Philosophical and Universal Languages,
1600-1800, and Related Themes:
Selected Bibliography

compiled by Ralph Dumain

Aarsleff, Hans. The Study of Language in England, 1780-1860. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press; London: Athlone Press, 1983. (Orig. 1967.)

Alston, R. C. Logic, Philosophy, Epistemology, Universal Language. Bradford: Printed for the author by E. Cummins, 1967. (A bibliography of the English language from the invention of printing to the year 1800; v. 7)

Blank, Andreas. Leibniz: Metaphilosophy and Metaphysics, 1666-1686. Munich: Philosophia, 2005. (Analytica). Contents. See esp. Chapter 1: Dalgarno, Wilkins and Leibniz.

Bonner, Anthony. The Art and Logic of Ramon Llull: A User’s Guide. Leiden; Boston : Brill, 2007. (Studien und Texte zur Geistesgeschichte des Mittelalters; Bd. 95) Note Appendix (1): “The Martin Gardner Problem.”

Cohen, Murray. Sensible Words: Linguistic Practice in England, 1640-1785. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977.

Cornelius, Paul Edwin. Languages in Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth-century Imaginary Voyages. Genève: Librairie Droz, 1965.

Craik, R. J. Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty (1611-1660): Adventurer, Polymath, and Translator of Rabelais. Lewiston: Mellen Research University Press, 1993.

Cram, David; Maat, Jaap, eds. George Dalgarno on Universal Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Crowther, J. G. Founders of British Science: John Wilkins, Robert Boyle, John Ray, Christopher Wren, Robert Hooke, Isaac Newton. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1982. Reprint. Originally published: London: Cresset Press, 1960.

Dascal, Marcelo; Elhanan, Yakira; eds. Leibniz and Adam. Tel Aviv: University Publishing Projects, 1993.

Dascal, Marcelo. Leibniz, Language, Signs, and Thought: A Collection of Essays. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1987. (Foundations of Semiotics; v. 10)

Dolezal, Fredric. Forgotten but Important Lexicographers, John Wilkins and William Lloyd: A Modern Approach to Lexicography before Johnson. Tübingen: M. Niemeyer, 1985.

Eco, Umberto. The Search for the Perfect Language; translated by James Fentress. (Ricerca della lingua perfetta nella cultura europea) Oxford, UK; Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1995. Substantial sections readable via google books.

Fidora, Alexander; Sierra, Carles; eds. Ramon Llull: From the Ars Magna to Artificial Intelligence. Barcelona: Artificial Intelligence Research Institute, IIIA - Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas 2011. Contents.

Frängsmyr, Tore; Heilbron, J.L.; Rider, Robin E.; eds. The Quantifying Spirit in the 18th Century. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990. Entire book online. See esp. Part 1, Chapter 4, Measure of Ideas, Rule of Language: Mathematics and Language in the 18th Century; esp. sections on Artificial Languages & Signs and Thought.

Fraser, Russell A. The Language of Adam: On the Limits and Systems of Discourse. New York: Columbia University Press, 1977.

Gardner, Martin. Logic Machines and Diagrams. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1958. (2nd. ed., University of Chicago Press, 1982.) See esp. chapter on Raymond Lull.

Hillgarth, J. N. Ramon Lull and Lullism in Fourteenth-Century France. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971.

Ishiguro, Hidé. Leibniz’s Philosophy of Logic and Language. Cambridge [UK]; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990. Contents.

Johnston, Mark D. The Spiritual Logic of Ramon Llull. Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.

Knowlson, James. Universal Language Schemes in England and France, 1600-1800. Toronto; Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, 1975. (Toronto. University. University of Toronto Romance Series; 29)

Land, Stephen K. The Philosophy of Language in Britain: Major Theories From Hobbes to Thomas Reid. New York: AMS Press, 1986. (AMS Studies in the Seventeenth Century; no. 2)

Libert, Alan. A Priori Artificial Languages. Muenchen: Lincom Europa, 2000.

Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm. Philosophical Papers and Letters, selection translated and edited with an introduction by Leroy E. Loemker, 2nd ed. Dordrecht, Holland; Boston: D. Reidel Pub. Co., 1976 [1969, 1st ed. 1956]). (Synthese Historical Library; v. 2) See “On the General Characteristic” with listing of other relevant selections in this volume, and Leibniz on the Universal Characteristic, quotations from same.

Lewis, Rhodri. Language, Mind, and Nature: Artificial Languages in England from Bacon to Locke. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007. (Ideas in Context; 80) Publisher description. Table of contents.

Llull, Ramón. Doctor Illuminatus: A Ramón Llull Reader, edited and translated by Anthony Bonner, with a new translation of The Book of the Lover and the Beloved by Eve Bonner (see excerpt). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993. (Mythos) Abridged version of Selected Works of Ramón Llull. Publisher description.

