On knowing

On knowing

This is a letter written on 19 March 1716 by the philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Leibniz. Taking little or no notice of specific content, the following can still be gleaned:

√ It has a now conventional letter-shape: header, message, ending, signature.
√ It is in French.
√ The address it was sent from, Hanover, is in a now unaccustomed place in the letter and has no specifics of road or number but it is still present.
√ The date is in a now unaccustomed place in the letter but it is still present.
√ It may look like a draft because untidy and with mistakes and amendments but is not. Because…
√ It has been folded and sent.
√ There is no sign of a seal, so most likely it was placed in an envelope.

Quite a lot can be known without having detailed specific knowledge.

 

Last updated: 27 February 2020


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