Leiden workshop announcement

Dominik Wujastyk ucgadkw at UCL.AC.UK
Fri Nov 9 13:59:33 UTC 2001

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 09 Nov 2001 01:03:57 -0800
From: Frits Staal <jfstaal at socrates.Berkeley.EDU>

The Emergence of Artificial Languages

Workshop on September 20-21, International Institute for Asian Studies,
Leiden, The Netherlands.

The history of ancient and medieval science can only be studied properly if
the Eurasian continent is treated as an undivided unit rather than a
collection of impermeable cognitive worlds. Some of the classical languages
of science (Chinese, Sanskrit, Greek, Arabic and Latin) were formalized,
but none were universal or formal enough to express abstract relationships
in a systematic manner. What was needed was a revolution in language, viz.,
the construction of formal languages that grew out of natural language,
artificial notations and practical devices. It is only in the 18th century
that Euler and others translated Newton's Latin into the language of
algebra, a greater revolution perhaps than the so-called European
scientific revolution. Many roots of that revolution in language lie in
Asia and the workshop focusses on these roots without excluding other Asian
contributions to the formation of modern science.

Featured speakers: Charles Burnett (London), Karine Chemla (Paris), Frits
Staal (Berkeley) and Michio Yano (Kyoto).
Chairs of sessions: Christoph Harbsmeier (Oslo) and Dominik Wujastyk (London).
Convener: Frits Staal (jfstaal at socrates.berkeley.edu).

For further information see
or contact:
  jstremmelaar at let.leidenuniv.nl

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