Józef Wronski

Wronski, Józef


(real surname, Hoene; also known as Hoene-Wroriski). Born Aug. 24, 1776, in Wolsztyn; died Aug. 9, 1853, in Paris. Polish mathematician and mystic philosopher.

Wroński was an artillery officer in Kosciuszko’s army and later served on the staff of A. V. Suvorov. He retired in 1797. His mathematical works, which he began to publish in 1811, are characterized by the extraordinary breadth and unity with which he stated problems. However, the complexity of the designations he used and a style that bordered on mysticism made the study of his works very difficult. After Wroriski’s death, in the second half of the 19th century, many mathematicians, studying his legacy, discovered a significant number of methods and individual facts which at that time were partially being rediscovered by other scholars. His name has remained in all courses of analysis in connection with the functional determinant (Wrońskian), first introduced by him in 1812, which is of major importance in the theory of linear differential equations.

In Wroński’s idealist philosophical system, which influenced the theory of Polish messianism, theoretical and practical reason act as two aspects of a single creative reason, the prototype for which is god. Wroński regarded the history of mankind as the search for ways of returning to the absolute.


Oeuvres mathematiques, vols. 1-4. Paris, 1925.