Tool for browsing a philosophical text, taking advantage of a map of the concepts relevant to the text.

PhiloSURFical is a prototype application built to experiment some functionalities which are enabled by the growing Semantic Web: data are distributed, but can be coherently recollected by means of their semantic description. It’s like if the whole Web could be treated as a giant database: we can query it in interesting ways, so to dynamically reorganize it depending on the context we are looking from.

The PhiloSURFical application is being prototyped with Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico Philosophicus and it allows the navigation of a semantically enhanced version of the text. By relying on an ontology created to describe the philosophical domain at various levels of abstraction, users can benefit from multiple perspectives on the text and on related resources. For example, they can reorganize the same text according to the relevance of a single metadata, e.g. the concept of “logical-independence” ; they can query the knowledge base or other repositories in the Semantic Web, such as the DBpedia, by choosing an object of interest (i.e. a topic) and using it to trigger a theoretical narrative (i.e. meta-historical), a historical narrative , or a geographical one . This is achieved by using simultaneously the knowledge encoded in the ontology, an initial knowledge base of resources and metadata built by a philosophy teacher, and the SPARQL query language to gather information from other sources in the Semantic Web.

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

Michele Pasin