A Mind for the Ages: Ramon Llull, Doctor Illuminatus” symposium, New York University, Catalan Center, March 6-7, 2008. See also flyer.

Llull, Ramón. Selected Works of Ramón Llull (1232-1316), edited and translated by Anthony Bonner. 2 vols. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1985.

Maat, Jaap. Philosophical Languages in the Seventeenth Century: Dalgarno, Wilkins, Leibniz. Dordrecht; Boston, MA: Kluwer Academic, 2004. (The New Synthese Historical Library; v. 54)

Markley, Robert. Fallen Languages: Crises of Representation in Newtonian England, 1660-1740. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993.

Mates, Benson. The Philosophy of Leibniz: Metaphysics and Language. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986. See chapter 10, "Leibniz's Nominalism and the Lingua Philosophica," pp. 170-188, esp. section 4, The Lingua Philosophica, pp. 183-188.

Novalis [Friedrich von Hardenberg]. Notes for a Romantic Encyclopaedia: Das Allgemeine Brouillon; translated, edited, and with an introduction by David W. Wood. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2007. (Intersections: Philosophy and Critical Theory)

Adler, Jeremy. "Novalis and Philo-Sophie," The Times Literary Supplement, April 16, 2008.

Kneller, Jane. Novalis, David Wood (ed., tr.), Notes for a Romantic Encyclopaedia: Das Allgemeine Brouillon [review], Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 2008.09.05.

Okrent, Arika. In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers, and the Mad Dreamers Who Tried to Build a Perfect Language. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2009. See also web site:

Tom Ashbrook's On Point radio interview with author: "Dreaming of a Perfect Language," 1 June 2009.

Peers, E. Allison. Ramon Lull: A Biography. New York: B. Franklin, 1969. (Reprint of the 1929 ed.) (Selected Essays in History, Economic & Social Science; no. 84. Burt Franklin Bibliography & Reference Series; no 266)

Perreiah, Alan R. Renaissance Truths: Humanism, Scholasticism and the Search for the Perfect Language. Farnham, Surrey, UK; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2014.

Pombo, Olga. Leibniz and the Problem of a Universal Language. Münster: Nodus Publikationen, 1987. Contents.

Rossi, Paolo. Logic and the Art of Memory: The Quest for a Universal Language; translated with an introduction by Stephen Clucas. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000. Contents. Publisher description.

Rutherford, Donald. “Language and Philosophy in Leibniz,” in The Cambridge Companion to Leibniz, edited by Nicholas Jolley (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995), pp. 224-269.

Salmon, Vivian. Language and Society in Early Modern England: Selected Essays, 1981-1994; selected and edited by Konrad Koerner. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1996. (Amsterdam Studies in the Theory and History of Linguistic Science. Series III, Studies in the History of the Language Sciences; v. 77)

Salmon, Vivian. The Study of Language in 17th-century England. 2nd ed. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1988.

Salmon, Vivian. The Works of Francis Lodwick: A Study of his Writings in the Intellectual Context of the Seventeenth Century. London: Longman, 1972.

Shapiro, Barbara J. John Wilkins, 1614-1672: An Intellectual Biography. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969.

Shumaker, Wayne. Renassance Curiosa: John Dee’s Conversations with Angels, Girolamo Cardano’s Horoscope of Christ, Johannes Trithemius and Cryptography, George Dalgarno’s Universal Language. Binghamton, NY: Center for Medieval & Early Renaissance Studies, 1982. (Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies (Series); v. 8.)

Slaughter, M. M. Universal Languages and Scientific Taxonomy in the Seventeenth Century. Cambridge [Cambridgeshire]; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1982.

Stillman, Robert E. The New Philosophy and Universal Languages in Seventeenth-century England: Bacon, Hobbes, and Wilkins. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press; London; Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Presses, 1995.

Subbiondo, Joseph L., ed. John Wilkins and 17th-century British Linguistics. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1992. (Amsterdam Studies in the Theory and History of Linguistic Science. Series III, Studies in the History of the Language Sciences, 0304-0720; v. 67)

Vega, Amador. Ramon Llull and the Secret of Life, translated by James W. Heisig. New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 2003.

Yaguello, Marina. Lunatic Lovers of Language: Imaginary Languages and Their Inventors; translated by Catherine Slater. (Fous du langage) London: Athlone Press; Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1991.

Yates, Frances A. The Art of Memory. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2001. (Latest ed. First published: London: Routledge & K. Paul, 1966.) See esp. chapters VIII: Lullism as an Art of Memory; XVII. The Art of Memory and the Growth of Scientific Method.

Yates, Frances A. Lull and Bruno. London; New York: Routledge, 1999. [reprint of 1982 ed.]

