Having now finished the first half of Cheryl Misak’s intellectual biography of Frank Ramsey (“A Sheer Excess of Powers”), I am especially struck by what Ramsey (pictured below) accomplished before reaching his 19th birthday. In particular, in the space of one month (January of 1922), Ramsey published a devastating critique of left-wing “social credit” proposals, akin to the “universal basic income” schemes of our times; he published a detailed review of John Maynard Keynes’s Treatise on Probability, a review that demolished Keynes’s approach to probability; and he not only translated Ludwig Wittgenstein’s now-famous Tractatus–which is considered to be one of the most important works of modern philosophy–his translation was approved by the demanding and ornery Wittgenstein himself!
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