Towards Future Digital Scholarship

Dieter Köhler


Analytic philosophy has often been characterized as treating philosophical problems as problems of adequate or inadequate language use. However, such analysis -- even in Ordinary Language Philosophy -- is typically based on idealized conceptual schemes that have been divested of how the complexity of natural language usage is conveyed by media. In contrast, I argue that we must not neglect the influence media has on the way we deal with philosophical issues. If considering philosophical problems as language problems is a fruitful strategy, then dealing with them may involve not only developing better conceptual systems, but also better means of communication, discussion and description. In other words: Our means of communication and their contents are to some degree interdependent. In this respect, recent innovations in net-based digital communication pose a challenge, to philosophy in particular and the humanities in general: They must not be passive consumers of new technologies, but instead participate more actively in developing applications that match their scholarly research agendas. One of the most important implications of this line of thought is the need within humanities institutions to establish additional sections dedicated to information technologies.


20th century philosophy; epistemology; philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; analytic philosophy; belief; epistemology; humanities; information; media theory; Nachlass

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