Ivor Grattan-Guinness (Born
23 June 1941, Bakewell, England) is
a historian of mathematics
and logic.
He gained his Bachelor degree as a Mathematics Scholar at Wadham
College, Oxford, got an M.Sc(Econ) in Mathematical Logic and the
Philosophy of Science at the London School of Economics in 1966. He
has gained both the doctorate (Ph.D.) in 1969, and higher doctorate
(D.Sc.)1978, in the History of Science at the University of London.
He is Emeritus Professor of the History of Mathematics and Logic at
Middlesex University, and a Visiting Research Associate at the
London School of Economics.
He was awarded the prestigious Kenneth O. May Medal for services to
the History of Mathematics by the International Commission for the
History of Mathematics (ICHM) on 31st July 2009, at Budapest, on
the occasion of the 23rd International Congress for the History of
Science.
He spent much of his career at
Middlesex University.
He has been a fellow
at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and is a member of the Academie
Internationale d'Histoire des Sciences.
From 1974 to 1981 he was editor of the history of science journal
Annals of Science.In 1979 he founded the journal History and
Philosophy of Logic, and edited it until 1992.He was an associate
editor of Historia Mathematica for twenty years from its inception
in 1974, and again from 1996.
He also acts as advisory editor to the editions of the writings of
C.S. Peirce and Bertrand Russell, and to several other journals and
book series. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the
International Commission on the History of Mathematics from 1977 to
1993.
He has given over 570 invited lectures to organisations and
societies, or to conferences and congresses, in over 20 countries
around the world. These lectures include tours undertaken in
Australia, New Zealand, Italy, South Africa and Portugal.
From 1986 to 1988 he was the President of the British Society for
the History of Mathematics, and for 1992 the Vice-President. In
1991 he was elected an effective member of the Académie
Internationale d'Histoire des Sciences. He was the Associate Editor
for mathematicians and statisticians for the Oxford Dictionary of
National Biography (2004).
The work of Grattan-Guinness touches on all historical periods, but
he specialises in the development of the calculus and mathematical
analysis, and their applications to mechanics and mathematical
physics, and in the rise of
set theory
and
mathematical logic. He has
been especially interested in characterising how past thinkers, far
removed from us in time, view their findings differently from the
way we see them now (for example, Euclid). He has emphasised the
importance of ignorance as an epistemological notion in this task.
He has done extensive research with original sources both published
and unpublished, thanks to his reading and spoken knowledge of the
main European languages.
Selected publications
Books written
- 1970. The Development of the Foundations of Mathematical
Analysis from Euler to Riemann. MIT Press (1970).
- 1972. 'Joseph Fourier 1768-1830' (In collaboration with J.R.
Ravetz). MIT Press (1972).
- 1977. 'Dear Russell - Dear Jourdain'. Duckworth (1977).
- 1980. From the Calculus to Set Theory, 1630-1910: An
Introductory History. Duckworth (1980).
- 1990. 'Convolutions in French Mathematics, 1800-1840' in 3
Vols. Birkhauser (1990)
- 1997. The Rainbow of Mathematics: A History of the
Mathematical Sciences. Fontana (1997) ISBN 978-000-686179-9
(pbk). W. W. Norton and Company (1999) ISBN 978-0393-04650-2 (hbk)
ISBN 0-393-32030-8 (pbk).
- 2000. (Reprint)From the Calculus to Set Theory 1630-1910:
An Introductory History. Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN
0-691-07082-2.
- 2000. The Search for Mathematical Roots 1870-1940: Logics,
Set Theories, and the Foundations of Mathematics from Cantor
through Russell to Gödel. Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN
0-691-05858-X. Enormous bibliography. (For research on this book he
held a Leverhulme Fellowship from 1995-1997).
Editions
W.H. and G.C. Young, The theory of sets of points, 2nd edition (ed.
with R.C.H. Tanner; 1972, New York: Chelsea). [Introduction and
appendix.]
E.L. Post, ‘The modern paradoxes’, History and philosophy of logic,
11 (1990), 85-91.
Philip E. B. Jourdain, Selected essays on the history of set theory
and logics (1906-1918) (1991, Bologna: CLUEB), xlii + 352 pages.
[Introduction and indexes.]
George Boole, Selected manuscripts on logic and its philosophy (ed.
with G. Bornet, 1997, Basel: Birkhäuser), lxvi + 236 pages.[Part
Introduction and editorial material.]
Grattan-Guinness'
The Search for Mathematical Roots
1870-1940 is a sweeping study of the rise of
mathematical logic during that critical
period. The central theme of the book is the rise of
logicism, thanks to the efforts of
Frege,
Bertrand
Russell, and
Whitehead, and its demise
due to
Gödel and indifference. Whole
chapters are devoted to the emergence of
algebraic logic in the 19th century UK,
Cantor and the emergence of
set theory, the emergence of
mathematical logic in Germany told in a
way that downplays
Frege's importance, and to
Peano and his followers. There follow four
chapters devoted to the ideas of the young Bertrand Russell, the
writing of
Principia
Mathematica, and to the mixed reception its ideas and
methods encountered over the period 1910-40. The book touches on
the rise of
model theory as well as
proof theory, and on the emergence of
American research on the
foundation of mathematics,
especially in the hands of
Eliakim Hastings Moore and his
students, of the postulate theorists, and of
Quine. While
Polish logic
is often mentioned, it is not covered systematically. Finally, the
book is a contribution to the
history of philosophy as well as of
mathematics.
Books edited
- 2003. Companion Encyclopedia of the History and Philosophy
of the Mathematical Sciences, 2 vols. Johns Hopkins Univ.
Press. ISBN 0801873967
- 2005. Landmark Writings in Western Mathematics.
Elsevier.
Articles
External links