Dissertation Information for Hans Georg Schulte-Albert
- Hans Georg Schulte-Albert
- Library and Information Science
- Case Western Reserve University (USA) (1972)
- Conrad H. Rawski
- Jesse H. Shera
- Phyllis A. Richmond
MPACT Status: Fully Complete
Title: Leibniz's Plans for a World Encyclopaedia System
Abstract: This is an historical study, bringing together for the first time the different plans of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz for gathering and organizing the recorded public knowledge of his time in an encyclopaedia designed for efficient retrieval of information. It lists the types of materials he wanted to include in this work and the authors and titles from whom he wanted to draw his information. the study deals especially with his attempts to systematize the macro- and micro- units of thought and to develop for them a precise, yet flexible, classificatory language, his characteristica universalis. close attention is paid to the various systems he designed for classifying the arts and sciences in his world encyclopaedia. The study also traces his plans for organizing the records of human knowledge: the manuscripts, books and pamphlets in libraries. It does not attempt to pass judgment, whether or not the individual plans presented could actually have been executed in Leibniz's era. The author has verified the data in their original contexts and related them to developments in the coeval culture.
Leibniz's world encyclopaedia was to be a classified, demonstrative work in which propositions are arranged in the order of their dependency. His mastery and admiration of the methodology of mathematics led him to look at that discipline, and particularly at geometry, as the model for his demonstrative encyclopaedia. he wanted to reason "more geometrico" in disciplines other than geometry and bring to them as much logical rigor and precision as possible. For him, a proof consists of nothing else than a complete or partial substitution of the concepts appearing in a sentence with their equipollent elements. He wants to manipulate his universal characteristic with the aid of his calculus of reasoning.
Leibniz never completed his world encylopaedia, but he made important discoveries while working on this system and anticipated developments of later centuries. He presented plans for coping effectively with the "publication explosion" of his time and even considered an information redetection system. He expressed ideas concerning the filiation of the sciences similar to those formulated later by comte. In his later schemas for the classification of library materials, he expressed clearly the limitation of linearity inherent in library classifications and tried to overcome this drawback. While searching for an ideal notation for his classificatory language, he used and later rejected prime-number coding. Long before Euler he used the so-called Euler diagrams for representing logical relationships now usually displayed by Venn diagrams. He never arrived at a definitive classificatory language, but in the process he invented basic principles of symbolic and mathematical logic. Leibniz even considered building a machina combinatoria that would reduce logical operations to a mechanical process, and thus anticipated developments that came only to fruition in our generation.
MPACT Scores for Hans Georg Schulte-Albert
A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-02-07 10:56:48
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