History of Philosophy in Ones and Zeros

In M. Curtis & Eugen Fischer (eds.), Methodological Advances in Experimental Philosophy. Londen, Verenigd Koninkrijk: pp. 295-332 (2019)
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How can we best reconstruct the origin of a notion, its development, and possible spread to multiple fields? We present a pilot study on the spread of the notion of conceptual scheme. Though the notion is philosophically important, its origin, development, and spread are unclear. Several purely qualitative and competing historical hypotheses have been offered, which rely on disconnected disciplinary traditions, and have never been tested all at once in a single comprehensive investigation fitting the scope of its subject matter. As a step toward such an investigation, we trace the use of the bigram “conceptual scheme” in about 42,000 US journal articles in social sciences from 1888-1959 by using a novel method combining a quantitative procedure aided by basic computational techniques with qualitative elements informed by Betti and van den Berg (2014)’s ‘model approach to the history of ideas’.



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Author Profiles

Hein Van Den Berg
University of Amsterdam
Arianna Betti
University of Amsterdam

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