Louis Couturat, Modern Logic, and the International Auxiliary Language
To some extent, the early twentieth century revival of universal languages was the work of logicians and mathematicians. Pioneers of modern logic such as Frege, Russell and Peano wanted to overcome the diversity and deficiencies of natural languages. Through the rigour of formal logic, they aimed at providing scientific thinking with a reliable medium free from the ambiguity and inconsistencies of ordinary language. This article shows some interconnections between modern logic and the search for a common tongue that would unite scientists and people of all nations. The French mathematician and philosopher Louis Couturat is a key figure in understanding the interplay between these two movements. Through his work in composing the Ido language as an alternative to Esperanto, Couturat gave a new life to the Leibnizian idea of a universal characteristics. In addition, his multifaceted work provides a valuable insight into some political implications of early analytic philosophy.
SourceBRITISH JOURNAL FOR THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY
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