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Painting: "The School of Athens" by Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino

A Cartography for the Navigation of Philosophical Thought


Philosophy isn’t a completely solitary task: thinking happens together with others and comes from others, as this philosophical map shows.

Every traveler needs, in addition to a starting point, a map to reach where they’re going. The journey of thought, though, isn’t traveled alone: ​​other explorers have traveled similar roads, and they’ve moved beyond, then, in opposite directions. In all of the comings and goings of philosophy, it’s easy to lose oneself, to wander, and also to find oneself on ways that one’s never thought to travel.

This was the idea which gave life to a map of philosophy, devised and laid out, in large part, by designer, Deniz Cem Önduygu.

From Thales of Miletus and Anaximander, to Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennet, Cem’s philosophical cartography attempts to expose every possible network within an occupation which, historically, has always been seen as solitary.

But the philosopher doesn’t work in solitude. Even when effectively alone, the philosopher is accompanied by other travelers, other thinkers, other ghosts.

For those who wish to navigate the length and breadth of Western philosophical thought, Önduygu’s map can serve as a road map to multiple currents of thought, discourses, and their authors; not only in chronological order but, through its interactive nature, one can relate ideas of the same discourse over time.

As any lover of philosophy will point out, the work is not, and cannot, be finished. Rather, it depends on collective construction, which is to say that it’s also permanently open to change. The map shows that neither thought nor education can really be confined to a single place, and nor do they correspond to but a few people nor remain static. They’re always in motion, they travel, and they change.

Image: Public Domain


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