Gorgeous Interactive Timeline of Philosophical Ideas


A visual communication designer has created an interactive timeline of philosophical ideas that is impressive, useful, and beautiful.

Deniz Cem Önduygu works as a designer in Istanbul. He isn’t an academic philosopher but he loves philosophy. He created this interactive timeline of the history of philosophical ideas as “a purely personal project that I’m doing in my own time, with my limited knowledge, for myself; and I’m sharing it to get feedback and to make it accessible to those who are interested.”

Viewers can zoom in and out of the timeline and see philosophers listed in chronological order, with ideas they’re associated with listed beneath them. These ideas, in turn, are connected by green lines to similar or supporting ideas elsewhere on the timeline, and connected by red lines to opposing or refuting ideas elsewhere on the timeline. If you hover your mouse cursor over a single idea, all but it and its connected ideas fade. You can then click on the idea to bring those connected ideas closer for ease of viewing.

Önduygu began working on the project in 2014. He is rather modest about the project, acknowledges its limitations, and welcomes suggestions.

In his description of the timeline, Önduygu says, “It’s a never-ending work-in-progress… As much as I find this way of looking at philosophy quite productive (and fun) for many reasons, I’m not proposing that this is the right way to look at it; it is just one version that I like to see—an organized collection of notes, reminding the key arguments and letting me see how they developed, from a distance.” His main source materials have been Bryan Magee’s The Story of Philosophy and Thomas Baldwin’s Contemporary Philosophy, along with other works for specific philosophers and ideas.

You can explore the timeline here and read about it here.

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