students Plato and Xenophon. Nevertheless, you might consider his…
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Pythagoras and his Eponymous Theorem

Pythagoras and his Eponymous Theorem

Bust of Pythagoras, Musei Capitolini, Roma. One of the founders of Western mathematics was the Greek philosopher Pythagoras of Samos. He is often revered as a great mathematician, mystic, and scientist and is best known for the Pythagorean theorem which bears his name. It was said that he was the first man to call himself a philosopher, or lover of wisdom. Anyway, his eponymous theorem possibly is the best known theorem in mathematics.…
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Thales of Miletus – (possibly) the Father of Greek Mathematics

Thales of Miletus – (possibly) the Father of Greek Mathematics

Illustration of (possibly) Thales of Miletus For today’s blog post, there is no birthday of a popular scientist. Moreover, we want to tackle famous people in the history of science, who don’t have a known birthday. This of course holds for many philosophers, mathematicians, or natural scientists of Antiquity or early Middle Ages. Today, we want to start with the father of ancient Greek mathematics, Thales of Miletus. According to Bertrand Russel, Western…
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Étienne de Condillac and the Importance of Language in Logical Reasoning

Étienne de Condillac and the Importance of Language in Logical Reasoning

Étienne Bonnot de Condillac (1714-1780) On September 30, 1714, French philosopher and epistemologist Étienne Bonnot de Condillac was born. A leading advocate in France of the ideas of John Locke de Condillac further emphasized the importance of language in logical reasoning, stressing the need for a scientifically designed language and for mathematical calculation as its basis. Étienne de Condillac was born at Grenoble as the youngest of three brothers to Gabriel Bonnot, Vicomte de Mably, and…
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The psychologist must study mankind from the historical or comparative standpoint – Moritz Lazarus

The psychologist must study mankind from the historical or comparative standpoint – Moritz Lazarus

Moritz Lazarus and Nahilda Lazarus-Remy ca.1895 On September 15, 1824, German philosopher and psychologist Moritz Lazarus was born. He held that humanity must be studied from the historical, comparative viewpoint, analyzing the elements that constitute the fabric of society, with its customs, its conventions, and the main tendencies of its evolution. He was Jewish and a leading opponent of anti-Semitism in his time. Moritz Lazarus received a Jewish education, taking classes in…
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Pliny the Elder and the Destruction of Pompeii

Pliny the Elder and the Destruction of Pompeii

On August 25, 79 AD, Roman author, naturalist and natural philosopher Pliny the Elder died, while attempting the rescue by ship of a friend and his family from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that had just destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Unfortunately, there don’t exist contemporary pictures or portaits of Pliny the Elder. Thus, I decided to show you an also imaginary picture of the destruction of Pompeii instead. Gaius…
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Abu Ma’shar al-Balkhi – The Prince of Astrologers

Abu Ma’shar al-Balkhi – The Prince of Astrologers

Probably on August 10, 787, Persian astrologer, astronomer, and Islamic philosopher Abu Ma’shar al-Balkhi (Abu Ma’shar Ja’far ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Umar al-Balkhi) was born. He is thought to be the greatest astrologer of the Abbasid court in Baghdad. He wrote a number of practical manuals on astrology that profoundly influenced Muslim intellectual history and, through translations, that of western Europe and Byzantium. We’ve realized that our daily blog on History of Science somehow…
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