Glimpses of Unsurveyable Maps

David Wagner


That Ludwig Wittgenstein was interested in maps and map-making comes as no surprise. After all, he compares the form of a philosophical question to our common experience of disorientation – “I don’t know my way about.” (PI § 123) – and likens his Philosophical Investigations (PI) to an album containing sketches of a landscape which has been explored in a criss-cross manner. In this paper I present metaphors of perfect maps provided by Jorge Luis Borges, Lewis Carroll and Josiah Royce, and set these against remarks by Wittgenstein and Charles Sanders Peirce.


20th century philosophy; philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; archetype; cartography; Peirce Charles; Borges Jorge Luis; Royce Josiah; Russell Bertrand; Swift Jonathan; picture; picture theory; surveyable representation

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