Guide to the Frank Plumpton Ramsey Papers, 1920-1930 ASP.1983.01

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ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
Frank Plumpton Ramsey Papers
Creator
Ramsey, Frank Plumpton, 1903-1930
Collection Number
ASP.1983.01
Date
1920-1930
Extent
3.75 linear feet (8 manuscript boxes)
Abstract
This is a collection of autograph manuscripts documenting the philosophical work of Frank Plumpton Ramsey between the years 1920 and 1930. F.P. Ramsey was one of the most important British analytic philosophers of the twentieth century. During his career he worked in the areas of philosophy of mathematics, symbolic logic, epistemology, economics, and probability theory. The collection contains drafts of Ramsey's papers, including drafts of two of the most important and influential of Ramsey's works, The Foundations of Mathematics and On a Problem of Formal Logic. There are notes on the Tractatus of L. Wittgenstein. There are also papers, notes, and drafts of works on topics in philosophy of mathematics, formal logic, economics, and political theory. Some of Ramsey's undergraduate essays are also found in the collection. Digital reproductions of this collection are available online.

Preferred Citation

Frank Plumpton Ramsey Papers, 1920-1930, ASP.1983.01, Archives of Scientific Philosophy, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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Biography

Frank Plumpton Ramsey was born in 1903 in Cambridge, England, and died in 1930 in London, England. Ramsey was one of England's foremost philosophers in the Anglo-American analytic tradition. He was educated first at Winchester, one of England's leading public schools, then at Trinity College of Cambridge University. At Trinity he was a protégé of John Maynard Keynes, and a member of the important Cambridge discussion group, the Apostles. Ramsey received a bachelor's degree in Mathematics with first class honors from Cambridge in 1923. He was a mathematician, philosopher, and economist who was associated with Cambridge University in England throughout his entire professional career. He was interested in and contributed significantly to philosophical problems in epistemology, probability, symbolic logic, the foundations of mathematics, and economics. He was a colleague of Bertrand Russell, John Maynard Keynes and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Despite his short life and short professional career he is one of the leading British philosophers of the twentieth century.

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Scope and Content Notes

This is a collection of autograph manuscripts, notes, and drafts of Ramsey's work in mathematics, philosophy, and economics. It contains drafts of several undergraduate papers and the manuscript of several chapters of an unpublished book on the relationship of logic and epistemology. Early versions of two of Ramsey's most significant papers - Universals, 1925, and  The Foundations of Mathematics, 1925 are found within the collection. There are papers giving Ramsey's outline of the  Tractatus of Wittgenstein, and notes on the concept of infinity that are in Ramsey's hand but which may have been dictated to him by Wittgenstein. Relatively few of the documents are dated. Class notes and papers given to the Apostles are also included in the collection.

Ramsey's manner of organizing his material is not known nor are dates included for most of the documents, however, the material begins with his arrival at Cambridge and runs until his death, hence it all falls between 1920 and 1930. The papers have been kept in the order in which they were received. This guide attempts to provide information on the material based on this organization, due to the number of scholarly publications that have previously been published using this order.

The materials are arranged into seven series organized by topic or subject of philosophical concern. Because of the overlap within series the researcher should be sure to consult the entirety of the collection to ensure that they view all relevant documents. Additional scope and content notes are provided at the series levels.

All materials in the collection have been digitized.

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Arrangement

Series I. The nature of truth - manuscript notes

Series II. General notes on philosophy and philosophy of science

Series III. Notes on various topics including Mathematics and Psychology

Series IV. Outlines, notes, and drafts of articles

Series V. Notes and materials on Mathematics and Mathematical Logic

Series VI. Materials from Ramsey's undergraduate work

Series VII. Undergraduate notebooks and commentaries on Wittgenstein

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, 1984

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Revision Description

 Added links within finding aid to access content selected for digitization. August 2011

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright

Any requests for permission to publish, quote, or reproduce materials from this collection must be submitted in writing to the Assistant University Librarian for Archives and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the University of Pittsburgh as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Acquisition Information

The collection was acquired in 1983 from a London dealer in rare books and manuscripts, Bernard Quaritch, Ltd.

