Wilhelm Ackermann (29/03/1896-24/12/1962)

Wilhelm Ackermann was born on March 29, 1896 in Schonebeck, Germany. Ackermann attended the university of Gottingen in 1914. He studied mathematics, physics, and philosophy but had to postpone his studies when he was drafted into World War I. In 1919 he finally returned to his studies, which a few years later in 1925 he received his doctoral degree. His thesis was the Foundation of the “tertium non datur” using Hilbert’s theory of consistency. This proved that the consistency of arithmetic could be solved without induction provided by a proof Ackermann had discovered. Although the proof was intended to be one of consistency for the elementary analysis, it proved to have many significant errors.  After Ackermann submitted his dissertation he went to Cambridge, England for the first half of 1925 with the Rockefeller Scholarship to support his trip. He was a main contributor for the development of epsilon calculus also known as logical systems. He then from 1929 to 1948 was a teacher at the Arnoldinum Gymnasium in Burgsteinfurt.

Among Ackermann’s later work he had in 1937 proofs for set theory, in 1940 full arithmetic, in 1952 type free logic, and in 1956 a new axiomatization for set theory. He also a couple of books and numerous papers of them were in 1957 the “Philosophical observations on mathematical logic and on investigations in to the foundations of mathematics” and in 1954 the book “Solvable cases of the decision problem” published by North Holland. He then later died in Ludenscheid, Germany on December 24 1962.


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