Automating Leibniz's Theory of Concepts


Jesse Alama, Paul E. Oppenheimer, and Edward N. Zalta


A. Felty and A. Middeldorp (eds.), Automated Deduction – CADE 25: Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Automated Deduction (Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence: Volume 9195), Berlin: Springer, pp. 73–97, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-21401-6_4.


Our computational metaphysics group describes its use of automated reasoning tools to study Leibniz's theory of concepts. We start with a reconstruction of Leibniz's theory within the theory of abstract objects (henceforth ‘object theory’). Leibniz's theory of concepts, under this reconstruction, has a non-modal algebra of concepts, a concept-containment theory of truth, and a modal metaphysics of complete individual concepts. We show how the object-theoretic reconstruction of these components of Leibniz's theory can be represented for investigation by means of automated theorem provers and finite model builders. The fundamental theorem of Leibniz's theory is derived using these tools.

[Preprint available online in PDF]