Otto Neurath

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Otto Neurath (December 10 1882-December 22 1945) was an Austrian sociologist, political economist and arguably one of the most unorthodox Marxists.

Member of the 'left wing' of the Vienna Circle, he rejected both metaphysics and epistemology. Neurath viewed Marxism as a type of science and he saw science as a tool for change. He also headed Bavaria's programme for socialization in 1919.

With the illustrator Gerd Arntz, Neurath worked out the theory of Isotype, an early form of symbology and a striking way of representing quantitative information as easily interpretable icons. Their work has had strong formative influence on cartographic symbology and the use of proportional symbols to represent comparative spatial information (demographic and social statistics in different countries, illustrating changes over the 19th and early 20th century in a way that is designed to help the non-literate or non-specialist to understand social change and inequity; Neurath can be seen as a progenitor to Edward Tufte and Buckminster Fuller in this area).

Much of his work and web resources are only available in German, though an English translation, From Hieroglyphics to Isotypes was issued after his death, in 1946. An archive of Neurath's papers and notes is stored, unindexed, at the University of Reading in Berkshire, England.

See also

et:Otto Neurath it:Otto Neurath

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