Kolman, Arnošt

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KOLMAN, ARNOŠT (Ernest; 1892–1979), Czech philosopher and mathematician. Born in Prague, he studied mathematics and electrical engineering, and in 1913 began working as computing assistant at the observatory in Prague. In World War i, he fought in the Austrian Army, was taken prisoner by the Russians, was arrested for socialist propaganda and liberated after the October Revolution. In 1918 he joined the Communist Party. From 1918 to 1920 he fought on many fronts in the Red Army. Among his party activities was illegal work in Germany (1921–22, 1926), work at the Marx-Engels Institute and the Communist Academy in Moscow, and editorial work on the periodical Pod znamenem marksizma (1929–43). From 1939 to 1945 he was in the department for dialectical materialism at the Philosophical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R. During World War ii he was in the political department of the General Staff of the Soviet armies. From 1945 to 1948 he taught at the University of Prague. Imprisoned from 1948 to 1952, he returned fully rehabilitated. He was then professor of mathematics at the Institute for the History of Science and Technology in Moscow (1952–59). Back in Prague, he was director of the Institute of Philosophy of the Czechoslovakian Academy of Sciences (1959–62).

Among his many writings are N.I. Lobachevski (Rus., 19582), Bernard Bolzano (Rus., 1955; Ger., 1963); Istoriyamatematiki v drevnosti (1961); and Zanimatelnaya logika (with O. Zich, 1966).

[Dirk Jan Struik]