Philosophy at scale develops a new methodology of research in philosophy. It involves the application of information extraction tools/semantic analysis developed by computer scientists and applied to the full text data from philosophy books in close collaboration with philosophers.

A highly desirable goal for philosophers is to understand the dynamics of concepts developed in parallel across several philosophical schools. However, this is virtually impossible through hermeneutic methods which require painstakingly detailed analysis of written material and high demand of expertise on a broad spectrum of philosophy. By means of technology-supported exploration of the complete available material, Phil@scale tries to make it possible to answer core philosophical questions faster, more objectively, and on unprecedented scale. We shall detect quantitative, mostly statistical, similarities or oddities, and word density (in different parts of) Bernard Bolzano’s Wissenschaftslehre (and possible add the Scientific Notebooks).

There are two student assistants working at Phil@scale, a computer scientist and a philosopher. Sanne Vrijenhoek is a master student in Artificial Intelligence, with a specialization in Intelligent Systems and an interest in making ‘human’ knowledge machine-processable. Pauline van Wierst is a master student in Philosophy, mainly interested in logic, the philosophy of science and language and the distinction between analytic and synthetic. In her master thesis she addresses the question whether for Bolzano the core of proper science consists of exclusively synthetic truths.

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