Austrian mathematician and philosopher, b. at Prague, 5 October, 1781; d. 18 December, 1848. As a student he devoted himself chiefly to mathematics with marked success. Against the wish of his father, he entered the ecclesiastical state and was ordained in 1805. In the same year he was appointed professor of the philosophy of religion in the University of Prague. His lectures and discourses were strongly tinged with rationalism, and it was not long before he was denounced to the ecclesiastical authorities. Through the personal intervention of the Prince-Archbishop Salm-Salm of Prague, he retained his professorship until 1820, when the long-threatened dismissal was suddenly put into effect in consequence of disorders that occurred in the seminary of Leitmeritz then under the direction of Dr. Fessl, who, as a disciple and friend of Bolzano, was strongly imbued with the latter's rationalizing spirit. Bolzano spent the remainder of his life in studious retirement, first on the estate of his friend Johann Hoffmann, at Techobuz, near Prague, and later in the house of his brother at Prague. A small pension, and the generosity of Count Leo Thun, relieved him of all monetary care.
Bolzano was always a loyal son of the Catholic Church. There is, however, a strong rationalizing tendency in his writings on doctrinal subjects, and his refusal to retract several propositions taken from his printed works justified his dismissal from the University of Prague . Bolzano's contributions to the science of mathematics are of the highest order. In 1804 he published a theory of parallel lines which anticipated Legendre's well-known theory. He shares with Cauchy the honour of hiving developed the theory of functions of one real variable. He made notable additions to the theory of differentiation, to the concept of infinity, and to the binomial theorem. As a philosopher, Bolzano had no sympathy for speculation as such. His mathematical bent made him a partisan of strict, methodic inquiry. His contributions to philosophy comprise a textbook on the "Science of Religion" (4 vols., Sulzbach, 1834), and one on the "Science of Knowledge" (4 vols., Sulzbach, 1837). Bolzano's complete writings fill twenty-five volumes. The full list is found in the "Sitzungsberichte" of the Vienna Academy (1849).
Vocation Prayer Holy Card
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online