PD Dr. Dieter Köhler

Curriculum Vitae

  • 2010 to current
    IT freelancer.
  • 2010-01-20
    Habilitation at the University branch of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Venia legendi for "Philosophy" (in general) as well as for "Humanities Computing".
  • 2004, February to October
    David Beattie Visiting Professorial Fellow at the School of Information Management, Faculty for Commerce and Administration, Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand).
  • 2003-2010
    "Wissenschaftlicher Assistent" (roughly equivalent to an assistant professorship in the USA) at the Institute of Philosophy and the Centre of Multimedia Studies of the University of Karlsruhe (now: KIT).
  • 2001-2003
    "Wissenschaftlicher Angestellter" (Junior lecturer) at the Institute of Philosophy of the University of Karlsruhe (now: KIT). From 2002 also teaching at the Centre of Multimedia Studies.
  • 1999-2001
    "Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter" (Junior lecturer) with Prof. Dr. Michael Hampe, chair of philosophy II at the University of Bamberg.
  • 2000-06-13
    Conferring a doctorate from the Faculty of Philosophy and History of the University of Heidelberg under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Schütt (now: University of Karlsruhe).
  • 1996-1999
    Freelancer in IT and education.
  • 1991-1996
    Studying philosophy and protestant theology at the University of Heidelberg.
    Degree: M.A. in Philosophy and Theology.
    Master’s thesis: "Russell, Wittgenstein and the »Linguistic Turn« in Analytical Philosophy".
  • 1989-1991
    Studying protestant theology at the University of Erlangen.

IT Freelancer

  • My projects and experiences as an IT freelancer are listed on a separate page (in German).

Major Areas of Academic Interest

  • Text technologies and digital philology (XML, Unicode, TEI)
  • Knowledge systems, including Semantic Web and Topic Maps technologies
  • Research communication, including cross-cultural academic communication
  • Meda philosophy and information ethics
  • Analytical philosophy
  • Political philosophy (mainly historical)
  • History of ideas (including the relation to literature and politics)
  • Ancient philosophy


  • Sinnesreize, Sprache und Erfahrung. Eine Studie zur Quineschen Erkenntnistheorie, (Sense Perceptions, Language and Experience. Studies in Quinian Epistemology) Diss., Heidelberg 1999/2003.
  • Together with Herbert Hrachovec: “Digital Hermeneutics. A New Approach to Wittgen­stein’s Nachlass”, in: Wittgenstein und die Zukunft der Philosophie. Eine Neubewertung nach 50 Jahren / Wittgenstein and the Future of Philosophy. A Reassessment after 50 Years. Akten des 24. Internationalen Wittgenstein Symposium, Wien: öbv&hpt 2002, 151–159.
  • “Review of Thomas Burch, Johannes Fournier, Kurt Gärtner and Andrea Rapp (eds.) (2003). Standards und Methoden der Volltextdigitalisierung”, Literary and Linguistic Computing 18 (2003), 498–500.
  • „Problemfelder der Internet-Ethik“ (“Issues of Internet Ethics”), in: Ethisch-Philosophisches Grundlagenstudium 2. Ein Projektbuch, ed. Matthias Maring, Münster: Lit 2005, 219–228.
  • “Persistent Links for the Internet: Fundamentals and Implementation”, Literary and Linguistic Computing 21 (2006), Suppl. Issue, 77–86.
  • „Die Relevanz der Philosophie, die Öffentlichkeit und das Internet“ (“The Relevance of Philosophy, the General Public and the Internet”), Journal Phänomeno­logie 28 (2007, Heft 2), 37–41.
  • “Towards Future Digital Scholarship”, in: Wittgenstein and the Philosophy of Information. Proceedings of the 30. International Wittgenstein Symposium, Heusenstamm: Ontos 2008, I, 195–204.
  • „Historischer Realismus in Computerspielen“ (“Historical Realism in Computer Games”), in: Geschichte und Öffentlichkeit. Orte – Medien – Institutionen, ed. Sabine Horn, Michael Sauer, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2009, 226–233.


  • January 2004 to current
    Development and publication of the Open XML Editor, an open source tool for plain-text editing of XML files.
  • March 2003 to current
    Successive development and publication of open source software components in Delphi/Kylix for the processing of RDF (Resource Description Framework) graphs under the label Open RDF. RDF is a standard under development at the World Wide Web Consortium for modeling open knowledge systems (semantic webs).
  • May 2001 to current
    Development of tools and strategies for the digital processing of meta data in the context of open hypertext systems, especially for the construction of so-called "semantic webs". In cooperation with Prof. Dr. Herbert Hrachovec (chair of philosophy, University of Vienna) and the Wittgenstein Archive at the University of Bergen (Norway) this project is continuously put into practice by annotating and commenting some representative manuscripts from the digital edition of the Wittgenstein Nachlass. More information on this project is available at: and
  • Summer 2000 (Project completed)
    Development of a database application for a bibliography of interpretations of poems, the Fundbuch der Gedichtinterpretationen, edited by Prof. Dr. Wulf Segebrecht (chair for modern German literature, University of Bamberg).
  • August 1999 to current
    Successive development and publication of open source software components in Delphi/Kylix for the processing of XML documents under the labels Open XML and XDOM. This implementation includes among other things an XML document object model (DOM) implementation, a validating XML-to-DOM parser, an XML/SAX processor, a Unicode support library and basic XPath support.
    • Adaptations
      • XDOM was integrated by Borland Corp. into the programming language distributions Delphi 7 as well as Kylix 2 and 3.
    • Secondary Literature
      • Keith Wood: Delphi Developer's Guide to XML, Plano (Texas): Wordware Publ., 2001, which includes a 100 pages chapter about XDOM.
      • Craig Murphy: "Introducing the Document Object Model using OpenXML (Part I)", UK-Bug Developer’s Magazine Jul/Aug 2001, 7-13; the same: "Introducing the Document Object Model using OpenXML (Part II)", UK-Bug Developer’s Magazine Sep/Okt 2001, 25-30.
      • For online publications see the XDOM Website.
    • Awards
      • XDOM was awarded the first prize in the Delphi and C++ Developer’s VCL Components Competition 2002
  • 1995 to current
    Maintenance of the section German Resources: Philosophy of the International Virtual Library.
  • 1994 to current
    Maintenance of the Philosophie-Seiten (Philosophy Pages), a constantly revised collection of links to more than 1,000 international philosophy resources