Ramsey, Frank Plumpton, 1903-1930 (philosopher and mathematician)
Frank Plumpton Ramsey (1903-30), philosopher and mathematician, was born in Cambridge on 22 February 1903. His father Arthur Stanley Ramsey (1867-1954) was fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he later became President, and his mother was Agnes Mary Wilson (1875-1927). His brother Michael was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury in 1961. Educated at Winchester College (1915-20) and Trinity College, Cambridge (1920-23), where he read mathematics, Frank Ramsey became a fellow of King's College, Cambridge in 1924. From 1926 until his death he was a university lecturer in mathematics. In his short life Ramsey made significant contributions to philosophy, logic, economics and mathematics. As a philosopher he was influenced by Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Although a friend of John Maynard Keynes, he nevertheless attacked his A treatise on probability so convincingly that Keynes abandoned its principal concept. Ramsey's papers include 'Universals' (1925), 'Facts and propositions' (1927), 'Universals of law and of fact' (1928), 'General propositions and causality' (1929), 'Theories' (1929), and 'Knowledge' (1929). Much of Ramsey's work was posthumously published in F. P. Ramsey, 'The foundations of mathematics and other logical essays', edited by R. B. Braithwaite, London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., 1931 [Ramsey 1931]. Other papers were published in F. P. Ramsey, 'Philosophical papers', edited by D. H. Mellor, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990 [Ramsey 1990]. Ramsey died in Guy's Hospital, London, on 19 January 1930, of complications arising from jaundice and hepatitis. Recognition of the importance of his thought was achieved only slowly, but many of his ideas are now regarded as seminal in a number of fields of philosophy, mathematics and economics.
Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:
Frank Plumpton Ramsey: articles and notes
Two articles and three notes by Frank Plumpton Ramsey
Letter from Frank Plumpton Ramsey to Charles K. Ogden (1889-1957), 1923 (Circa)
Postcard from Puchberg am Schneeberg, Austria, where Ramsay went to visit Wittgenstein and to work on translation of 'Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus'; 'LW explains his book to me from 2-7 every day. It is most illuminating... we seem to get on at about a page an hour... he says that his mind is no longer flexible and he can never write another book'; he teaches in a village school, is very poor, and 'regarded by most of his colleagues as a little mad.'
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