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Mathematical Treasure: De Morgan’s Budget of Paradoxes

Author(s): 
Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

Augustus De Morgan (1806-1871), a British mathematician remembered mainly for his work in logic, was also a devoted popularizer of mathematics. He was very much interested in mathematics education and felt strongly that those who do mathematics should be familiar with its development. His Budget of Paradoxes, 1872, evolved from a series of letters de Morgan published in the London periodical Athenaeum in the years 1863-1866. He revised and extended this collection of letters into a book, but died before publishing it. His wife Sofia completed this task. The book is witty and amusing and focuses around the accomplishments of dissenters or “paradoxers” who follow a different approach to various tasks and succeed in making discoveries and accomplishments.

Title page of Augustus De Morgan's Budget of Paradoxes.

A review of William Frend’s Principles of Algebra (1796) is found on page 117 and reflects the state of controversy the development of algebra was experiencing.

Page 117 of Augustus De Morgan's Budget of Paradoxes.

The images above are presented courtesy of the University of Pennsylvania Libraries.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: De Morgan’s Budget of Paradoxes," Convergence (October 2016)

Dummy View - NOT TO BE DELETED