J. C. C. McKinsey

John Charles Chenoweth McKinsey (30 April 1908 – 26 October 1953), usually cited as J. C. C. McKinsey, was an American mathematician known for his work on mathematical logic and game theory.[2] He also made significant contributions to modal logic.[3]

J.C.C. McKinsey
Born30 April 1908
DiedOctober 26, 1953(1953-10-26) (aged 45)
ResidencePalo Alto
NationalityUnited States
Other namesChen McKinsey[1]:p. 141
Alma materNew York University, University of California
Known forGame theory
AwardsGuggenheim Fellowship
Scientific career
FieldsMathematical logic
Game theory
InstitutionsRAND Corporation, Stanford University
Doctoral advisorBenjamin Abram Bernstein
Doctoral studentsJean Rubin


McKinsey received B.S. and M.S. degrees from New York University and a Ph.D. degree in 1936 from the University of California, Berkeley.[4] He was a Blumenthal Research Fellow at New York University from 1936 to 1937 and a Guggenheim Fellow from 1942 to 1943.[2][5] He also taught at Montana State College, and in Nevada, then Oklahoma, and in 1947 he went "to a research group at Douglas Aircraft Corporation" that later became the RAND Corporation.[1]:p. 161

McKinsey worked at RAND until he was fired in 1951. The FBI considered him a security risk because he was a homosexual, in spite of the fact that he was an open homosexual who had been in a committed relationship for years. He complained to his superior "How can anyone threaten me with disclosure when everybody already knows?"[6]

From 1951 he taught at Stanford University, where he was later appointed a Full Professor in the Department of Philosophy,[2] where he worked with Patrick Suppes on the axiomatic foundations of classical mechanics.[1]:p. 232 He committed suicide[6] at his home in Palo Alto in 1953.[2]


  • McKinsey, J.C.C. (2003). Introduction to the Theory of Games. New York: Dover Publications. ISBN 978-0-486-42811-6. (originally publ. McGraw-Hill, 1952)[7]
  • McKinsey, J. C. C. (1934). "A reduction in number of the postulates for C. S. Lewis' system of strict implication". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 40 (6): 425–427. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1934-05881-6. MR 1562873.
  • McKinsey, J. C. C. (1935). "On the independence of undefined ideas". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 41 (4): 291–297. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1935-06074-4. MR 1563075.
  • McKinsey, J. C. C. (1936). "Reducible Boolean functions". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 42 (4): 263–267. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1936-06285-3. MR 1563282.
  • McKinsey, J. C. C. (1936). "On Boolean functions of many variables". Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 40 (3): 343–362. doi:10.1090/s0002-9947-1936-1501878-6. MR 1501878.
  • "A New Definition of Truth". Synthese. 7: 428–433. 1948.
  • McKinsey, J. C. C. (1952). "Some notions and problems of game theory". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 58 (6): 591–611. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1952-09648-8. MR 0052748.
  • McKinsey, J.; Sugar, A.; Suppes, Patrick (1953). "Axiomatic foundations of classical particle mechanics". Journal of Rational Mechanics and Analysis. 2 (2): 253–72. doi:10.1512/iumj.1953.2.52012.
  • "Philosophy and the axiomatic foundations of physics". Proceedings of the 11th International Congress of Philosophy. 6: 49–53. 1953.
  • McKinsey, J. C. C.; Tarski, Alfred (1948). "Some theorem about the sential calculi of Lewis and Heyting". Journal of Symbolic Logic. 13 (1): 1–15. doi:10.2307/2268135. JSTOR 2268135.


  1. Anita Burdman Feferman; Solomon Feferman (2004), Alfred Tarski: Life and Logic, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-80240-6
  2. Memorial Resolution Archived 2011-07-27 at the Wayback Machine, Stanford Historical Society
  3. "One of the very first applications of topology to (modal) logic is McKinsey’s 1941 paper." Top of-the Logic - Can Baskent
  4. John Charles Chenoweth McKinsey at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  5. J(ohn) C(harles) McKinsey - John Simon Guggeheim Memorial Foundation
  6. Abella, Alex (2009). Soldiers of reason : the Rand Corporation and the rise of the American empire. Boston: Mariner Books. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-15-603344-2.
  7. Wolfowitz, J. (1953). "Review: Introduction to the theory of games by J. C. C. McKinsey" (PDF). Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 59 (3): 267–270. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1953-09703-8.

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