Two Studies in the Logical Calculus

  • Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
Part of the The New Synthese Historical Library book series (SYHL, volume 2)


In 1679 Leibniz thought of the logical calculus as an application of the more general science of characters to the problems of formal logic. Such an application would, he was convinced, put logic on a more universal basis and serve to convince men of the value of applying symbols to material truth as well. Of the two studies given here, the first was written in April, and the second probably later in the same year. In the former, the Elements of Calculus, he attempted to use numerical symbols, as he had suggested in Nos. 24 and 25, and to restrict logical operations to multiplication and division. His analysis was extended, in other studies dated in April, to the proof of the rules of immediate inference and the syllogism. In the second paper he abandoned numerical symbols and used letters, addition, and the simple relation esse. This approach was carried further in the later studies of the 1690’s (No. 40).1Significant in the second selection is the be-ginning of an attempt to interpret the predicables in terms of his calculus.


Characteristic Number Rational Animal Philosophical Paper Logical Calculus Numerical Symbol 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

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  • Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

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