Philosophical language

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A philosophical language is an engineered language which attempts to implement some kind of philosophical idea. Philosophical languages were most popular in the 17th century, but some were designed later - up until even the present day.


Types of Philosophical languages

Taxonomic languages

Some of the more common philosophical languages are a priori conlangs with vocabulary based on a general taxonomy of ideas (and are called Taxonomic Languages). Words are derived from more general words. For example, 'cat' would be a derivative of 'mammal' (perhaps with a few levels in between) which would be a derivative of 'animal', etc. While this works well with some fields of discourse where a natural taxonomy exists (as in the 'cat' example above), it fails in most others where any taxonomy remains arbitrary. Philosophical languages also suffer from the problem that words with similar meaning are also very similar in form, which can lead to misunderstandings.

An interesting variation of this approach is the arithmographic language, as first envisioned by Leibniz.

Other Philosophical languages

Philosophical languages can also be based around a particular life philosophy - such as Toki pona, which is based upon Daoist principles, teaches that simplicity is good, and makes expressing complicated things difficult so as to discourage them.

List of philosophical languages

A full list of philosophical languages which have pages on FrathWiki can be found at Category:Philosophical conlangs.

17th century

Modern times

  • Ro (1904) by Edward Powell Foster
  • Ygyde by Andrew Nowicki
  • Toki pona (2001) by Sonja Elen Kisa
This article is part of a series on Types of Conlangs.

"Reason" classification system: Artlangs * Funlangs * Engineered language * Philosophical language * Arithmographic language * Logical language * Fictional languages * Exolangs * Diachronic conlangs * Lostlangs * Auxlangs
"Origin" classification system: A priori conlangs * A posteriori conlangs
"Other" classification system: Sketchlangs * Kitchen Sink Conlangs * Colllangs

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