Selected Articles in Journals & Books

Blank, Andreas. "Dalgarno, Wilkins, Leibniz and the Descriptive Nature of Metaphysical Concepts," in Leibniz and the English-Speaking World, edited by Pauline Phemister and Stuart Brown (Dordrecht: Springer, 2007), pp. 51-61. (The New Synthese Historical Library; v. 62)

See also Blank book, above.

Borges, Jorge Luis. "E. S. Pankhurst, Delphos, or the Future of the International Language [review]" (1939), in Selected Non-Fictions, edited by Eliot Weinberger; translated by Esther Allen, Suzanne Jill Levine, and Eliot Weinberger (New York: Viking, 1999), pp. 194-195.

Borges takes up artificial language in later essays and stories. Projects, languages and figures mentioned here are: John Wilkins, Letellier, Volapük (Schleyer), Esperanto, Neutral Idiom, Interlingua (Peano), Dr. Henry Sweet, with a sample sentence in Idiom Neutral.

Borges, Jorge Luis. “For Bernard Shaw” / “A Note on (toward) Bernard Shaw”; in Other Inquisitions, 1937-1952, translated by Ruth L. C. Simms, introduction by James E. Irby (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1964), pp. 163-166.

Borges, Jorge Luis. "Ramón Llull's Thinking Machine" (1937), in Selected Non-Fictions, edited by Eliot Weinberger; translated by Esther Allen, Suzanne Jill Levine, and Eliot Weinberger (New York: Viking, 1999), pp. 155-159.

Borges assesses Llull's thinking machine (composed of movable disks enabling myriad combinations of elementary ideas) useless, an absurdity for philosophical purposes but perhaps useful as a literary device. Borges adduces two diagrams, the first a diagram of divine attributes, the second, of Llull's thinking machine. It unworkability is illustrated by Borges using one of his favorite symbols, a tiger. The device is ridiculed in Swift's Gulliver's Travels. Of the first diagram, Borges suggests that the theological subject matter would not be rewarding today.

We now know that the concepts of goodness, greatness, wisdom, power, and glory are incapable of engendering an appreciable revelation. We (who are basically no less naive than Llull) would load the machine differently, no doubt with the words Entropy, Time, Electrons, Potential Energy, Fourth Dimension, Relativity, Protons, Einstein. Or with Surplus Value, Proletariat, Capitalism, Class Struggle, Dialectical Materialism, Engels. [157]

Clauss, Sidonie. "John Wilkins' Essay Toward a Real Character: Its Place in the Seventeenth-Century Episteme," Journal of the History of Ideas, vol. 43, no. 4, Oct.-Dec. 1982, pp. 531-553.

Cohen, Jonathan. "On the Project of a Universal Character," Mind, new series, vol. 63. no. 249, Jan. 1954, pp. 49-63.

Collings, Michael R. “Samuel R. Delany and John Wilkins: Artificial Languages, Science, and Science Fiction," in Reflections on the Fantastic: Selected Essays from the Fourth International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, edited by Michael R. Collings (New York: Greenwood Press, 1986), pp. 61-68.

Cram, David; Maat, Jaap. “Universal Language Schemes in the 17th century,” in An International Handbook on the Evolution of the Study of Language from the Beginnings to the Present / Ein internationales Handbuch zur Entwicklung der Sprachforschung von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart. Volume 2; ed. by Sylvain Auroux, E.F.K. Koerner, Hans-Josef Niederehe, Kees Versteegh (Mouton: De Gruyter, 2000), pp. 1030-1043.

Duncan, Dennis. “Calvino, Llull, Lucretius: Two Models of Literary Combinatorics,” Comparative Literature 64.1 (2012): 93-109.

Fenves, Peter. "Of Philosophical Style—from Leibniz to Benjamin," Boundary 2: An International Journal of Literature and Culture, vol. 30, no. 1, 2003, pp. 67-87.

Ferzoco, George. ‘Notes on Hildegard’s “Unknown” Language and Writing’, in A Companion to Hildegard of Bingen, edited by Beverly Mayne Kienzle, Debra L. Stoudt & George Ferzocopp (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2014), 317-322.

Krois, John Michael. "Ars Memoriae, Philosophy and Culture: Frances Yates and After," in Philosophy and Culture: Essays in Honor of Donald Phillip Verene, edited by Glenn Alexander Magee (Charlottesville, VA: Philosophy Documentation Center, 2002) pp. 149-162. Also at

Lancashire, Ian. "The Theory and Practice of Lexicons of Early Modern English." Early Modern Literary Studies 14.2 / Special Issue 17 (September, 2008) 5.1-25.

