Characteristica Universalis
Barry Smith

From K. Mulligan, ed., Language, Truth and Ontology (Philosophical Studies Series),

Dordrecht/Boston/Lancaster: Kluwer, 1992, 48-77.

The paper presents the outline of a directly depicting diagrammatic language which will

enable us to represent the most general structures of reality, discussing along the way the work of Aristotle, Peirce, Wittgenstein and Gustav Bergmann. It draws not on standard logical treatments of the contents of epistemic states as these are customarily conceived in terms of propositions but rather on a no less venerable but nowadays somewhat neglected tradition of formal ontology: not sentences or propositions, but maps, diagrams or pictures, serve as the constituents of our mirror of reality.


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