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Leibniz's characteristica universalis and calculus ratiocinator

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dc.contributor.supervisor Moletsane, Nthabeleng 2024-02-21T11:04:47Z 2024-02-21T11:04:47Z 2023-07
dc.description.abstract This study investigates the philosophical, linguistic and computational dimensions of Leibniz’s ambitious scheme of mathematizing natural language and automating reasoning for the purposes of developing what he referred to as the ‘Encyclopaedia of human knowledge.’ Leibniz envisioned a universal language capable of perfectly mirroring reality and representing human knowledge through symbolism; and he referred to such a language as the characteristica universalis. In a complementary manner, he sought to develop an automated framework for logical inferences through what he referred to as the calculus ratiocinator. This study appraises the feasibility of Leibniz’s ideas in natural discourse. It provides an in-depth analysis of the historical perspectives about natural language from which Leibniz ideas emerged. It also demonstrates attempts made towards developing his universal language and the reasoning calculus. The study discusses the extent to which Leibniz’s project has been successfully implemented in the advancement of artificial intelligence research and automated reasoning in computer science and mathematics, respectively. It also evaluates the capability of Leibniz’s formalism in eliminating ambiguity, or in more general terms, semantic indeterminacy. In addition to that, the study explores certain linguistic models of ambiguity resolution which enable natural language users to use language efficiently. And in light of which, the study concludes by indicating the limitations of Leibniz’s characteristica universalis and calculus ratiocinator in natural discourse. The study also highlights the significance of natural language, despite its complexities, in natural discourse settings en
dc.description.sponsorship National Manpower Development Secretariat en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher National University of Lesotho en
dc.subject Characteristica universalis, calculus ratiocinator, natural language en
dc.title Leibniz's characteristica universalis and calculus ratiocinator en
dc.title.alternative A critical appraisal en
dc.type Master's Thesis en

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