Archive for February 19th, 2020

‘New Light on George Boole’, Death by Homeopathy?

Wednesday, February 19th, 2020

Hardcover: 492 pages
Publisher: Cork University Press (January 1, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1782052909
ISBN-13: 978-1782052906
by Desmond MacHale (Author), Yvonne Cohen (Author)

In dem sehr guten Blog

“The Renaissance Mathematicus” <br><a href=””></a>

wurde im Dezember 2012 auf ein bisher unbekanntes Detail des Todes von George Boole (auf den die Boole’sche Algebra und andere Grundlagen der Computer zurückgehen), hingewiesen:

“<b>Killed by Homeopathy</b><br>The mathematician, philosopher and logician George Boole died on the 8th December 1864. What most people don’t realise is that he was in all probability killed by homeopathy.”

Es dauerte mehrere Jahre, bis ich endlich eine Quelle fand. Von einem heutigen Nachfahren aus der Familie von George Boole in “Downunder” erfuhr ich von einem neuen Buch mit Quellenmaterial aus britischen Archiven. Desmond MacHale und Yvonne Cohen waren noch bei der Arbeit, aber endlich konnte ich das Buch aus Großbritannien bestellen. 492 randvolle Seiten.

About this book:

“George Boole (1815–1864) was born in Lincoln, England and was largely self taught, having left school before he was sixteen. First, he taught himself languages – Latin, Greek, French, German and Italian – and then astronomy, optics, mechanics and mathematics. By the age of twenty-one, he was publishing original research in mathematical journals and, in 1849, despite his lack of a degree, he was appointed first professor of mathematics at the newly-founded Queen’s College Cork (now University College Cork). In 1854 he published his great work there, An Investigation of the Laws of Thought, which laid the foundations of today’s digital revolution. In 1855 Boole married Mary Everest (whose uncle was the man after whom Mount Everest was named) and they had five remarkable daughters. He died in 1864 at the early age of forty-nine. Boole’s academic career has been covered in Desmond MacHale’s biography, The Life and Work of George Boole (Cork University Press, 2014). New Light on George Boole now details the human side of this great genius. It covers his family history, correspondence, love of nature, his reactions to the devastating Irish Famine, as well as his family life and relations with his students and peers. The book includes personal correspondence between Boole and his family, and a variety of friends and mathematicians, as well as a fascinating account of his trip to Germany. The circumstances of Boole’s death are also explored. Possibly the most controversial aspect of the book is the suggestion that Boole was the inspiration for Professor James Moriarty, the arch villain of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories. Convincing evidence for this theory is presented. Written for the general reader, New Light on George Boole is designed to show the personal side of a great thinker, loving husband, devoted father, religious maverick, generous benefactor and much-loved teacher. In attempting to understand how the human mind processes thought and uses logic, Boole’s ground-breaking work has led to the development of modern computing.”

Tbe book begins:

“In the Boole papers in the Boole Library at University College Cork there is a handwritten notebook which appears to have been written by George Boole’s eldest daughter, Mary Ellen (Hinton). The notebook details the Boole family history, followed by an account of the life and character of John Boole, George Boole’s father. Its significance lies in the fact that George’s personality, talents, and maybe even his religious views, were modelled on those of his father and clearly nurtured by him. It also includessome details of the background of George’s mother, Mary Ann.

As Mary Ellen was only eight when her father died, it is not possible that George Boole dictated this text – it probably emanated from his sister MaryAnn Boole, but its authenticity is not in doubt. The notebook was clearly a first draft but no second or further version seems to have survived. In places, the handwriting is extremely difficult to decipher, with many crossings out and amendments in what is possibly a different hand, necessitating in some instances educated guesses on the part of the present authors. The text of the notebook …”

Man sollte es lesen.



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