David Kolb supplies the following list of forms that "philosophical hypertext" could take:
Mostly linear ways:
- Caterpillar text, with expansions and "footnotes" off to the side.
- Pyramidal text with an outline--(as in the essay "Habermas Pyramid" in this collection [Socrates in the Labyrinth]).
- An archive or library of journal articles and cross-references.
Less linear ways (but retaining main lines):
- Multiple arguments (parallel or independent) leading to joint or related conclusions.
- Dialogue or multilog with references: parallel monologues that consider each other through cross references, although not in linear order.
- Text with various undermining or deconstructive or qualifying or meta-commenting moves applied locally or throughout.
- Forests of commentary upon commentary--as in the great commentary traditions: medieval, Chinese, Indian, Talmudic.
Much less linear ways:
- Text segments that support multiple outlines and multiple or conflicting arguments as varying paths.
- Exploring/exposing the discourse(s) surrounding an argument.
- A web of texts that reveals points of view, a landscape (or landscapes) with alternative (and perhaps fictional) maps.
- An expanding web of regions that ask questions upon questions.
- Additive text that is not contestatory.
- Holzwege. Martin Heidegger gave the title Woodpaths (Holzwege) to one collection of his essays. The title referred, he said, to fragmentary paths found in the forest, leading nowhere, not converging, but opening up the dark woods in one another's neighborhood. That plurality of paths seems an appropriate image for the paths we may write in hypertexts, and for thought as seeking what is to be said, with neither atomistic disintegration nor final unity.
(Socrates, "Phil HT organization" and "Holzwege" nodes)
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