Handbook on the History of Economic Analysis Volume I
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Handbook on the History of Economic Analysis Volume I

Great Economists Since Petty and Boisguilbert

Edited by Gilbert Faccarello and Heinz D. Kurz

Volume I contains original biographical profiles of many of the most important and influential economists from the seventeenth century to the present day. These inform the reader about their lives, works and impact on the further development of the discipline. The emphasis is on their lasting contributions to our understanding of the complex system known as the economy. The entries also shed light on the means and ways in which the functioning of this system can be improved and its dysfunction reduced. Each Handbook can be read individually and acts as a self-contained volume in its own right. It can be purchased separately or as part of a three-volume set.
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Chapter 8: Daniel Bernoulli (1700–1782)

Gilbert Faccarello


A Unique Dynasty of Scientists Daniel Bernoulli is one of the prominent members of the Bernoulli family from Basel, Switzerland, whose members excelled in various theoretical and applied scientific fields – especially in mathematics, probability theory, physics and medicine – in the second half of the seventeenth and in the eighteenth centuries. The family originated from Antwerp, once under the domination of Catholic Spain. It emigrated in 1567 to Frankfurt, Germany, because of its Calvinist faith, and in the end settled in Basel in 1620. Until Niklaus Bernoulli (1623–1708), the important wealth of the family came from the spice trade: Niklaus was himself a merchant and an officer of the city of Basel. But three of his sons, Jakob (1654– 1705), Nikolaus (1662–1716) and Johann (1667–1748), took another route. Nikolaus was a painter and a member of the Municipality of Basel. Jakob studied philosophy and theology, and Johann medicine, but they both became renowned mathematicians, developing in particular differential and integral calculus and siding with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in his quarrel with Isaac Newton – the phrase “integral calculus” is due to Jakob. Daniel Bernoulli, was born in Groningen on 8 February 1700, where his father had taught at the university since 1695, and died in Basel on 17 March 1782. He was Johann’s son and the cousin of Nikolaus (1687–1759) – alias Nikolaus I, just as his uncles were named Jakob I and Johann I by historians to distinguish them from the younger members of this dynasty, who had...

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