Ars inveniendi (Latin for "art of invention"), refers to the art of discovering truths in a mathematical way. According to Gottfried Leibniz, to possess ars inveniendi was to possess the essential feature both of formal logic and of mathematical calculus; the finding of truths vi formae (in virtue of form).[1] George Pólya wrote that ars inveniendi is a general class of methods which overlaps with heuristics, but was "not very clearly circumscribed, belonging to logic, or to philosophy, or to psychology, often outlined, seldom presented in detail ... The aim of heuristic is to study the methods and rules of discovery and invention."[2]

Wolff's view on developing an ars inveniendiEdit

Christian Wolff wrote that a semiotically classified representation of philosophical sciences is a prerequisite to the development of an ars inveniendi. Wolff assumes that an isomorphic relationship between concepts and signs as well as between their differences and relations exists and develops a system of concepts resulting in an Organon for philosophy. His method follows the ideal of explicating concepts originating in ordinary language, which, because of this origin, become lexicographically applicable, even independently of the theoretical context. In his view, all content of consciousness is assumed to be accessible to an analysis notionum and to be solely conveyed by signs and language.[3]


  1. Marciszewski, Witold (1984). "The principle of comprehension as a present-day contribution to mathesis universalis". Philosophia Naturalis (21): 525–526. 
  2. Pólya, George (1945). How to Solve it. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 
  3. Werner, Arndt Hans (1979). "Die Semiotik Christian Wolffs als Propädeutik der ars characteristica combinatoria und der ars inveniendi" (in German). Zeitschrift für Semiotik (1). 
de:Ars inveniendi

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