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Throwing away the ladder. Wittgenstein's philosophy and and scholarly communication

Enkhbayar, Asura

Engagement, interaction, and communication is a the very core of late Wittgenstein's philosophy. In this talk, I explore two core concepts in his work, (1) the therapeutic use of philosophy and (2) language games, in the context of citation theory and scholarly communication.

Original Abstract:

We might want to engage with fellow researchers and students, but learning special vocabulary and language of another field can be a daunting task. In times of ever accelerating technological progress, scholarly communication is facing the challenge of reconciling increasingly specialized research programs and practices with the demand for interdisciplinary communication.

In this talk, I want to address the gap between theory and practice in a playful way by proposing a framework based on Wittgenstein's philosophy, contemporary cognitive science, and schol-comm technology. The main question that I want to explore is: "How can the theory help to design and build technology for scholarly communications which overcomes the challenges of transdisciplinary communication?" I will briefly introduce these concepts, provide some background for the philosophical ideas, and finally show how these relate to an actual piece of working scholarly communications software, viz., Open Knowledge Maps.

This framework provides tools to conceptualize scholarly communication and technology in a way that includes the individual cognitive and broader social dimension of communication.

COI: I am part of the non-profit OKM ( The draft of this paper is available on Authorea (

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