A copy of a speech given by Ramsey to the Apostles was donated by Professor Nicholas Rescher in November 2004. The original is held by the King's College Archive Centre, Cambridge.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by curators and staff of the Archives of Scientific Philosophy, Special Collections, in 1984. The guide to this collection was written by Lance Lugar, Curator of the Archives of Scientific Philosophy, in 2004.

Revision and rearrangement for the encoded version of the finding aid provided by Dan Horvath on December 10, 2004 and Charles Stanford on January 10, 2006. Information about the collection title and the controlled access terms was extracted from the MARC record in the University of Pittsburgh catalog Voyager ID number: 4533236

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital reproductions of this collection are available online.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Cambridge Apostles (Society).

Personal Name(s)

  • Keynes, John Maynard, 1883-1946
  • Moore, G. E. (George Edward), 1873-1958
  • Russell, Bertrand, 1872-1970
  • Wittgenstein, Ludwig, 1889-1951

Subject(s)

  • Causality (Physics)
  • Economics
  • Knowledge, Theory of
  • Logic, Symbolic and mathematical
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy
  • Science -- Philosophy
  • Truth

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Previous Citation

Frank Plumpton Ramsey Papers, 1920-1930, ASP.1983.01, Archives of Scientific Philosophy, Special Collections Department, University of Pittsburgh

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Collection Inventory

Series  I.  The Nature of the Truth 

Scope and Contents note

Series I contains notes on chapters I-V of F. Ramsey's manuscript on the nature of truth. All of these notes are handwritten and may show signs of revision or reformulation. While the series is focused on the topic of the nature of truth and its components were intended to be part of a book, the researcher should be aware that other series will contain additional notes explicating Ramsey's thoughts on the nature of truth.

  BoxFolder
Chapter I - The Nature of Truth 11-2
Online
  Folder
Mental States and Acts, Notes 3
Online
  Folder
Theories of Truth 4-5
Online
  Folder
Absolute Truth 6
Online
  Folder
Coherence Theory of Truth (Chapter II) 7-9
Online
  Folder
Notes on Truth 10
Online
  Folder
Chapter III Judgment 11
Online
  Folder
Chapter IV Knowledge and Opinion 12
Online
  Folder
Chapter V Judgment and Time 13-14
Online
  Folder
Truth and Science, Notes on Truth 15
Online
  Folder
Notes on Truth, Logic, and Probability 16
Online
  Folder
Chapter I - Logical Values 17
Online
  Folder
Chapter I - Introductory 18
Online

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Series  II. Notes on Philosophy and Philosophy of Science 

Scope and Contents note

Series II consists of general notes by F. Ramsey on topics such as logical philosophy, philosophy of science, philosophy of mathematics, and individual philosophers such as G.E. Moore, I. Kant, L. Wittgenstein. The notes are arranged thematically by notebook or folder. These notes are on loose sheets of paper and as with his other notes may show the imprint of his developing thought by containing passages that have been lined out and replaced by later formulations. The folders containing miscellaneous notes hold material that is often fragmentary or short. The topics covered are often to be found as principal topics in other folders, so researchers may wish to consult these folders for Ramsey's development of his ideas. The notes in the miscellaneous folders are often Ramsey's jottings on reading that he was doing, as indicated by his citation of specific works.

  BoxFolder
Solipsism and Language 21
Online
  Folder
G.E. Moore 2-3
Online
  Folder
Notes 4
Online
  Folder
Facts 5
Online
  Folder
H.W.B. Joseph 6
Online
  Folder
Sense Data, Time 7
Online
  Folder
Notes 8
Online
  Folder
Mathematics 9
Online
  Folder
Miscellaneous Notes 10-11
Online
  Folder
Kant 12
Online
  Folder
Miscellaneous Notes 13-14
Online
  Folder
Experience 15
Online
  Folder
Logic 16
Online
  Folder
Existential Judgment 17
Online
  Folder
Abstraction 18
Online
  Folder
Letter to Behmann 19
Online
  Folder
Logic 20
Online
  Folder
Logic and Language 21
Online
  Folder
Logic and Truth 22
Online
  Folder
Truth, Judgment, and Knowledge 23
Online
  Folder
Sensation 24
Online
  Folder
Miscellaneous notes 25
Online
  Folder
Philosophy, Logic, and Mathematics 26
Online
  Folder
Logic 27
Online
  Folder
Notes 28
Online
  Folder
Wittgenstein 29
Online
  Folder
Causality and Probability 30
Online
  Folder
Notes 31
Online
  Folder
Meaning, Acquaintance 32
Online
  Folder
Meaning and Experience 33
Online
  Folder
Meaning 34
Online
  Folder
Self-Reference 35
Online

