The Tractatus As Subway Map


Last year I posted about visualizations of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus. There’s now a new one. David Stern (University of Iowa) writes:

I asked the students in my Wittgenstein seminar if they could come up with a better way of visualizing the structure of  the Tractatus, and one of them proposed looking it as a subway map, rather than a tree, which turned out to be a very productive suggestion. I turned his pencil and graph paper into an Excel spreadsheet, and we ended up collaborating on a Tractatus (and Prototractatus) map website with our University Library’s Digital Design Studio.

The results of this collaboration are now online, with an introductory page with the links to their subway-style versions at the top, an explanation of how to use it, and links to various other versions. It’s pretty well done, and includes options to look at the original and translated text. Here’s what the Tractatus map looks like:

tractatus-as-subway

Professor Stern continues:

The overall aim of the project is to provide a resource that will be useful to readers and researchers.  We’ve tried to make it attractive to look at, and also easy to navigate. In the future, we plan to add some more features, without taking away from the relatively simple interface. 

Any suggestions you, or you readers, may have for changes or improvements, or questions about how it works, would be very welcome.

Check it out.

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