ISBN : 9780198755357
When he died in 1930 aged 26, Frank Ramsey had already invented one branch of mathematics and two branches of economics, laying the foundations for decision theory and game theory. Keynes deferred to him; he was the only philosopher whom Wittgenstein treated as an equal. Had he lived he might have been recognized as the most brilliant thinker of the century. This amiable shambling bear of a man was an ardent socialist, a believer in free love, and an intimate of the Bloomsbury set. For the first time Cheryl Misak tells the full story of his extraordinary life.
Foreword: 'Mind and Heart'
Part I: Boyhood
1: The Ramseys
2: Winchester Nearly Unmade Him
3: 'We really live in a great time for thinking'
Part II: The Cambridge Man
4: Undergraduate Life
5: 'To my generation, he was rather frightening'
6: Ramsey and the Early Wittgenstein
7: Vienna Interlude
8: 'The fundamentals are so philosophical'
9: The New Don
10: Passion Found
Part III: An Astonishing Half Decade
11: Settling Down in Work and Life
12: Revolution in Philosophy
13: Two Crises
14: Cambridge Economics
15: Ramseyan Economics: The Feasible First Best
16: 1928 Return to Mathematics
17: Wittgenstein Comes Home
18: 'The problem of philosophy must be divided if I am to solve it'
19: The End and Meaning of a Life
"This is a gripping read about the twentieth century's forgotten genius. It provides a fascinating and meticulously detailed portrait of Frank Ramsey's life and times. Finally, Ramsey has the biography he deserves." - David Edmonds, co-author of Wittgenstein's Poker
"In this brilliantly written biography of Frank Ramsey, the philosophical and mathematical genius, Cheryl Misak helps us to understand how this innovative thinker could transform so much of the intellectual world of the twentieth century in a short life that ended before he turned 27. The story of Ramsey - his life, his ideas and his engaging arguments with others - as told by Misak is both deeply insightful and much fun to read." - Amartya Sen, Harvard University