Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) was one of the great polymaths of the Enlightenment. He propounded a revolutionary metaphysics, explaining how everything in this “best of all possible worlds” has a “sufficient reason”. Leibniz discovered calculus (and it is his notation, not Newton’s, that we use today); he discovered binary arithmetic (and other aspects of the modern theory of computation) and propounded a mathematical logic not to be equaled until the twentieth century; and, to boot, he decided to make profound innovations in physics, probability theory, biology, medicine, geology, psychology, and myriad other disciplines, including linguistics.
In 2015, the Cambridge linguist Ian Roberts and Oceanit’s Chief Philosophy Officer/Head of Artificial Intelligence, Jeffrey Watumull, penned an essay entitled “Leibnizian Linguistics”, wherein they argued that some of the mathematical apparatus of modern linguistics could be elucidated and even enhanced by studying their antecedents in Leibniz. The argument was controversial, and kicked off an academic debate that continues to this day. In August 2023, in rebuttal to criticism of their historical analysis, Watumull & Roberts penned a rebuttal paper expounding the mathematics of Leibniz and how they are in fact actualized in modern linguistic theory.
The new paper is a rebuttal to Gärtner’s 2023, “Merge vs. “Lerge:” Problems of Association. Watumull dubbed this rebuttal, “Arguably the nerdiest paper ever”, but added that it is not mere petty academic squabble. In the rebuttal, Watumull & Roberts show how modern scholars—indeed any human being—can approach all intellectual history in the style of art lovers, appreciating and taking inspiration from the beauty and profundity of human minds. Living such lives of the mind, and planting its fruits in technology (as Leibniz in fact did), was the ethos of the Enlightenment, and remains that of Oceanit.
Dr. Jeffrey Watumull leads Oceanit’s development of NoME (Noetic Mathematical Engine) a novel, human-style “anthronoetic” artificial intelligence.