(Re)-Constructing the Semantic Architecture of Wittgenstein’s Vermischte Bemerkungen

Kerstin Mayr

Abstract



In the context of a cooperative project ("Culture and Value Revisited") between the
Brenner Archives at the University of Innsbruck (FIBA) and the Wittgenstein Archives
at the University of Bergen (WAB), a computer supported qualitative analysis of
Wittgensteins "Vermischte Bemerkungen" / "Culture and Value" is being carried out.
This is done with GABEK (Ganzheitliche Bewältigung von Komplexität, Holistic
Processing of Complexity), a method based on the theory of linguistic Gestalten
(Zelger 1999) and its computer implementation WinRelan. With GABEK the essential aim
is to obtain a holistic, integrated view of individual aspects of Wittgenstein’s
remarks in Culture and Value (1994 Suhrkamp edition).

The GABEK method for qualitatively analysing data allows a hierarchically structured
presentation of a highly complex text and its network layers. The main objective of
this analysis is to clarify and highlight content-related (semantic)
interdependencies and intervening variables - hypotheses on inter-dependencies can be
generated in a further step.

Development of a rule-based network of data leads to the generation of
-conceptual fields

causal interrelations of items (keywords),

conceptual fields and topics

semantic inter-dependencies and networks

the analysis and identification of which are needed to generate both deeper
knowledge and understanding about the semantic structures of the Wittgenstein
text.

This knowledge expresses itself in the unique character of its organisation and
structure and could help build the basis for further in-depth exploration and
analysis concerning specific topics related to "Culture and Value". Consistent with
the core objectives of the analysis of the German text version ("Vermischte
Bemerkungen"), an encoding of the 1st and 2nd English edition ("Culture and Value")
will be done for the purpose of comparison and exploration in terms of textual
semantic similarity and deviation. These findings will provide the basis for further
investigations concerning such questions as: What kind of text is this? Is the secret
code in Wittgenstein’s remarks of any significance? Is there a Wittgensteinian
philosophy of culture found in the patterns and networks identified?

Keywords


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; Semantic Web; ontology; digital humanities

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