Universal Languages and Scientific Taxonomy in the Seventeenth Century
In the seventeenth century, a series of proposals and schemes for an artificial language intended to replace Latin as the international medium of communication gained currency. Fully developed, these schemes consisted of a classification of all known 'things' and a set of self-defining names designed to reflect the divisions of the classification. This attempt to create a specialized and scientific form of language was enthusiastically taken up by a number of eminent scientists of the day, including Bacon, Descartes, Newton and other members of the Royal Society. Dr Slaughter demonstrates that the idea of a universal language was a rational response to the inadequacy of seventeenth-century language, a result of social and cultural changes precipitated by the rise of science, the spread of print and literacy, and the subsequent development of a literate culture. A valuable addition to the study of history and literature, this book also has relevance for contemporary languages with similar problems of development.
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The Aristotelian origins
Proposals and schemes for a universal language
Proposals for a philosophical language
Schemes for a philosophical language
The culmination aftermath and end
The fall of essentialist taxonomy
abstract alphabetic analysis animals Aristotelian Aristotelian logic Aristotle artificial language Bacon Baconian botanical Boyle Cambridge Cesalpino Champagnolles classes classification Comenius common complex concepts Dalgarno decontextualization defined definitions Descartes diagnostic names Dictionary difference discourse division elements English Essay essences essential example exist express folk taxonomy genera genus George Dalgarno grammar Haak Hartlib Herbal herbs Hooke Ibid ideas John Locke John Ray John Wilkins kind Kinner knowledge language projectors language scheme Latin Leibniz letters lexicon linguistic Linnaeus Locke's Lodowyck logical London mathematical Mersenne method natural history natural language nature of things nomenclature observation Oxford particles Paschall philosophical language plantarum plants principles qualities radical real character relation representation Royal Society scientific scientists seventeenth century signorum simple notions specialized species substance taxa taxonomic structure taxonomic tables taxonomy Theodore Haak Theophrastus theory tion tradition trans universal character universal language vesca Ward Wilkins writing