Volume 7, 2000
Leibniz on the Improvement of Language and Understanding
What I intend to show is that the Leibnizian language studies—the formal ones as well as those on natural languages—from his early plans for academies and language societies on up to his studies of etymology and to his interest in foreign languages and in logical, geometrical, arithmetical, and other formal calculi, has to be seen as an important contribution to the idea of enlightenment. Their importance was such that Christian Wolff was able to transform the Leibnizian ideas into the mighty movement of Leibniz-Wolffian metaphysics, a movement paralleled to the tradition of Thomasius. Both tradiions later found their unification in Kant’s critical philosophy.