Malmgren, Carl. “The Languages of Science Fiction: Samuel R. Delany’s Babel-17,” in Ash of Stars: On the Writing of Samuel R. Delany, edited by James Sallis (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1996), pp. 3-16. (Originally published in Extrapolation, vol. 34, no. 1.)

Manders, W. J. A. “Lingua Ignota per simplicem hominem Hildegardem prolata,” en Sciencaj studoj bazitaj sur originalaj esploroj kaj observoj, eldonita okaze de la 50-jara jubileo de Internacia scienca asocio esperantista, red. Paul Neergaard (Copenhagen, 1958) p. 57–60. (In Esperanto.)

Rossi, Paolo. “The Twisted Roots of Leibniz’s Characteristic,” in The Leibniz Renaissance (Firenze: Olschke Editore, 1985), p. 271-.

Reeves, James Bryant. “Unbelief and Sympathy in Shelley and Hogg’s Letters to Ralph Wedgwood,” Keats-Shelley Journal, vol. 65, 2016, pp. 41-52.

Keats-Shelley Journal Feature: James Bryant Reeves, 7 Feb 2018.

Note Wedgwood’s ‘othiothograph’ and proposed universal language. See also Percy Bysshe Shelley Study Guide.

Walters, Frank D. "Taxonomy and the Undoing of Language: Dialogic Form in the Universal Languages of the Seventeenth Century," Style, vol. 27, no. 1, 1993, pp. 1-16.

Yeo, Richard. "Between Memory and Paperbooks: Baconianism and Natural History in Seventeenth-Century England," Hist. Sci., xlv (2007)

Selected General Works on Interlinguistics
and History of Constructed and Universal Languages
(in English except where noted)

Blanke, Detlev. Internationale Plansprachen. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1985.

Barnes, Myra Edwards. Linguistics and Languages in Science Fiction-Fantasy. New York: Arno Press, 1975 (1971).

Conley, Tim; Cain, Stephen. Encyclopedia of Fictional and Fantastic Languages, foreword by Ursula K. Le Guin. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2006.

Couturat, Louis; Leau, Léopold. Histoire de la Langue Universelle. 2nd ed. Paris: Hachette, 1907. (1st edition, 1903.) Reprint: Hildesheim; New York: G. Olms, 1979. (Full text offsite here. Selected chapters of 1903 ed. also online here.)

Couturat, Louis; Leau, Léopold. Les Nouvelles Langues Internationales. Paris: Hachette, 1907.

Drezen, Ernest. Historio de la Mondolingvo. Moskva: Progreso, 1991. (orig. ed. 1931. 3rd ed: Oosaka, Pirato, 1967.) (In Esperanto.)

Dulichenko, A. D. [Alexander]. Mezhdunarodnye Vspomogatel'nye I'a'zyki. Tallinn: "Valgus," 1990.

Duliĉenko, Aleksandr. En la Serĉado de la Mondolingvo, aŭ Interlingvistiko por Ĉiuj, tradukis el la rusa Aleksander Korĵenkov (Kaliningrado: Sezonoj, 2006 [Serio Scio; 7]), La Ondo de Esperanto, 2006, n-ro 11 (145) 7: Bildaj lingvoj? (In Esperanto.)

Recenzo: Ĉu simpla interlingvistiko por ĉiuj? de Andreas Künzli.

Guérard, Albert Léon. A Short History of the International Language Movement. London: T. F. Unwin, Ltd., 1922. (Reprint ed.: Westport, CT: Hyperion Press, 1979.) Also offsite.

Large, J. A. The Artificial Language Movement. Oxford; New York: B. Blackwell; London: A. Deutsch, 1985. (The Language Library)

Libert, Alan. Artificial Descendants of Latin. München: Lincom Europa, 2004.

Libert, Alan Reed. Daughters of Esperanto. München: Lincom Europa, 2008

Libert, Alan. Mixed Artificial Languages. München: Lincom Europa, 2003.

Monnerot-Dumaine, Marcel. Precis d'Interlinguistique Général et Spéciale. Paris: Maloine, 1960.

Moskovsky, Christo; Libert, Alan. Essays on Natural and Artificial Languages. Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang, 2009.

See also articles in Journal of Universal Language (See also listing of individual articles on this site)

Pei, Mario. One Language for the World. New York: Devin-Adair, 1958. (Reprint: New York: Biblo and Tannen, 1968.)

Parts 1 and 3 can be found here. The bulk of the history of the international language movement, not included here, will be found in part 2 supplemented by the bibliography & appendixes. Complete text available to Questia subscribers. Table of contents and other snippets at Google Books.

Samples of multiple planned languages by Mario Pei (from One Language for the World)

See also record album One Language for the World (1961) and liner notes.

Mario Pei, “One Language for the World?”, The UNESCO Courier, November 1963, pp. 23, 26-27.

