[FOM] The influence of Leibniz on Russell

Roger Bishop Jones rbj at rbjones.com
Sun May 6 03:50:17 EDT 2007

On Friday 04 May 2007 20:51, John McCarthy wrote:
> In Russell's book on Leibniz, he remarks on Leibniz's
> determined rejection of predicates  with more than one 
> argument and considers it to be the major inadequacy of
> Leibniz's ideas.
> Does anyone understand why Leibniz did that?

Wasn't Leibniz just sticking on this to the precedent of 
Aristotle and not noticing that "subject-predicate" form was not 
sufficiently general?

The irony here is that from a modern perspective Russell can be 
seen to have been wrong, for in some logics, e.g. Church's STT 
(which is perfectly good for mathematics) every sentence is of 
subject-predicate form (though this terminology is not used), 
without loss of expressiveness (you do need higher-order 
functions to do this, which presumably Leibniz didn't have).

Roger Jones

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