Category Archives: humanities

Goethe and Hegel discuss Hamann at a tea party

On October 18, 1827, Goethe gave a tea party in honor of the philosopher Hegel, who had come to Weimar to visit him. Although each of the men genuinely respected the achievements of the other, we know from a first-hand report of the discussion that the radical difference in their basic philosophical positions emerged in […]

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Guardian piece on Europeana open data release

I just published a short piece on the Guardian Datablog about a big release of open data from Europeana, Europe’s digital library, which was announced earlier this morning.

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Hamann, Nietzsche, and Wittgenstein on the Language of Philosophers

I’ve got a chapter on “Hamann, Nietzsche, and Wittgenstein on the Language of Philosophers” in Hamann and the Tradition, which has just been published by Northwestern University Press. The book is based on a series of papers given at an international conference on Hamann in New York in March 2009. It is edited by Lisa […]

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On Machine Readable Reading Lists

A few years ago I used to work at several college and departmental libraries at the University of Cambridge. One of the tasks which library staff regularly had to undertake was to cross reference the latest copies of all relevant reading lists with their collections, to ensure that they had copies of all the books […]

Also posted in digital, digitalhumanities, ideas, open data, openknowledge, openphilosophy, projects, technology, textus | Leave a comment

The Sea of Stories

Earlier this week the Guardian, Forbes and others covered the discovery of 500 fairy tales collected by 19th century folklorist Franz Xaver von Schönwerth. I sent a note about this to Professor Jack Zipes, who promptly replied urging caution about the discovery and pointing to many other (in his view more interesting) 19th century collections […]

Also posted in bibliography, culture, fairytales, hamann, herder, history, intellectualhistory, literature | 2 Responses

The contingent cathedral: notes on Lewis White Beck’s Early German Philosophy

Lewis White Beck‘s 1969 Early German Philosophy is a long, rich and rambling chronicle of philosophical thinkers and philosophical ideas originating from what we now call Germany, roughly from the birth of St. Ambrose in 340 to the death of Kant in 1804.

Also posted in hamann, herder, history, intellectualhistory, philosophy | 2 Responses

The Citation Conundrum

There is an unknown – but probably shockingly large – number of public domain texts on the web. Many of these could be of value to students and scholars. Lots of digital texts have page numbers which can be straightforwardly referenced in papers and publications. For example the journal article, the scanned monograph, born digital […]

Also posted in bibliography, digital, digitalhumanities, ideas | Tagged | 4 Responses

Let’s make!

A little while ago I posted some ideas for a project called, which would enable users to transcribe, translate, annotate and create collections of philosophical texts which have entered the public domain. I’m very excited to say that the project has secured some funding from JISC, who champion digital technology for use in higher […]

Also posted in bibliography, digital, digitalhumanities, ideas, open data, openknowledge, projects, technology | 5 Responses

TEXTUS: an open source platform for working with collections of texts and metadata

Since finally blogging about last month I’ve been thinking about how one could make a generic open source platform that could be used to power it, and other things like it. Enter ‘TEXTUS':

Also posted in bibliography, digital, digitalhumanities, history, ideas, literature, notes, open data, openknowledge, projects, technology | 9 Responses

Ideas for

For several years I’ve been meaning to start, which would be a collection of open resources related to philosophy for use in teaching and research. There would be a focus on the history of philosophy, particularly on primary texts that have entered the public domain, and on structured data about philosophical texts.

Also posted in bibliography, digitalhumanities, history, ideas, intellectualhistory, openknowledge, projects, technology | 7 Responses