See also "Language is the Key to the Heart of a Nation": Letter to the editor by Magda Staudinger, p. 33. Emphasizes importance of learning foreign languages, in response to proposal for adoption of Esperanto.

Schubert, Klaus, Maxwell, Dan; eds. Interlinguistics: Aspects of the Science of Planned Languages. Berlin; New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 1989. (Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs; 42)

Schubert, Klaus, ed. Planned Languages: From Concept to Reality. Part I: Interface. Brussels: Hogeschool voor Wetenschap en Kunst, 2001.

Tonkin, Humphrey, ed. Esperanto, Interlinguistics, and Planned Language. Lanham, MD: University Press of America; Rotterdam, Netherlands; West Hartford, CT: Center for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems, 1997. (Papers of the Center for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems; 5)

Miscellaneous Specific Works

Chiang, Ted. Story of Your Life (1998).

Story of Your Life - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hildegard, Saint. Hildegard of Bingen's Unknown Language: An Edition, Translation, and Discussion, trans. & ed. Sarah L. Higley. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. (The New Middle Ages)

See also texts on Lingua Ignota from Dictionary of Literary Bibliography & W. J. A. Manders.

Collins, Paul. Banvard's Folly: Tales of Renowned Obscurity, Famous Anonymity, and Rotten Luck. New York: Picador USA, 2001. Publisher description. Includes chapters on Sudre's Solresol and George Psalmanazar's fake Formosan language. See also virtually identical article by Collins:

The Strange and Epic and Tragic Trajectory of Solresol, The Universal Musical Language, and of Its Creator, Monsieur Sudre,” McSweeney’s 5, pp. 50-66.

See also Esperanto & Interlinguistics Study Guide under ‘Solresol’.

Essick, Robert N. William Blake and the Language of Adam. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989.

See Introduction & Afterword; Chapter 2: In Pursuit of the Motivated Sign (pp. 26-103); & pp. 133-135 (on Wilkins).

Findlen, Paula, ed. Athanasius Kircher: The Last Man Who Knew Everything. New York; London: Routledge, 2004.

Foucault, Michel. The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences, translated from French. New York: Vintage Books, 1973 [1970].

Koetsier, Teun. The Ascent of GIM, the Global Intelligent Machine: A History of Production and Information Machines. Cham: Springer International Publishing, Springer, 2019.

Menace from the Moon. London: Jarrolds, 1925. Science fiction novel involving John Wilkins’s Universal Character.

Lynch, [John Gilbert] Bohun (1884-1928): Menace from the Moon by Everet F. Bleiler

Menace from the Moon (1925 novel) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Menace from the Moon (by Bohun Lynch): A review by Georges T. Dodds (SF Site, 2002)

Lynch, Bohun (SFE, April 27, 2017)

John Wilkins & Menace from the Moon @ Ĝirafo

Meyers, Walter E. Aliens and Linguists: Language Study and Science Fiction. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1980.

Musical Languages: Whistled Languages, Pirahã Language, Supyire Language, Language of the Birds, Silbo Gomero Language, Solresol, Soundpainting. Books LLC, 2010.

Oulipo: A Primer of Potential Literature, translated and edited by Warren F. Motte, Jr. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1986.

Peterson, David J. Art of Language Invention: from Horse-Lords to Dark Elves, the Words Behind World-Building. New York: Penguin Books, 2015.

Rasula, Jed; McCaffery, Steve; eds. Imagining Language: An Anthology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1998.

Rosenfelder, Mark. The Language Construction Kit. Chicago: Yonagu Books, 2010.

Serafini, Luigi. Codex Seraphinianus. New York: Abbeville Press, 1983 (1981).

Trettien, Whitney Anne. ‘The Sound of the Printed Letter’: Orthography, Orthoepy, Print and Dictionaries in Print Culture. Thesis, Hood College, 2007. See also author’s web site.

‘The Sound of the Printed Letter’: Orthography, Orthoepy, Print and the Naturalization of English Dictionaries. Queen’s University, June 3-5, 2010. Excerpt from full work (above).

Word and Self Estranged in English Texts, 1550-1660; edited by L. E. Semler, Philippa Kelly. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2010.

Wright Henderson, P. A. (Patrick Arkley). The Life and Times of John Wilkins, Warden of Wadham College, Oxford; Master of Trinity College, Cambridge; and Bishop of Chester. Edinburgh; London: W. Blackwood and Sons, 1910.


Stojan, Petro E. Bibliografio de Internacia Lingvo. Genève: Universala Esperanto-Asocio, 1929. Reprint: Hildesheim; New York: Olms, 1973. (In Esperanto.)

