Aule Philosophy

Philosophy pages at

The need for site-specific browsers seems very evident when I visit sites devoted to texts of interest to scholars and students in the humanities.

Those particular text and annotation needs can be complemented by features which an enriched web-content language such as Curl (from makes possible.

One such complement is the juxtaposition of texts.

This can be more than the "original" in a left-side frame and some translation is a right-side frame.

For example, with a smart language generating the markup, a defective chapter of a book, such as Chapter VI of Hannah Arendt's The Human Condition can be laid out with the relevant text in German of Martin Heidegger's „Die Frage von der Technik“ which he had sent to her as volume one of the original Vortr. u. Aufs..

The smart languages which I propose to generate Curl markup are a mix of Rebol, ICON, Prolog (logtalk), Oz and Seaside for Smalltalk.

Here I have placed a German translation from 1909 of Henri Bergson’s “Introduction à la Métaphysique” as »Einführung in die Metaphysik«
I will add a header page in HTML to select the viewing options for the text as Curl ( markup.
Options should include pagination of translation, pagination of original, German italics, selected French equivalents and other links, comments and annotations as alternatives to the "plain text".
The same title was used by Heidegger in 1935 and the German version of the Bergson essay is interesting to compare and contrast to the pivotal Heidegger text.
I have not yet determined whether the German translation was in Heidegger’s personal library.

Our options using HTML alone are somewhat limited. Here is an example: the mis-placed hostility to the telescope found in a Master and his, well, student.

Hannah Arendt
Arendt (The Human Condition) Heidegger (V. und A.)

"[...] that we deal only with the patterns of our own mind, the mind which designed the instruments and put nature under its conditions in the experiment — prescribed its laws to nature [...]"

Man sagt, die moderne Technik sei eine unvergleichbar andere genenüber aller früheren, weil sie auf der neuzeitlichen exakten Naturwissenschaft beruhe. Inzwischen hat man deutlicher erkannt, daß auch das Umgekehrte gilt: die neuzeitliche Physik ist als experimentelle auf technische Apparaturen und auf den Fortschritt des Apparatebaues angewiesen.
(in "Die Frage nach der Technik" - GA Abt.I, Bd.7, Vort. u. Aufs., S.15; orig. S.18)

Unlike Curl, HTML makes no provision for capturing our annotations or adding our own marginalia. Enriching HTML usually means opting for Javascript or ActionScript. At a very minimum, we will need CSS. Any solution will almost certainly be "server-side" - whereas Curl is first and foremost a "client-side" option. The first option is to keep your marginalia and annotations on your computer.

If Google EPub format comes to dominate text on the web, a solution independent of Google’s servers becomes more attractive.

Robert Shiplett
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