Chapter

Leibniz (and Ockham) on the Language of Thought, or How the True Metaphysics Is Derived from the True Logic

Henrik Lagerlund

in Categories of Being

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199890576
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199980031 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199890576.003.0005
Leibniz (and Ockham) on the Language of Thought, or How the True Metaphysics Is Derived from the True Logic

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In the study on Leibniz's language of thought, the author argues that Leibniz can be interpreted as belonging to the mental language tradition developed in the Middle Ages by William Ockham. By placing Leibniz in the debate about the status of truth between Hobbes and the Cartesians, he brings out his commitment to an ideal mental language mirroring the metaphysical structure of the world. The chapter also argues that Leibniz builds his logical calculus on top of this mental language. The final part of the chapter relates Leibniz's view to that of Ockham's. Although the focus of the chapter is on Leibniz's thought, the discussion thus extends backwards in time and to other early modern authors by building connections between medieval and early modern thinkers.

Keywords: mental language; Leibniz; Ockham; Hobbes; Descartes; logical calculus; ideal language; truth

Chapter.  9932 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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