The Mathematical Analysis of Logic: “An Essay Towards a Calculus of Deductive Reasoning”

The Mathematical Analysis of Logic: “An Essay Towards a Calculus of Deductive Reasoning”

Printed: 9.99 $eBook: 4.99 $
Series: Orange Line Academic Books, Book 0
Genres: Academics, Mathematics & Geometry, Science & Nature & Philosophy Books
Publisher: e-Kitap Projesi & Cheapest Books
Publication Year: 2014
Format: (eBook + Printed)
Length: English, 7" x 10" (16 x 24 cm), 90 pages
ASIN: 1505487439
ISBN: 9781505487435

The Theory of Symbolical Algebra, are aware, that the validity of the processes of analysis does not depend upon the interpretation of the symbols which are employed, but solely upon the laws of their combination. Every system of interpretation which does not a_ect the truth of the relations supposed, is equally admissible, and it is thus that the same process may, under one scheme of interpretation, represent the solution of a question on the properties of numbers, under another, that of a geometrical problem, and under a third, that of a problem of dynamics or optics.

This principle is indeed of fundamental importance; and it may with safety be affirmed, that the recent advances of pure analysis have been much assisted by the inuence which it has exerted in directing the current of investigation. But the full recognition of the consequences of this important doctrine has been, in some measure, retarded by accidental circumstances. It has happened in every known form of analysis, that the elements to be determined have been conceived as measurable by comparison with some fixed standard.

About the Book

The predominant idea has been that of magnitude, or more strictly, of numerical ratio. The expression of magnitude, or of operations upon magnitude, has been the express object for which the symbols of Analysis have been invented, and for which their laws have been investigated. Thus the abstractions of the modern Analysis, not less than the ostensive diagrams of the ancient Geometry, have encouraged the notion, that Mathematics are essentially, as well as actually, the Science of Magnitude. 

The consideration of that view which has already been stated, as embodying the true principle of the Algebra of Symbols, would, however, lead us to infer that this conclusion is by no means necessary. If every exist ing interpretation is shewn to involve the idea of magnitude, it is only by induction that we can assert that no other interpretation is possible. And it may be doubted whether our experience is sufficient to render such an induction legitimate. The history of pure Analysis is, it may be said, too recent to permit us to set limits to the extent of its applications. Should we grant to the inference a high degree of probability, we might still, and with reason, maintain the sufficiency of the definition to which the principle already stated would lead us. We might justly assign it as the definitive character of a true Calculus, that it is a method resting upon the employment of Symbols, whose laws of combination are known and general, and whose results admit of a consistent interpretation. That to the existing forms of Analysis a quantitative interpretation is assigned, is the result of the circumstances by which those forms were determined, and is not to be construed into a universal condition of Analysis. It is upon the foundation of this general principle, that I purpose to establish the Calculus of Logic, and that I claim for it a place among the acknowledged forms of Mathematical Analysis, regardless that in its object and in its instruments it must at present stand alone. 

That which renders Logic possible, is the existence in our minds of general notions, “our ability to conceive of a class, and to designate its individual members by a common name. The theory of Logic” is thus intimately connected with that of Language. A successful attempt to Express logical propositions by symbols, the laws of whose combinations should be founded upon the laws of the mental processes which they represent, would, so far, be a step toward a philosophical language.

About the Author
George Boole

George Boole (1815 – 1864) was an English mathematician, philosopher and logician. He worked in the fields of differential equations and algebraic logic, and is now best known as the author of The Laws of Thought.

Boole said,
... no general method for the solution of questions in the theory of probabilities can be established which does not explicitly recognise ...
those universal laws of thought which are the basis of all reasoning ...

Boole was born in Lincolnshire, England. His father, John Boole (1779–1848), was a tradesman in Lincoln, and gave him lessons. He had an elementary school education, but little further formal and academic teaching. William Brooke, a bookseller in Lincoln, may have helped him with Latin; which he may also have learned at the school of Thomas Bainbridge. He was self-taught in modern languages. At age 16 Boole became the breadwinner for his parents and three younger siblings, taking up a junior teaching position in Doncaster, at Heigham's School. He taught briefly in Liverpool.

Boole participated in the local Mechanics Institute, the Lincoln Mechanics' Institution, which was founded in 1833. Edward Bromhead, who knew John Boole through the Institution, helped George Boole with mathematics books; and he was given the calculus text of Sylvestre François Lacroix by Rev. George Stevens Dickson, of St Swithin Lincoln. Without a teacher, it took him many years to master calculus.

In 1841 Boole published an influential paper in early invariant theory. He received a medal from the Royal Society for his memoir of 1844, On A General Method of Analysis. It was a contribution to the theory of linear differential equations, moving from the case of constant coefficients on which he had already published, to variable coefficients. The innovation in operational methods is to admit that operations may not commute. In 1847 Boole published The Mathematical Analysis of Logic , the first of his works on symbolic logic.

At age 19 Boole successfully established his own school at Lincoln. Four years later he took over Hall's Academy, at Waddington, outside Lincoln, following the death of Robert Hall. In 1840 he moved back to Lincoln, where he ran a boarding school.

With E. R. Larken and others he set up a building society in 1847. He associated also with the Chartist Thomas Cooper, whose wife was a relation. From 1838 onwards Boole was making contacts with sympathetic British academic mathematicians, and reading more widely.

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