Symoens, Edward F (1989). Dissertations on Esperanto and Interlinguistics. Rotterdam: Universala Esperanto-Asocio, 1989. See also 1993 Supplement.

Tonkin, Humphrey, comp. Esperanto and International Language Problems: A Research Bibliography. 4th ed. Washington, DC: Esperantic Studies Foundation, 1977.


On this site:

Letero de Kartezio pri Lingvo Internacia (20 nov 1629), trad. Eugène de Zilah

Descartes to Mersenne, 20 November 1629

Descartes to Mersenne, 25 December 1639

On the General Characteristic” by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

Leibniz on the Universal Characteristic

Leibniz on Language, Race, and Nation by Peter Fenves

Logic and Language (The Principles of Logic) by Louis Couturat

"Leibniz, Couturat kaj la Teorio de Ido" de Tazio Carlevaro

Leibniz & Games

Leibniz & Ideology: Selected Bibliography

Leibniz, Universal Language, Race & Politics

Leibniz blog entry

Leibniz & ‘soft reason’ - M. Dascal

Dascal on Leibniz, epistemology & intellectual cooperation

Ars combinatoria, cybernetics, mimesis & praxis by Henri Lefebvre

Henri Lefebvre on Leibniz & Ars Combinatoria by Henri Lefebvre

Spinoza’s Semantics

Hegel on Ars Combinatoria & Characteristica Universalis

Philosophical languages, Romantic historicism, Hegel, Marx

Linguistic communication: Conclusion by Henri Wald

Ebleco de Vojaĝo al la Luno (el La Eltrovo de Nova Mondo) de John Wilkins, trad.William Auld

Ballad of Gresham College (1663)

Gulliver's Travels. Part III. A Voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, Luggnagg, Glubbdubdrib, and Japan. Chapter V (extract) by Jonathan Swift

La Granda Akademio en Lagado, el: Vojaĝo al Balnibarbi de Jonathan Swift, tradukis William Auld

Lynch, [John Gilbert] Bohun (1884-1928): Menace from the Moon by Everet F. Bleiler

Carnap on Wittgenstein & Esperanto / Carnap pri Wittgenstein & Esperanto

"Lingvoplanado" (Language Planning) de Rudolf Carnap

Christopher Caudwell on Wittgenstein & the nature of language

"The Congress" by Jorge Luis Borges

A Taxonomy of Surreal Taxonomists by Prentiss Riddle

Definition of ’Pataphysics by Alfred Jarry

Hermann Hesse, Esperanto, Klera Utopio, Universala Lingvo / Intellectual Utopia, Universal Language

Walter Benjamin and Ars Combinatoria by Ralph Dumain

Borges’s Monsters & Ars Combinatoria by Lois Parkinson Zamora

Monsters of Enlightened Reason (excerpts: Borges & philosophical languages) by Malcolm K. Read

An Ars Poetica? (excerpts) [Ars Combinatoria] by Sergio Pitol

Lullus kaj la Filozofia Lingvo de István Szerdahelyi

The Ascent of GIM, the Global Intelligent Machine (Contents +) by Teun Koetsier

Review: Sydney Padua, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by R. Dumain

"Kvar Planlingvoj Kreitaj de Virinoj" de Bernard Golden

Imagitaj lingvoj en fantaziaj romanoj” de Bernard Golden

Histoire de la Langue Universelle par Louis Couturat & Léopold Leau (1903)

A Short History of the International Language Movement by Albert Léon Guérard

Universal Auxiliary Language Babm (Extracts) by Fuishiki Okamoto

“A critique of Loglan” & “The irregularity of Interlingua” by W. A. Verloren van Themaat

Letter on Sapir-Whorf discussions at LogFest ’89 and other topics by R. Dumain

An Essay towards a Real Character, and a Philosophical Language (1668): Part III: Philosophical Grammar: Chapter 9: Syntax
by John Wilkins (with additional links & bibliography)

Jorge Luis Borges, Fritz Mauthner, & John Wilkins by Efraín Kristal

International Language Review (issues listing + selected contents)

The International Language Association: A Prospectus and Report

Bibliographies & web guides:

Annotated Bibliography on Language and Thought by Ralph Dumain

Jorge Luis Borges: Selected Study Materials on the Web

Ramon Llull & His Influence: Select Bibliography & Web Guide

Leibniz & Ideology: Selected Bibliography

Ars Combinatoria Study Guide

Esperanto & Interlinguistics Study Guide / Esperanto-Gvidilo (includes interlinguistics links)

Philosophical Style: Selected Bibliography

Definition of ’Pataphysics by Alfred Jarry

Exotica, Curiosa, Crankery, Hoaxes, Cultural & Intellectual Arcana: Selected Web Guide & Bibliography


Contributors to the Universal Language

Mathesis universalis: the Search for a Universal Science (from Descartes and Leibniz to Bolzano and Husserl) by Raul Corazzon

Language as Calculus vs. Language as Universal Medium

Leibniz on Logic, Language and Semiotics. Annotated bibliography (First Part: A - K)
      Second Part: L - Z

Characteristica universalis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Universal language - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Constructed language - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A priori (languages) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Philosophical language - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

International auxiliary language - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Recognition - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Logovisual technology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Abracadabra: Language, Memory, Representation

Ramon Llull - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Who is Ramon Llull?

