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2008-12-17
High Level Categorization for 17th /18th
I started sorting the last JHP and the first three entries went into various miscellania. This is mostly a fluke of the volume, I think. I would expect the great majority of History of Philosophy papers to fall under some listed name, and most history papers are on a single figure.  Still, we should worry about getting the high level categories right so that secondary figures aren't scattered to the winds.  It would be nice to sort all the occasionalists together, regardless of nationality.  Likewise, it would be nice to get all the Cartesians together and all the unlisted philosophers in ethics and politics.  Once history starts to fill up, you really don't want to put everyone who isn't German, British, or French into 17/18th c. Misc.
Along those lines, Rousseau is listed under French philosophy when he really is Swiss.

On preview I find A's with circumflexes scattered through the message.  I'd delete them, but maybe it counts as a bug.

2008-12-17
High Level Categorization for 17th /18th
Yes, we'll have various other categories for historical periods eventually -- both for more individuals and for groups and themes.  Exactly how we'll do that is as yet undecided.  Proposals are welcome.

Rousseau is a tricky case -- born in Geneva, buried in the Pantheon!  He's often described as Swiss-French, and Encyclopedia Britannica says "Swiss-born French philosopher".  As we don't have a category for Swiss philosophers of the period (yet, at least), putting him with French philosophers seemed to make sense.

The weird a's don't show up in my machine, but if they show up in yours, you might mention this in the bug report forum.

2008-12-17
High Level Categorization for 17th /18th
I'm actually warming up to using geography as a high-level division on the tree.  It's easier to tell whether Tschirnhaus was German than whether he was a Spinozaist.  What I wouldn't like to see is Vico and Spinoza put together in a grab-bag.  
If we can make France elastic for Rousseau, we can make France elastic.  How about diving Europe up into
1) British (including colonial American)
2) French, Italian, Spanish (including French-speakers from the Low Countries and Switzerland) 
3) Dutch, German, Eastern European.

The line between 2 and 3 could be whether the author grew up speaking a Romance language.  If we find any Romanian philosophers from the period, we can class them with the French.  They'll like that.

Now preview isn't working at all, so I can't look for A's with circumflexes.  (My previous message looks fine to me now.) Either I should switch to Firefox, or I should keep running Safari to keep a running list of bugs.  On a third try, preview is working, and there are scattered circumflexes.

2008-12-26
High Level Categorization for 17th /18th
After having filing a bunch of AGP, BJHP, and JHP papers and thinking about it for a while, I've got the following thoughts.
The three main tasks for the bibliography are 
1) Classify the great majority of papers by personal name as subject
2) Divide up the great names in appropriate bunches 
3) Have a reasonably enlightening way of classifying the names.

The first task suggests being generous with who gets a named category.  I would urge that anyone with an article devoted to his work gets one.

The second pulls the category level of names upward, the third downward.  I suggest aiming to have groups of about eight names on the third level.  The first level should be time period.

For ancient, the second should be school (Platonist, Stoic, etc.).  For medieval, there shouldn't be two time categories, one after the other.  The first should be sufficiently narrow to end up with name groups of eight, and the second should be religion.  (Both of these should probably wait until an expert categorizes a bunch of articles from the relevant specialist journals.)

For 17th and 18th, last I checked, there were articles devoted to 51 figures, which suggests aiming for about 7 categories on the third level.  I suggest using 17th and 18th at the top level, and then below that

17th
  • Dutch and German (Grotius, van Helmont, Beeckman, Spinoza, Leibniz, Tschirnhaus)  
  • Italian and French (Galileo, Gassendi, Descartes, Lamy, Desgabets, Arnauld, Fontenelle, Malebranche, Cordemoy, la Forge, Pascal, Bayle)  
  • British (Bacon, Hobbes, Cavendish,  Whichcote, More, Boyle, Locke, Newton)  




18th
  • German (Wolff, Plocquets, Maimon, Meier, Baumgarten, Kant, Novalis, Herder)   
  • French and Italian (Vico, Voltaire, Rousseau, Condillac)  
  • English and Irish (Shaftesbury, Clarke, Berkeley, Collier, Butler, Wollstonecraft)  
  • Scottish (Ramsay, Hutcheson, Hume, Reid, Smith)