London: Printed by Taylor and Francis, 1844. First printing of Boole’s paper. The extracted article, together with the title-page of the Philosophical Transactions for 1844, Part I. Excellent condition. Item #7389
Differential equations was the subject through which Boole made his entry into mathematics. It is in this area that he developed appreciation for purely symbolic mathematics, and where he developed his calculus of operations, for which he became known in the mathematical world of the mid-1800s. he calculus of operations was imported from the continent in 1813-1816 by John Herschel and Charles Babbage, then developed independently by the English mathematicians Murphy, Gregory, and DeMorgan, and eventually culminated in Boole’s paper, “On a General Method of Analysis,” which won the Mathematical Medal of the Royal Society in 1844. (See Parkinsons’s Breakthroughs.) he essential feature of this calculus is the treatment of symbols that stands for the operations (e.g., taking the derivative of a function) as if they stood for numerical quantities. Boole’s breakthrough in mathematical logic (1847), which was the first to combine logical propositions by symbols resembling arithmetical operations, followed naturally from his work on the calculus of operations.