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Mathematical Treasure: De Morgan's Formal Logic

Frank J. Swetz (Pennsylvania State University)

Augustus De Morgan (1806-1871) was a British mathematician and logician. He is best remembered for formulating “De Morgan’s Laws” and introducing the concept of “mathematical induction” into mathematical discourse. His Formal Logic, published in 1847, established the standard for modern books on logic.

A partial view of the “Table of Contents” of De Morgan’s Formal Logic

De Morgan’s discussion of the topic of fallacies

Continuation of De Morgan’s section on fallacies

De Morgan was considered an excellent teacher. He was very much interested in the learning process of mathematics. His treatise, On the Study and Difficulties of Mathematics (1831), was written for the benefit of his students and possible students. It was frequently published in combination with other works and long remained relatively unknown. However, Dover Publications issued a hardcover edition of On the Study and Difficulties of Mathematics in 2005; see the review in MAA Reviews. For six images from a 1914 republication of this book, see Mathematical Treasure: De Morgan's Study and Difficulties of Mathematics.

The Special Collections staff at the Linderman Library of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is pleased to cooperate with the Mathematical Association of America to exhibit this and other items from the Library’s holdings in “Mathematical Treasures.” In particular, Convergence would like to thank Lois Fischer Black, Curator, Special Collections, and Ilhan Citak, Archives and Special Collections Librarian, for their kind assistance in helping to make this display possible. You may use these images in your classroom; all other uses require permission from the Special Collections staff, Linderman Library, Lehigh University.

Frank J. Swetz (Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: De Morgan's Formal Logic," Convergence (August 2013)