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Series  III. Notes on Various Topics 

Scope and Contents note

Series III contains notes by F. Ramsey on philosophical topics, psychological topics, specific philosophers (notably Kant, Hobbes, and Schopenhauer), and on mathematical and statistical topics. The miscellaneous notes here - as in Series II - are short exposition of Ramsey's ideas, notes about texts that he was reading, and insights on topics that he was considering. The subjects covered in the wider array of notes are not restricted to the topics prominent in this series.

  BoxFolder
Psychoanalysis 31
Online
  Folder
De Rochefoucauld, Hobbes, and La Bruyere 2
Online
  Folder
Logic, etc. 3
Online
  Folder
Miscellaneous Notes 4
Online
  Folder
M.F. Washburn 5
Online
  Folder
K.O. Erdmann 6
Online
  Folder
Shaw's Back to Methuselah 7
Online
  Folder
Helmholtz 8
Online
  Folder
Judgment 9
Online
  Folder
Hume's Treatise 10
Online
  Folder
Eddington 11
Online
  Folder
W.E. Johnson 12
Online
  Folder
Probability, Modality 13
Online
  Folder
Aristotle, Plato 14
Online
  Folder
Probability 15-16
Online
  Folder
Schopenhauer on Kant 17
Online
  Folder
Pritchard on Kant 18
Online
  Folder
Whately 19
Online
  Folder
Schopenhauer 20
Online
  Folder
Philosophy, Mathematics 21
Online
  Folder
Kant 22
Online
  Folder
Bradley and Bosanquet 23
Online
  Folder
Bradley 24
Online
  Folder
Bosanquet 25
Online
  Folder
Metapsychology 26
Online
  Folder
Logic 27
Online
  Folder
Carnap 28
Online
  Folder
Realism 29
Online
  Folder
Miscellaneous Notes (cont.) 30-31
Online
  Folder
Realism 32
Online
  Folder
Epistemology 33
Online
  Folder
Vagueness, Sensation 34
Online
  Folder
Logic 35
Online
  Folder
Definition 36
Online
  Folder
Causality, Psychology, Acquaintance 37
Online
  Folder
Russell 38
Online

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Series  IV. Outlines, Notes, and Drafts of Articles 

Scope and Contents note

Series IV contains F. Ramsey's outlines, notes, and drafts of articles. The subject of these works are often mathematical and logical topics, as well as notes on the work of the mathematician John Von Neuman and the philosophers G.E. Moore and Bertrand Russell. Please note that Series V. also contains material on mathematical and logical topics.

  BoxFolder
Self-Reference 41
Online
  Folder
Eddington and Weyl 2
Online
  Folder
Outline on Logic 3
Online
  Folder
The Infinite 4
Online
  Folder
The Rule of Succession 5
Online
  Folder
The Ideas of Mathematics 6
Online
  Folder
The Number of Things in the World 7
Online
  Folder
Theory of Types 8
Online
  Folder
Philosophy and Language 9
Online
  Folder
G.E. Moore and Notes on Credit, Power, and Democracy 10
Online
  Folder
Russell 11
Online
  Folder
Paradoxes, Mathematics 12
Online
  Folder
Theory of Types 13
Online
  Folder
Philosophy and Language 14
Online
  Folder
Von Neumann 15
Online
  Folder
Realism 16
Online
  Folder
Logic and Mathematics 17
Online
  Folder
Formalism 18
Online
  Folder
Set Theory 19
Online
  Folder
Lowenheim-Skolem Theorem 20
Online
  Folder
Language, Experience 21
Online
  Folder
Miscellaneous Notes 22
Online
  Folder
Time and Mathematics (in German) 23
Online

