[FOM] "The Generosity of Formal Languages"

John Kadvany jkadvany at sbcglobal.net
Sun Feb 10 15:47:07 EST 2008

FOM subscribers may be interested in:

“The Generosity of Formal Languages,” a special double issue of the Journal
of Indian Philosophy edited by Frits Staal and now available at the JIP web

Topics include the history and use of formal or artificial language, mostly
in the context of Indian mathematics, linguistics and science; formalisms in
Arabic and medieval Italian algebra; and interpretations of historical
achievements in terms of modern logic, computation and linguistics.
“Generosity” refers to the unusual productivity and usefulness of formal
languages; the theme is inspired, as put in the Preface, by d’Alembert’s
statement that "algebra is generous: she often gives more than is asked from

Preface: The Generosity of Formal Languages 
Frits Staal

On the ‘Generosity’ of a Natural Language 
Kamaleswar Bhattacharya

The First Textbook of Calculus: Yuktibhasa 
P. P. Divakaran

Panini’s Astadyayi and Linguistic Theory 
Brendan S. Gillon

Generosity: No Doubt, but at Times Excessive and Delusive 
Jens Høyrup

Positional Value and Linguistic Recursion 
John Kadvany

Epistemology and Language in Indian Astronomy and Mathematics 
Roddam Narasimha

Medieval Arabic Algebra as an Artificial Language 
Jeffrey A. Oaks

Artificial Languages Between Innate Faculties 
Frits Staal

Hand or Hammer? On Formal and Natural Languages in Semantics 
Martin Stokhof 

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