Poretskii, Platon Sergeevich
Born Oct. 3 (15), 1846, in Elizavetgrad, present-day Kirovograd; died Aug. 9 (22), 1907, in the village of Zhoved’, in what is now Chernigov Oblast. Russian mathematician, astronomer, and logician.
Poretskii graduated from the faculty of physics and mathematics of the University of Kharkov in 1870. From 1876 to 1889 he worked at the University of Kazan—first as an observational astronomer and from 1886 as a privatdocent. His most important contribution was to mathematical logic, which he defined as “logic in subject and mathematics in methodology.” He was the first Russian scientist to give courses on mathematical logic and its application to probability theory. Poretskii dealt chiefly with problems in the algebra of logic, which, developing the ideas of G. Boole, W. S. Jevons, and E. Schroder, he understood as a “calculus of logical equalities.” His results in combinatory logic in this connection—particularly his theory of canonical forms, which generalized the classical theory of normal forms in proposition logic—influenced the subsequent development of mathematical logic. His influence is evident, for example, in the work of the 20th-century American logician A. Blake.
WORKS“O sposobakh resheniia logicheskikh ravenstv i ob obratnom sposobe matematicheskoi logiki.” In Sobrante protokolov zasedanii sektsii fiziko-matematicheskikh nauk Ob-va estestvoispytatelei pri Kazanskom un-te, vol. 2. Kazan, 1884.
“Reshenie obshchei zadachi teorii veroiatnostei pri pomoshchi matematicheskoi logiki.” In Sobranie protokolov zasedanii sektsii fiziko-matematicheskikh nauk Ob-va estestvoispytatelei pri Kazanskom un-te, vol. 5. Kazan, 1887.
REFERENCESBlake, A. Canonical Expressions in Boolean Algebra (dissertation). Private edition. Chicago, 1938.
Stiazhkin, N. I. Formirovanie matematicheskoi logiki. Moscow, 1967, Chapter 9, subsec. 2.