[FOM] The influence of Leibniz on Russell (Alasdair Urquhart)

Colin McLarty colin.mclarty at case.edu
Sat May 5 05:00:46 EDT 2007

Roger Bishop Jones <rbj at rbjones.com> a écrit :

> Russell studied (and wrote his book on) Leibniz before his work 
> on "The Principles of Mathematics" and "Principia Mathematica".
> Does anyone know whether he was acquainted with Leibniz's ideas 
> about the "Lingua Characteristica" and the "Calculus 
> Ratiocinator" and whether these had any role in motivating his 
> work on the foundations of mathematics?

Alasdair Urquhart gave the relevant info on Russell's view of Leibniz 
after reading Couturat's editions of 1901 and 1903.  Russell had 
Leibniz's logic much in mind in all his work on the foundations of 
mathematics *except* the 1897 Essay on the Foundations of Geometry.

The one wrinkle is that Russell wrote the first edition of his book on 
Leibniz just before he saw Couturat's 1901 and 1903 work on the 
manuscripts.  So in that first edition Russell knew little of the 
logic.  I don't have the second edition here but I know he talks about 
this somewhere and probably it is in the preface to that.

best, Colin


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