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2008-12-16
Computerized Sorting of History Papers
It occurred to me that it might be useful to go through JHP, BJHP and the like and put things in the relevant cubby-holes.  Then it occurred to me that you had probably already done something like this in deciding which named figures to list and that this could be better done mechanically, at least as a first approximation.

Then it occurred to me that maybe it wouldn't be useful to dump all of those papers into unsorted categories before sub-categories had been set up, since I don't know how sub-categories get set up.

So:
1) Would it be useful to have an initial computerized sorting of history papers by philosopher's names?

2) How does one set up sub-categories?  (I'm sorry if this is a stupid question.)

Also, on 'my profile' two papers by David Velleman ('On the Aim of Belief' and 'Epistemic Freedom') are listed as being by me, when they aren't. 

I don't actually have a lot of time to fiddle with this at the moment, but I hoped that posting some initial questions might be more helpful than bothersome.

2008-12-17
Computerized Sorting of History Papers
Hi Michael,

Thanks for these observations.  This discussion would probably go best in the Categorization Forum -- I'd move it there but I don't think we yet have the functionality to do that!

We've certainly thought a lot about automatic categorization.  We haven't done it yet, but you're right that historical areas would be one of the easiest places to implement this because of the centrality of names.  It would still be imperfect, and would probably often only get us to coarse-grained rather than fine-grained subcategories (e.g. Kant rather than an eventual subcategory of Kant), but even that much would be useful.  We may well implement something like this at some point.

As for setting up subcategories, that has to be done by David or me, but it's a reasonably straightforward process.  One of the purposes of the categorization forum is to have suggestions for new subcategories and the like.  I'll monitor that discussion and add new subcategories as appropriate.