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Series  V. Notes and Materials on Mathematics and Mathematical Logic 

Scope and Contents note

Series V contains F. Ramsey's notes and manuscripts on various aspects of logic and mathematical logic. Materials in this series comprise Ramsey's work on technical matters of logic and mathematics as well as his thoughts on prominent philosophers and mathematicians whose work made significant contributions to these topics. Researchers interested in Ramsey's work on mathematical logic and logic should be sure to consult the additional materials in Series IV.

  BoxFolder
Logic 51-2
Online
  Folder
Theory of Types 3-4
Online
  Folder
Axiom of Reducibility 5-6
Online
  Folder
Theory of Types and Mathematics 7
Online
  Folder
Theory of Types 8
Online
  Folder
Second Order Functions 9
Online
  Folder
General Propositions 10
Online
  Folder
Logic 11
Online
  Folder
First Order Logic 12
Online
  Folder
Logic 13
Online
  Folder
Self-Reference 14
Online
  Folder
Propositions 15
Online
  Folder
Logic 16
Online
  Folder
Scientific Theories 17
Online
  Folder
Solipsism and Personal Identity 18
Online
  Folder
Meaning of Hypothetical Propositions 19
Online
  Folder
Probability, Mathematics (also preservation copies) 20
Online
  Folder
Sensation 21
Online
  Folder
W.E. Johnson, Logic 22-25
Online
  Folder
Hilbert (German) 26
Online
  Folder
Bernays (German) 27
Online
  Folder
Bernstein (German) 28
Online
  Folder
Hilbert (German) 29
Online
  Folder
Peirce, Chance, Love, and Logic 30
Online

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Series  VI. Undergraduate Materials 

Scope and Contents note

Series VI contains drafts of manuscripts, lecture notes, papers from F. Ramsey's undergraduate career and drafts of his works on economics. This series holds his early papers given to the Moral Science Club, a Cambridge reading and discussion group. Other papers in this series concern the rule of succession, the foundations of mathematics, philosophy of mathematics, and commentary on Russell and Whitehead's Principia Mathematica.

  BoxFolder
Foundations of Mathematics 61
Online
  Folder
Philosophy 2
Online
  Folder
Draft of On a Problem in Formal Logic 3
Online
  Folder
Lectures on Foundations of Mathematics 4
Online
  Folder
Early Moral Science Club Papers 5
Online
  Folder
Intuitionist Mathematics 6
Online
  Folder
Ramsey Economics 7
Online

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Series  VII. Undergraduate Notebooks and Commentaries 

Scope and Contents note

Series VII contains F. Ramsey's early undergraduate notebooks and essays, unpublished papers for the Cambridge Discussion Society, drafts of important later essays, and material addressing Wittgenstein's Theory of Identity. This series also consists of the unpublished papers presented to the Cambridge Conversation Society (Apostles) including papers on ethical topics, economics, socialism, civilization and happiness, the philosophical problem of induction, and the philosophical and psychological views of John Stuart Mill. Notebooks contained in this series are Ramsey's class notes for classes he took from G.E. Moore on metaphysics, from Bertrand Russell on mathematical philosophy, from J.M. Keynes on probability theory, and from A.N. Whitehead on principles of natural knowledge. There is also a photocopy of an item from the King's College Archives.

  BoxFolder
Early Notebooks 71
Online
  Folder
Early Essays 2
Online
  Folder
Douglas Proposal 3
Online
  Folder
Weyl 4
Online
  Folder
Peirce's Monist Article (1906) 5
Online
  Folder
Unpublished Papers for the Cambridge Discussion Society 6
Online
  Folder
Wittgenstein's Theory of Identity 7
Online
  Folder
Essay on Progress. 8
  Folder
Nature of Truth, Read to the Apostles April 29th, 1922. (Photocopy) 9

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