Exploring the history of American philosophy in a computer-assisted framework

Guido Bonino and Paolo Tripodi, in collaboration with Davide Pulizzotto, LANCI, Laboratoire d’ANalyse Cognitive de l’Information, Université du Québec à Montréal

Our main aim is to check to what extent some tools for computer-assisted conceptual analysis (Text Mining and Natural Language Processing) can be applied to texts endowed with complex and sophisticated contents, so as to yield results that are significant not only because of the technical success of the procedures leading to the results themselves, but also because the results, though highly conjectural, are a direct contribution to the humanities. Philosophy, in particular the history of philosophy, seems to be a good case to be considered, because of the sophistication of its contents. Our main purpose is that of illustrating some of the different kinds of work that can be done in history of philosophy with the aid of computer-assisted conceptual analysis. The corpus taken into account is the same as the one analysed in investigation 1 above.