Ramon Llull

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Ramon Llull (1235 June 29, 1315) (sometimes Raymond Lully or in Latin Raimundus or Raymundus Lullus) was a writer and philosopher born into a wealthy family in Palma de Mallorca, Majorca, in the Balearic Islands, now part of Spain. He wrote the first major works of Catalan language literature and one of the first European novels. Llull is recognized as a pioneer of computation theory, especially due to his great influence on Gottfried Leibniz.[1] His proto-ideas in computation theory, dubbed 'Ars Combinatoria' by Leibniz, have gained him recognition as an early pioneer in computer science.

Recently surfaced manuscripts show him to have anticipated prominent election systems several centuries before they were previously believed to have been discovered. With the discovery in 2001 of his lost manuscripts, Ars notandi, Ars eleccionis, and Alia ars eleccionis, Llull is given credit for discovering the Borda count and Condorcet criterion, which Jean-Charles de Borda and Nicolas de Condorcet independently proposed centuries later.[2] The terms "Condorcet winner" and "Condorcet loser" in contemporary voting systems studies are sometimes referred to as "Llull winner" and "Llull loser" in honor of Llull, who devised the earliest known Condorcet method in 1299 in his treatise Ars Electionis.[2] The system outlined by Llull bears many similarities to a system modern theorists refer to as "Copeland's method".[3]



  1. 'Knowledge representation: logical, philosophical, and computational foundations, by J.F. Sowa. Brooks/Cole, 2000 (page: 7)'
  2. a b G. Hägele & F. Pukelsheim (2001). "Llull's writings on electoral systems". Studia Lulliana. 41: 3–38.
  3. Colomer, Josep (2013). "Ramon Llull: From Ars Electionis to Social Choice Theory". w:Social Choice and Welfare. 40 (2): 317-328. doi:10.1007/s00355-011-0598-2.