Home > Uncategorized > Early Combinatorics – See Ramon Lull

Early Combinatorics – See Ramon Lull


Essentially, Lull’s method was as follows. In every branch of knowledge, he believed, there are a small number of basic principles or categories that must be assumed without question. By exhausting all possible combinations of these categories, we are able to explore all knowledge that can be understood by our finite minds. To construct tables of possible combinations we call upon the aid of both diagrams and rotating circles. For example we can list two sets of categories in two vertical columns, then exhaust all combinations simply by drawing connecting lines… A third method and the one in which Lull took the greatest pride, is to place two or more sets of terms on concentric circles. By rotating the inner circle we easily obtain a table of combinations. (Gardner, 1968, p.9)

GARDNER, M. 1968. Logic Machines and Boolean Algebra. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.

GARDNER, M. 1982. Logic Machines and Diagrams. 2nd edn. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

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