Life[ edit ] Ramsey was born on 22 February in Cambridge where his father Arthur Stanley Ramsey — , also a mathematician, was President of Magdalene College. His mother was Mary Agnes Stanley — He was the eldest of two brothers and two sisters, and his brother Michael Ramsey , the only one of the four siblings who was to remain Christian, later became Archbishop of Canterbury. He entered Winchester College in and later returned to Cambridge to study mathematics at Trinity College. There he became a student of John Maynard Keynes , and an active member in the Apostles.
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Life[ edit ] Ramsey was born on 22 February in Cambridge where his father Arthur Stanley Ramsey — , also a mathematician, was President of Magdalene College. His mother was Mary Agnes Stanley — He was the eldest of two brothers and two sisters, and his brother Michael Ramsey , the only one of the four siblings who was to remain Christian, later became Archbishop of Canterbury.
He entered Winchester College in and later returned to Cambridge to study mathematics at Trinity College. There he became a student of John Maynard Keynes , and an active member in the Apostles. Even as a teenager Ramsey exhibited both a profound ability and, as attested by his brother, an extremely diverse range of interests: He was interested in almost everything.
He was immensely widely read in English literature ; he was enjoying classics though he was on the verge of plunging into being a mathematical specialist; he was very interested in politics, and well-informed; he had got a political concern and a sort of left-wing caring-for-the-underdog kind of outlook about politics.
Margaret found herself to be the object of his affection, Ramsey recording in his diary: One afternoon I went out alone with her on Lake Orta and became filled with desire and we came back and lay on two beds side by side she reading, I pretending to, but with an awful conflict in my mind.
Like many of his contemporaries, including his Viennese flatmate and fellow Apostle Lionel Penrose also in analysis with Siegfried Bernfeld , Ramsey was intellectually interested in psychoanalysis. While in Vienna, he made a trip to Puchberg in order to visit Wittgenstein, was befriended by the Wittgenstein family and visited A.
In the summer of , he continued his analysis by joining Reik at Dobbiaco in South Tyrol , where a fellow analysand was Lewis Namier. Despite his atheism , Ramsey was quite tolerant towards his brother when the latter decided to become a priest in the Church of England. The Vienna Circle manifesto lists three of his publications    in a bibliography of closely related authors.
Ramsey and Wittgenstein[ edit ] When I. Richards and C. Ogden , both Fellows of Magdalene , first met Ramsey, he expressed his interest in learning German. According to Richards, he mastered the language "in almost hardly over a week",  although other sources show he had taken one year of German in school.
For two weeks Ramsey discussed the difficulties he was facing in understanding the Tractatus. Once Wittgenstein had returned to Cambridge, Ramsey became his nominal supervisor. Wittgenstein submitted the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus as his doctoral thesis. Moore and Bertrand Russell acted as examiners. Later, the three of them arranged financial aid for Wittgenstein to help him continue his research work. The contributions of Ramsey to these conversations were acknowledged by both Sraffa and Wittgenstein in their later work, the latter mentioning him in the introduction to his Philosophical Investigations as an influence.
He is buried in the Parish of the Ascension Burial Ground in Cambridge; his parents are buried in the same plot. This collection contains only a few letters but a great many drafts of papers and book chapters, some still unpublished. A great amount of later work in mathematics was fruitfully developed out of the ostensibly minor lemma, which turned out to be an important early result in combinatorics , supporting the idea that within some sufficiently large systems, however disordered, there must be some order.
Philosophy[ edit ] His main philosophical works included Universals , Facts and propositions which proposed a redundancy theory of truth , Universals of law and of fact , Knowledge , Theories , On Truth , Causal Qualities , and General propositions and causality Ramsey was perhaps the first to propose a reliablist theory of knowledge.
The economist Paul Samuelson described them in as "three great legacies — legacies that were for the most part mere by-products of his major interest in the foundations of mathematics and knowledge. The article is terribly difficult reading for an economist, but it is not difficult to appreciate how scientific and aesthetic qualities are combined in it together. The main contributions of the model were firstly the initial question Ramsey posed on how much savings should be and secondly the method of analysis, the intertemporal maximisation optimisation of collective or individual utility by applying techniques of dynamic optimisation.
Tjalling C. Stiglitz as "a landmark in the economics of public finance"   In the same, Ramsey contributed to economic theory the elegant concept of Ramsey pricing. This is applicable in situations where a regulated monopolist wants to maximise consumer surplus whilst at the same time ensuring that its costs are adequately covered.
This is achieved by setting the price such that the markup over marginal cost is inversely proportional to the price elasticity of demand for that good. Ramsey poses the question that is to be solved at the beginning of the article: "a given revenue is to be raised by proportionate taxes on some or all uses of income, the taxes on different uses being possibly at different rates; how much should these rates be adjusted in order that the decrement of utility may be a minimum?
Truth and Probability[ edit ] In A Treatise on Probability , Keynes had argued against the subjective approach in epistemic probabilities. For Keynes, subjectivity of probabilities does not matter as much, as for him there is an objective relationship between knowledge and probabilities, as knowledge is disembodied and not personal. Ramsey disagreed with this approach. In his article "Truth and Probability" , he argued that there is a difference between the notions of probability in physics and in logic.
Thus personal beliefs that are formulated by this individual knowledge govern probabilities, leading to the notions of subjective probability and Bayesian probability. Ramsey argued that the degree of probability that an individual attaches to a particular outcome can be measured by finding what odds the individual would accept when betting on that outcome.
Ramsey suggested a way of deriving a consistent theory of choice under uncertainty that could isolate beliefs from preferences while still maintaining subjective probabilities. Legacy[ edit ] Frank P. Ramsey Medal  to recognise substantial contributions to decision theory and its application to important classes of real decision problems. Richard Zeckhauser was made the Frank P.
Frank was the oldest of his parents four children. He had one brother and two sisters and his brother Michael Ramsey went on to become Archbishop of Canterbury. Ramsey entered Winchester College in and from there he won a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge. He completed his secondary school education at Winchester in and he entered Trinity College, Cambridge, to study mathematics. At Cambridge, Ramsey became a senior scholar in and graduated as a Wrangler in the Mathematical Tripos of
Frank Plumpton Ramsey
F. P. Ramsey: Philosophical Papers
Frank P. Ramsey