Talk:Augustus De Morgan

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Augustus De Morgan[edit]

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Buenasdiaz (talkcontribs) 18:21, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Hello. From searching the web for some of the text of the current version of this article, it looks like it is copied entirely from "Ten British Mathematicians of the 19th Century", by Alexander Macfarlane, dated 1916, at: (Project Gutenberg). That's great, no problem with copyright. The only thing I want to suggest here is that when source texts such as this are imported, it would be a good idea to put a note in the article or the talk page telling where it came from. Texts copied from other sources are an ongoing problem for Wikipedia -- let's make it easier to find the problematic articles by clearly labeling the ones that aren't a problem. Happy editing, Wile E. Heresiarch 05:53, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Mathematical induction was first used by Francesco Maurolico in 1575 ( and completely understood by Pascal. The intro paragraph should be changed accordingly.Scorwin (talk) 21:32, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

whichever ancient work it was copied from, the style is dreadful. totally inappropriate for a modern encyclopedia and not likely to enlighten many people about the mathematics it pretends to explain. hopefully someone will scrap the lot and write something from scratch.

Is it "de Morgan" or "De Morgan"? I've seen both used. What language uses "De" in names? Is capitalizing "De" the usual convention in it? Kaol 22:08, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I'm guessing "de", latin/french for "of". Speaking of latin, could somebody please translate this?

He once printed his name: Augustus De Morgan, H - O - M - O - P - A - U - C - A - R - U - M - L - I - T - E - R - A - R - U - M.

I'm sure that's something very humorous in Latin, but, unfortunately, I only understand English... (man of few words perhaps?)

crazyeddie 06:06, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)

It means "Man of few letters." They were going to confer on him the degree Doctor of Letters. --Polylerus 23:03, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

The word "de" means "of" in all major romance languages (in Italian, it's "di"). "de" in most French names is in lower case unless it starts a sentence. Correct me if I'm wrong. ~elviajero (talk · contribs)

The "de" or "De" discussion[edit]

Fellow fans of Augustus De Morgan,

"de" is the Dutch language article corresponding to the English article "the". Many Dutch and Belgian surnames use that article, such as "De Wolf" (the wolf) or "Van de Velden" (from Velden). My speculation is that De Morgan's surname is of Dutch origin, since "from Morgan" does not make sense to me at all. In that case, it is customary but not necessary for the surname to start with a higher-case "D" (that goes for many other languages, e.g. I have a friend whose surname is "de Oliveira" and another whose surname is "De Rossi").

By the way, was I the only one to notice many parts of this article on De Morgan were copied from The MacTutor article?

Porcher 04:43, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

If you read the first comment in this Talk, you will see that they were both copied from the same source.Billlion 22:38, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
De Morgan doesn't seem Dutch to me, except if it were derived from De Morgen ("the morning"), though I can't find that name in the phonebook or on genealogy sites.
Qwertyus 15:40, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
There are a number of Irish names that come from Latin through Norman French, De Leon is one, Delaney from De l’aunaie is another. For some reason they are generally written with a capital "De" as in De Morgan. It's a bit strange, though, since Morgan is a Celtic name.
Billlion (talk) 08:58, 10 May 2008 (UTC) (Bill "De Leon")
Since English is not my mother tongue I cannot say that this is this way for sure, but in Spanish the article is "de" and we write "Augustus de Morgan" and (if we want to say just the surname) "De Morgan". This is a Spanish grammar general rule: When the surname has a particle such as "de" and we want to refer to that person just by saying his/her surname, we put "De".
—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:58, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
Since English is not your mother tongue, please leave the entire subject alone! Britain is the location of immigrants from many, many places.
23:14, 3 September 2012 (UTC)


In what sense is this guy a 'British Music Theorist...? It seems to me that the 'category' is quite undeserved...
Pfistermeister (talk) 02:13, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. Removed it. Billlion (talk) 06:13, 27 May 2008 (UTC)


De Morgan became blind in one eye a month or two after he was born. This is referred to in the article, but only vaguely. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:14, 2 May 2009 (UTC) See —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:33, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Budget of Paradoxes[edit]

Now available at Wikisource. Regards, Paradoctor (talk) 23:58, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

The long quoted section including "met at Indianapolis in 1890" cannot be by De Morgan, who died in 1871. It might have been inserted by the editor of the second edition (1915), David Eugene Smith, but I have just scanned my copy of that edition and found no such thing. Hardly any of Smith's footnotes are anywhere near as long as this quote. Do not attribute this quote to De Morgan. StarryEye (talk) 04:46, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Budget Of Paradoxes has been available at Project Gutenberg for years. (Budget Of Paradoxes) Hpfeil (talk) 16:16, 11 March 2013 (UTC)


One of my college professors told me years ago the man was famous also for sleeping 22 hours a day for the last 20 years of his life. I have to wonder if anyone knows if this is true. Jokem (talk) 21:14, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Very doubtful. It is true that as the French mathematican Gaspard Monge grew older and older, he slept more and more every day. Monge also kept records of his hours of sleep, and since he was an old mathematican, he kept tables of his records, and he drew graphs of his hours of sleep. No kidding. Monge predicted that whenever he started sleeping 24 hours a day, then he would be DEAD - natually. Monge extended his lines and he made predictions for when that would happen for his servants, and whatever members of his family were around. (Maybe he didn't have any.) In the end, Monge got to where he was sleeping 23 hours a day, and at that point, he was so sick that he did die at that time. (talk) 23:24, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

book excerpts[edit]

I noticed the same thing as Buenasdiaz, only 8 years later. Large portions of this article are taken verbatim from the publicly available book "Ten British Mathematicians", found here:

I also feel that the original work should be credited. It is linked to under further reading, but it's unclear from the article that the text is directly derived from it. (talk) 00:08, 28 April 2012 (UTC)brendan

Cause of death?[edit]

The article currently states that De Morgan died of "nervous prostration" (mental breakdown).

Granted, health declines when the spirit breaks; but it's customary to give a physical diagnosis as the actual cause of death.

Karl gregory jones (talk) 17:51, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

Augustus De Morgan - Claimed atheism as stated fact?[edit]

Adding individuals to atheism category may be in violation of several WP rules and guidelines

One source by parapsychologist John Beloff (president of the Parapsychological Association) Parapsychology: A Concise History (1993) is no enough for stating that someone has definite belief in this or that. Augustus De Morgan non-conforming disposition as been interpreted by one parapsychologist Beloff as meaning he was atheist? That will not just do.

Statements and claims presented as a fact must be backed by balanced, certified and strong unequivocal research and scholarship with the help of multiple sources. Loose claims here and there are just opinions and does not amount to an fair and balanced view. Varying authors can be be used as a source for presenting an opinion for such and such, but it is still not to be deemed authoritative and conclusive.

Multiple sources and scholarly consensus must be the main aim when something is stated as a reasonable fact. Otherwise we are deceiving.

Pgarret (talk) 10:32, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

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