Talk:An Essay towards a Real Character and a Philosophical Language

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I added a source for the example words from Wilkins language, is this the correct format for references on wikipedia? Sjf, 17:10, 4 February 2006

The following book goes into great detail about the developments that influenced Wilkins and others: Knowlson, James (1975) Universal Language Schemes in England and France, 1600-1800, University of Toronto Press. This book has almost 70 pages of bibliography and notes.

For a full chapter about Wilkins and his project, see: Eco, Umberto (1995) The Search for the Perfect Language, Oxford: Blackwell.

In _Gulliver's Travels_, the Grand Academy of Lagado was Jonathan Swift's satire of the kinds of projects discussed in Knowlson's book.

Leibniz visited England and was sympathetic to Wilkins' project. He also studied Chinese characters. The hexagrams of the I Ching (or Yi Jing) inspired Leibniz to invent binary arithmetic. See G. W. Leibniz, _Writings on China_, translated by D. J. Cook & H. Rosemont, Chicaco: Open Court.

I don't have time to write this entry, but it's worth a more sympathetic treatment. (talk) 01:33, 16 August 2015 (UTC)John Sowa.


Which contemporary European accounts of the Chinese writing system inspired Wilkins' "Real Character"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:52, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

I don't know, but there was a frequent misconception in the 17th and 18th centuries that Chinese characters wrote ideas directly, not words of a language as such. AnonMoos (talk) 10:58, 10 June 2014 (UTC)