Person: Berkeley, George
George Berkeley was an Irish bishop and philosopher whose best known contribution to mathematics is his attack on the logical foundation of the calculus as developed by Newton.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Berkeley was working on these mathematics texts, whose full title is Arithmetica absque Algebra aut Euclide demonstrata (Arithmetic demonstrated without algebra or Euclid), waiting for the chance to compete for a fellowship.
- This work, as the previous mathematical ones, clearly shows that Berkeley was much influenced by Locke.
- Berkeley sent A Treatise concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge to Samuel Clarke and William Whiston.
- Although Berkeley continued to hold his fellowship at Trinity College, Dublin, until 1724, he spent most of the period from 1713 to 1724 away from Dublin.
- poor philosopher Berkeley has now 'the idea of health', which was very hard to produce in him; for he had 'an idea' of a strange fever on him so strong, that it was very hard to destroy it by introducing a contrary one.
- On the journey back to England Berkeley spent some time in Lyon where he wrote the essay De motu (On motion) which he submitted for the Grand Prix of the Academy of Sciences.
- In May 1724 Berkeley resigned his position at Trinity College to become Anglican Dean of Londonderry, but he never resided in the city spending most of the next four years in London.
- In January 1734 Berkeley was appointed Bishop of Cloyne and was consecrated in St Paul's Church, Dublin, on 19 May 1734.
- In 1745, at the time of the Jacobite rebellion, Berkeley addressed Roman Catholics in his diocese, and in 1749 he addressed to the Roman Catholic Clergy A Word to the Wise.
- Berkeley is best known in the world of mathematics for his attack on the logical foundation of the calculus as developed by Newton.
- Berkeley's criticisms were well founded and important in that they focused the attention of mathematicians on a logical clarification of the calculus.
- Maclaurin in Treatise on fluxions gave the best response to Berkeley.
- By the late 1740s Berkeley's health was deteriorating.
Born 12 March 1685, Kilkenny, County Kilkenny, Ireland. Died 14 January 1753, Oxford, England.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Analysis, Astronomy, Origin Ireland, Physics, Set Theory, Special Numbers And Numerals
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive