See his autobiography (1985), and memoirs (1997 and 1999); biography by P. P. Read (2005); studies by K. Tynan (1953), J. R. Taylor (1984), and R. Tanitch (1989).
(born April 2, 1914, London, Eng.—died Aug. 5, 2000, Midhurst, West Sussex) British actor. He made his stage debut in 1934. His reputation soared after 1936, when he joined the Old Vic company and starred in plays by William Shakespeare, George Bernard Shaw, and Anton Chekhov. A versatile actor, he won the praise of New York critics and audiences in Shakespearean roles and in T.S. Eliot's The Cocktail Party (1946). His many films include comedies such as Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), The Lavender Hill Mob (1951), The Captain's Paradise (1953), and Our Man in Havana (1959) as well as dramas such as The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957, Academy Award) and Tunes of Glory (1960). He won a new generation of fans in three Star Wars films (1977, 1980, 1983).
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He spent much of his career at Middlesex University Business School. He has been a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and is a member of the Academie Internationale d'Histoire des Sciences.
The work of Grattan-Guinness touches on all historical periods, but he is particularly interested in Euclid, and in the rise of functional analysis and mathematical logic. He has been especially interested in characterising how past thinkers far removed from us in time view their findings differently from the way we see them now, and has emphasised the importance of ignorance in this task. He has done extensive research with original sources, thanks to his reading knowledge of the main European languages.
Grattan-Guinness (2000) is a sweeping study of the rise of mathematical logic during the critical period 1870-1940. The central theme of the book is the rise of logicism, thanks to the efforts of Frege, Bertrand Russell, and Whitehead, and its demise due to Gödel and indifference. Whole chapters are devoted to the emergence of algebraic logic in the 19th century UK, Cantor and the emergence of set theory, the emergence of mathematical logic in Germany told in a way that downplays Frege's importance, and to Peano and his followers. There follow four chapters devoted to the ideas of the young Bertrand Russell, the writing of Principia Mathematica, and to the mixed reception its ideas and methods encountered over the period 1910-40. The book touches on the rise of model theory as well as proof theory, and on the emergence of American research on the foundation of mathematics, especially in the hands of Eliakim Hastings Moore and his students, of the postulate theorists, and of Quine. While Polish logic is often mentioned, it is not covered systematically. Finally, the book is a contribution to the history of philosophy as well as of mathematics..