What Was Llull Up To? by Anthony Bonner

Llull as Computer Scientist, or why LlulI Was One of Us by Ton Sales

Raymond Llull’s contributions to computer science by John N. Crossley

Raymond Lull's memory training and self learning tools

Ramon Llull (1232-1316): Logic. Memory. Wacko.

The Birth of the MACHINE: Raymundus Lullus and His Invention by Werner Künzel

Notes on Reason, Language and Conversion in the 13th Century in the Iberian Peninsula by Maribel Fierro

Ramon Llull Database - Llull DB (Centre de Documentació Ramon Llull, University of Barcelona)

VMs: Ramon Lull and pseudolullian works

Medieval Chat-bot, Conscious Entities (blog), 23 oct. 2004

International Conference on Inter-Culturality: Discussing Ramon Llull's Thought
São Paulo, 20th-22nd September 2010

Programme of First Block Andorra (14th-16th May 2009) with links to papers

Ars Combinatoria (Italian site with many links, also to universal language)
(Ars Combinatoria, Ars Magna, Raimondo Lullo, lullismo, Mnemotecnica, Lingue universali, Ramon Llull, Lullus | Labirinto Ermetico)

Computing with Concepts, Computing with Numbers: Llull, Leibniz, & Boole
by Sara L. Uckelman

The Last Remorse of Ramon Lull (1232-1315) by Poly Hatjimanolaki (Waxtablets, 28 July 2009)

combinatoria [computer program], See also combinatoria v0.2 by James Banks, 2019-10-24.

Frances Yates and the Mnemonic Works of Giordano Bruno by François Quiviger

Ars Memoriae, Philosophy and Culture: Frances Yates and After by John Michael Krois

Literary Machines Made in Germany. German Proto-Cybertexts from the Baroque Era to the Present by Jörgen Schäfer

On the Project of a Universal Language in the Framework of the XVII Century Philosophy by Renata Jermolowicz

Characteristica Universalis and the Origin of the Symbolator by Andreas Goppold

Characteristica Universalis by Barry Smith

Calculus Ratiocinator vs. Characteristica Universalis? The Two Traditions in Logic, Revisited by Volker Peckhaus

Characteristica Universalis (ScienceDirect)

Frege’s Begriffsschrift as a lingua characteristica by Tapio Korte

Leibniz's Influence on 19th Century Logic by Volker Peckhaus
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The Search for the Perfect Language by G. J. Chaitin
(The Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, 21 Sept. 2009) Also in PDF format

A Universal Language: The Myth, Search and Experiments by Anne Niemetz

Linnaeus and the poetics of evolution by John Bennett (Macleay Museum, 21 March 2007)

chapter 7A of Descartes' Imagination by Dennis L. Sepper

Al la historio de la provoj de lingvoj tutmondaj de Leibnitz ĝis la nuna tempo de Leopold Einstein

Louis Couturat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Louis Couturat - Vikipedio (in Esperanto)

Louis Couturat - Wikipedio (in Ido)

Louis Couturat : The Logic of Leibniz

Chapter 3 The Universal Language

Histoire de la Langue Universelle par Louis Couturat & Léopold Leau (1903) (Selected chapters of 1903 ed. also online here)

The Algebra of Logic by Louis Couturat (1905, trans. 1914)

International Language and Science by L. Couturat, O. Jespersen, R. Lorenz, W. Ostwald & L. Pfaundler (1910). Also at Project Gutenberg.

Louis Couturat, modern logic, and the international auxiliary language by Başak ARAY

Hobbes' Calculus of Words by Pieter A. Verburg (1969)

Hobbes's Challenge by Marcelo Dascal

Adam Smith's theory of language by Marcelo Dascal

The quest for a Universal Language by Marcelo Dascal

From the Language of Adam to the Pluralism of Babel by Maurice Olender

The search for the perfect language (Eco et al) by Grant Sherman

The Republic of Codes: Cryptographic Theory and Scientific Networks in the Seventeenth Century by Robert Batchelor

Shady Characters: The secret life of punctuation. Irony & Sarcasm marks, part 1 of 3 by Keith Houston

John Wilkins - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An Essay towards a Real Character, and a Philosophical Language [full text online]

[An Essay Toward a Real Character and a Philosophical Language - Full text online & other links - dead link]

An Essay Towards a Real Character and A Philosophical Language by John Wilkins (reprint ed.)

