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.
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 * 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 * Frank Ramsey [...] makes noble reading. Ms Misak is a born teacher who explains tricky intellectual abstractions with a clarity that is exceptional. More than that, she writes with love. Her tenderness toward Ramsey, his parents and siblings, his wife and friends gives spirit and delicacy to the whole. There is astounding emotional intelligence in every chapter. One feels on each page Ms. Misak's fine mind concentrating hard on doing the best she can. This is an enthralling and glorious book. * Richard Davenport-Hines, The Wall Street Journal *
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