The Open Peer Review Project has started!

Several participants to the DR2 Conference agreed to publish some short versions of the conference talks in the form of working papers. 

With the aim of maximizing the quality of the discussion and the dissemination of our works, we propose to set up a process of Open Peer Review.

The working papers will be published as separate posts at regular intervals on a twin blog, which you can easily reach starting from the main blog (see button on the right). On the twin blog, readers will be allowed to comment in the margins of the posts.

The working papers will move to this main blog after the review, and a new working paper will undergo the same process.

A final publication will collect the working papers, the results of the Open Peer Review and maybe those discussions that should deserve to be reproduced. The publication venue will be a special issue of the Journal of Interdisciplinary History of Ideas.

We are happy to announce that the first working paper – Mark Alfano (Delft University of Technology and Australian Catholic University), A semantic-network approach to the history of philosophy, or, What does  Nietzsche talk about when he talks about emotion? – has now been published at this link on the Open Peer Review blog. You are all are invited to read and comment on it.

You can find the instructions for commenting on the Oper Peer Review blog’s homepage.


Have you ever read an article that makes claims like, “Plato often talks about W” or “Kant typically associates X and Y” or “In his early work, Nietzsche seldom engages with Z”? I have. When I read these claims, I want to ask simple-minded questions like, “How often?” and, “What do you mean, ‘typically’?” and, “How seldom is seldom?” If these sorts of claims have any evidential value, it should be possible to verify or falsify them. Or — to turn the conditional around — if it’s not possible to verify or falsify them, then these sorts of claims have no evidential value.

As preparation for my in-progress book on Nietzsche’s moral psychology, I’m developing a methodology for quantifying, mapping, and analyzing the concepts used in philosophical corpora. My hope is that this methodology will make it possible to answer the simple-minded questions mentioned above, and that answering these questions systematically will lead to new insights. Furthermore, if my approach is on the right track, it should be fairly easy to retool it for the study of corpora by other philosophers, as well as corpus comparisons between (groups of) philosophers. [… continues at this link]

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