Frank Ramsey (1903–1930): A Sister’s Memoir by Margaret Paul - review by David Collard

David Collard

The Philosopher’s Philosopher

Frank Ramsey (1903–1930): A Sister’s Memoir


Smith-Gordon 304pp £20

Frank Ramsey died a month before his 27th birthday from hepatitis, possibly contracted from swimming in the River Cam. Countless bright young men and women have left the party early, but Ramsey’s untimely death may be the single greatest loss to our country’s intellectual history. The Times obituarist wrote, ‘there was no one in Cambridge among the younger men who would be considered his equal for power and quality of mind, and also for boldness and originality of conception in one of the most difficult subjects of study.’

Ramsey is the philosopher’s philosopher, a venerated figure within academic circles but largely unknown in the wider world. As a teenager he translated the austere aphorisms of the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus into English, later working closely with Wittgenstein on the revised edition. He is most renowned as an economist, the author

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RLF - March