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Final Project Proposal

October 2, 2012
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I was a philosophy academic in one of my previous lives (terminally ABD), so I think this could be a field that I could use to create an effective final project.

For serious philosophy students, there is a tipping point that is reached when they start to understand how the ideas and thinkers in the western philosophical tradition are so thoroughly intertwined. All of the concepts and people that have been studied begin to take on more depth, seem to mean more than they did before. When this point is reached, it feels like a curtain has been pulled back and everything is actually visible for the first time.

I’d like to create a site that employs some creative graphical elements to give a brief overview of some of the major ideas and thinkers in the western philosophical cannon and leaves the user with an impression of the nature of the various ways in which they’re connected. Obviously, I’m talking about just scratching the surface for this project. But I think it would be a great context within which to display what I’ve learned in this course.

Target audience – anyone with novice to intermediate philosophical experience.

I will attempt to clearly lay out my philosophical biases from the beginning so that people from other philosophical “cultures” can have some context for making sense of why specific ideas are included/excluded from the site. Specifically, I will need to address giving short shrift to the analytic and eastern philosophical traditions as well my focus on the aforementioned target audience.

Edit: The posted examples are quite intimidating, by the way.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Alice Worden permalink
    October 3, 2012 10:51 am

    I fit into your target audience, and I’d be excited to see your website. One of the reasons I haven’t studied philosophy very seriously is because it is all so entertwined, and I feel like you have to go super deep to start to get it, something I’m not really interested in. I’d love a more shallow overview that touches on those relationships, especially if it had helpful graphics.

  2. derek permalink*
    October 3, 2012 2:53 pm

    perfect, and I might add that this is exactly the type of “audience” awareness I am trying to get each of you to see. “cultural” awareness means “audience” awareness.

  3. October 4, 2012 12:16 pm

    hey, it’s always great to meet other former academic philosophers! this sounds like a really neat project, and I’ll definitely check it out when your site is up

  4. October 4, 2012 3:49 pm

    Great idea. I only have a sketchy knowledge of philosophy, though I’m nearly a lifelong fan of critical theory. In the other class I’m taking now, Reference Info, we had to create a bibliography for a real class of our choosing, and I created one for a Harvard graduate class on The Frankfurt School, Film, and Popular Culture. Best assignment I’ve had this semester, though it was challenging for me. If you’re familiar with the website LivePlasma.com, maybe it would be possible for you, in a less hi-tech way, to do something that visually shows constellations of relationships (also similar to the history-table centerpages featured in The Believer magazine, if you’re familiar with that – they’re almost structured like website design), so you’re not simply writing lots of text. In fact, why not have a format of something like aphoristic paragraphs for each page, in large type, like index cards, but with navigation that goes in several directions from each page. I think that holds possibilities.

    I find the posted examples far too professional (and practical) compared to what I think I can do. – Jordon

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