List of posts Blog archive About

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons, Sophia Elizabeth De Morgan

Augustus De Morgan (1806-1871) was a British logician and mathematician best known for his contributions to mathematical induction. Cecil J. Monro said,

"The fact is known that having very thoroughly worked at the generalisations of mathematics in theory and practice, Mr. De Morgan was enabled to establish with perfect precision the most highly generalised conception of logic, perhaps, which it is possible to entertain." (Quoted in Memoir of Augustus De Morgan by Sophia Elizabeth De Morgan)

The rest of this post is some quotes from De Morgan.

"The way to enlarge the settled country has not been by keeping within it, but by making voyages of discovery, and I am perfectly convinced that the student should be exercised in this manner; that is, that they should be taught how to examine the boundary, as well as how to cultivate the interior." (The Differential and Integral Calculus, 1836)

"New knowledge... must come by contemplation of old knowledge." (A Budget of Paradoxes, 1872)

"All the men who are now called discoverers, in every matter ruled by thought, have been men versed in the minds of their predecessors and learned in what had been before them. There is not one exception." (A Budget of Paradoxes, 1872)

"This mysterious 3.141592... which comes in at every door and window, and down every chimney." (Todayinsci.com)

"The moving power of mathematical invention is not reasoning but imagination." (Quoted in The Life of Sir William Rowan Hamilton by Robert Perceval Graves)

"Geometrical reasoning, and arithmetical process, have its own office: to mix the two in elementary instruction, is injurious to the proper acquisition of both." (Trigonometry and Double Algebra, 1849)

"The thirteen books of Euclid must have been a tremendous advance, probably even greater than that contained in the Principia of Newton." (Quoted in Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biology and Mythology by William Smith)

"The genius of Laplace was a sledge hammer in bursting purely mathematical obstacles; but, like that useful instrument, it gave neither finish nor beauty to the results." (In Review of Theorie Analytique des Probabilities, 1837)

"Bacon himself was very ignorant of all that had been done by mathematics; and strange to say, he especially objected to astronomy being handed over to the mathematicians." (A Budget of Paradoxes, 1872)