Who Was Frank P. Ramsey?

Frank Plumpton Ramsey was the first to express an operational theory of decision-making based on the dual, intertwining notions of judgmental probability and utility. In his essay "truth and Probability" in 1926, Ramsey adopted what is now termed the decision-theoretic point of view. To Ramsey, probability was an expression of a degree of belief interpreted as operationally meaningful in terms of a willingness to act based on that belief. Ramsey died in 1930 at the tragically early age of 26. Besides his essay on probability (reprinted in Studies in Subjective Probability, H.E. Kyburg Jr. and H.E. Smokler (eds.), New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1964), Ramsey is also recognized for his path breaking contributions to the theory of optimal economic growth and the problem of decideability in mathematical logic.

Professor Ramsey's seminal work, "Truth and Probability," and two other essays are now available online.

Biography taken from Howard Raiffa, Decision Analysis,
Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1968.

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