Boole, George

*(b. 1815, Lincoln, UK, d. 1864, Cork, Ireland). In his principal work, An Investigation of the Laws of Thought on Which Are Founded the Mathematical Theories of Logic and Probabilities (1854), Boole established a new branch of mathematics, symbolic logic, in which symbols are used to represent logical operations.*

**Details:**

Boole was mostly self-educated. He spent his academic career at Queen’s College in Cork, Ireland (1849-1864). Boole’s first book, Mathematical Analysis of Logic (1847), argued that logic is a branch of mathematics rather than metaphysics. In his principal work, An Investigation of the Laws of Thought on Which Are Founded the Mathematical Theories of Logic and Probabilities (1854), Boole established a new branch of mathematics, symbolic logic, in which symbols are used to represent logical operations. In this book, Boole proposed a calculus (the Boolean algebra) that he claimed was based on the nature of human logical thought. He saw his project as an attempt to translate thought into mathematical symbols. Boole showed that the symbols of his calculus could be made to take on only two values, 0 and 1, to perform all the necessary operations. This two-valued algebra is used today in computers, which employ the binary system to perform logical operations.

Tadeusz Zawidzki