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Publication . Article . 2014

Modelling the History of Ideas

Arianna Betti; Hein van den Berg;
Open Access
Published: 01 Nov 2014 Journal: British Journal for the History of Philosophy, volume 22, issue 4, pages 812-835 (issn: 0960-8788, Copyright policy )
Country: Netherlands

We propose a new method for the history of ideas that has none of the shortcomings so often ascribed to this approach. We call this method the model approach to the history of ideas. We argue that any adequately developed and implementable method to trace (dis)continuities in the history of human thought, or concept drift, will require that historians use explicit interpretive conceptual frameworks. We call these frameworks models. We argue that models enhance the comprehensibility of historical texts, and provide historians of ideas with a method that, unlike existing approaches, is susceptible neither to common holistic criticisms nor to Skinner's objections that the history of ideas yields arbitrary and biased reconstructions. To illustrate our proposal, we discuss the so-called Classical Model of Science and draw upon work in computer science and cognitive psychology.

Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Epistemology Trace (semiology) Sociology History of ideas Conceptual framework Concept drift

ACM Computing Classification System: ComputingMethodologies_DOCUMENTANDTEXTPROCESSING GeneralLiterature_REFERENCE(e.g.,dictionaries,encyclopedias,glossaries)


methodology of the history of philosophy, history of ideas, models, concept drift, schemata, history of scientific methodology, Lovejoy, Kuukkanen, Philosophy

Related Organizations
35 references, page 1 of 4

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Funded by
Tarski’s Revolution: A New History. Semantics and Axiomatics from Bolzano to Tarski against the background of the Classical Model of Science
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 203194
  • Funding stream: FP7 | SP2 | ERC
Related to Research communities
Social Science and Humanities