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Mathematical Treasure: Peano's Formulario Mathematico

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

In 1892, Giuseppe Peano (1858-1932) began an ambitious project, his "formulario mathematico," to establish a foundation for mathematics based on logical deductions on the set of natural numbers. A French edition of this work, Formulaire de Mathématiques, appeared in 1901. It prepared the way for Russell and Whitehead’s Principia Mathematica (1910-1913).

Title page of Formulaire de Mathématiques by Giuseppe Peano, 1901

The first page of the “Préface” explains the necessity of the use of mathematical symbols.

First page of preface of Formulaire de Mathématiques by Giuseppe Peano, 1901

Some sample pages from the discussion indicate the format and provide a sense of the presentation.

Page 1 of Formulaire de Mathématiques by Giuseppe Peano, 1901

Page 4 of Formulaire de Mathématiques by Giuseppe Peano, 1901

Page 6 of Formulaire de Mathématiques by Giuseppe Peano, 1901

Page 7 of Formulaire de Mathématiques by Giuseppe Peano, 1901

The images above were supplied through the courtesy of the University of Toronto. The work may be viewed in its entirety in the Internet Archive.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Peano's Formulario Mathematico," Convergence (July 2018)

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