Socrates in the Labyrinth is a wide-ranging exploration of the relationships between hypertext, thought, and argument. Does hypertext present alternatives to the logical structures of if-then, claim and support? Is hypertext a mere expository tool, that cannot alter the essence of discussion and proof? Or is hypertext essentially unsuited to rigorous argument?
Kolb's discussion is a nuanced, creative approach to these and other questions. Kolb points up the history of nonlinearity in philosophical work, from the Socratic dialogues through Hegel, and the variety of forms that philosophical discussion can take. Kolb's discussion -- and the structures of Socrates itself -- show that hypertext is not only a "super-encyclopedia" that leaves the essence of argument unchanged. But his keen understanding of both hypertext and postmodernism also shows that the relation between hypertext and "the end of the text" is more complex than is sometimes claimed. Socrates in the Labyrinth embodies several hypertext structures showing possibilities for writing and thought in the new medium.
Socrates in the Labyrinth is one of the first works of hypertext non-fiction to examine and exploit the techniques of hypertext rhetoric discovered in the development of serious hypertext fiction.
Socrates in the Labyrinth was created using Storyspace.
“It is hard to overstate the significance of Kolb's hypertext....As an authentic piece of creative philosophical thought and as a remarkably successful use of hypertext technology, this piece should be required reading for hypertext enthusiasts and philosophers alike.” -- Charles Ess, Drury University
“The most exciting piece of non-fiction hypertext that I’ve read....David Kolb shows here his mastery of the philosopher’s main task: asking questions.” – Susana Pajares Tosca, IT-Universitetet Denmark