Francis Lodwick - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Francis Lodwick: A Working Bibliography

Same bibliography on EMWO & on CEMS

Free-Thinking and Language-Planning in Late Seventeenth Century England

Same page on EMWO & on CEMS

The library of Francis Lodwick FRS

Caractere by Jean le Rond d'Alembert in the Encyclopédie (in French)

DIY Calculator :: Logic Diagrams And Machines

'The Analytical Language of John Wilkins' (originally 'El idioma analítico de John Wilkins' ) by Jorge Luis Borges
Translated by Lilia Graciela Vázquez
   Translated by Will Fitzgerald
    Spanish original & English translation

John Wilkins @ Ĝirafo

John Wilkins & Menace from the Moon @ Ĝirafo
[Note John Wilkins as fictional character]

The Baroque Cycle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
3 vols., 2003-4, by Neal Stephenson [Note Newton, Leibniz, John Wilkins]

’Pataphysics & Ars Combinatoria @ Ĝirafo (blog)

Steampunk as Ars Combinatoria @ Ĝirafo (blog)

Ars Combinatoria @ Ĝirafo (blog)

The Archeology of the Computer Assemblage: The Ars Combinatoria of Berlin philosopher-engineer Werner Künzel by Geert Lovink

Ars Combinatoria: Or, Hegel’s Logic as Chronotope for the Digital Age by Christopher Vitale, 22 Nov 2009

Ars Combinatoria: Mystical Systems, Procedural Art, and the Computer by Janet Zweig

Recombinant Poetics: Emergent Meaning as Examined and Explored Within a Specific Generative Virtual Environment (1999) by William Curtis Seaman

An Eternal Engine by Wayne Clements [on Llull, Swift, Borges, & computer-generated writing]

Ludic Algorithms” [PDF] by Bethany Nowviskie

July 2010 draft [DOCX format]
Comments by Bill Turkel
Imaginary Solution #1: Dr. Kremlin’s Disc
Playing With Technology in History, April 29-30, 2010, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada. Abstracts with links to papers

Speculative Computing: Instruments For Interpretive Scholarship by Bethany Paige Nowviskie
PhD dissertation, Department of English, University of Virginia, May 2004
(Progenitors: Ramon Llull, Hermann Hesse, Peter Suber’s Nomic; nods to Swift & Leibniz)

"Text" and "Network", Reconsidered (2007)
by Florian Cramer

Words Made Flesh: Code, Culture, Imagination (2005)
by Florian Cramer Netzliteratur // Internetliteratur // Hyperfiction // Netzkunst

Sir Thomas Urquhart

Thomas Urquhart - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Logopandecteision - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Logopandecteision, Or an Introduction to the Universal Language (1653)

Ekskybalauron: Or, the Discovery of the Most Exquisite Jewel ... (1653), in The Works of Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty, Knight (1834). Other editions & other works by and about Urquhart are available from

The Retrospective Review, and Historical and Antiquarian Magazine ... (1822): I: Sir Thomas Urquhart's Jewel

Logopandekteision, extract from International Language: Past, Present & Future by W. J. Clark (1912)

Sir Thomas Urquhart, excerpt & comments by Benjamin Mako Hill

Lecture on Scottish Literature 2: Thomas Urquhart by Dr. John B Corbett. Downloadable sound file available.

400th Anniversary Conference, 15th and 16th April 2011: A Celebration of the Life and Times of the 17th century laird of Cromarty, civil war soldier, writer and translator of Rabelais (The Cromary Arts Trust)

More Leibniz links:

Opuscules et fragments inédits de Leibniz, extraits des manuscrits de la Bibliothèque royale de Hanovre par Louis Couturat (1903)

Leibnizian Resources (Markku Roinila, University of Helsinki)

Leibnitiana (maintained by Gregory Brown, Universtity of Houston)

G.W. Leibniz: Texts and Translations

Leibniz Translations

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, 1646-1716 (Some Texts from Early Modern Philosophy)

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Archives

Mathesis Universalis, no. 5, 1998: On Leibniz's Philosophical Legacy

Note: Bibliography is largely limited to books in English covering secondary literature rather than primary sources. Though often treated together historically, artificial philosophical languages (a.k.a. “'universal character”) are different in nature and purpose from constructed languages like Esperanto based on ethnic languages and intended as universal auxiliary languages.

Library of Congress Subject Headings for this topic are “Language, Universal” and ”Languages, Artificial”. For fictional and imaginary languages see “Imaginary languages”.

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Uploaded 25 December 2005
Last updated 15 November 2023
Previous update 31 August 2023

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