The Entire Discipline of Philosophy Visualized with Mapping Software: See All of the Complex Networks

philosophy tax 3

Dai­ly Nous, a web­site about phi­los­o­phy and the phi­los­o­phy pro­fes­sion, recent­ly fea­tured a detailed map­ping of the entire dis­ci­pline of phi­los­o­phy, cre­at­ed by an enter­pris­ing French grad stu­dent, Valentin Lageard. Draw­ing on a tax­on­o­my pro­vid­ed by PhilPa­pers, Lageard used Net­workX (a Python soft­ware pack­age that lets you study the struc­ture and dynam­ics of com­plex net­works) to map out the major fields of phi­los­o­phy, and show how they relate to var­i­ous sub-fields and even sub-sub-fields. The image above shows the com­plete map, reveal­ing the aston­ish­ing size of phi­los­o­phy as an over­all field. The images below let you see what hap­pens when you zoom in and move down to dif­fer­ent lev­els.

philosophy taxonomy 2

To explore the map, head over to Dai­ly Nous–or open this image, click on it, wait for it to expand (it takes a sec­ond), and then start maneu­ver­ing through the net­works.

If you’re inter­est­ed in see­ing phi­los­o­phy dia­grammed from anoth­er point of view, check out this post in our archive: The His­to­ry of Phi­los­o­phy, from 600 B.C.E. to 1935, Visu­al­ized in Two Mas­sive, 44-Foot High Dia­grams.

philos tax 4

via Dai­ly Nous

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

The His­to­ry of Phi­los­o­phy Visu­al­ized

Free Online Phi­los­o­phy Cours­es

Leo Strauss: 15 Polit­i­cal Phi­los­o­phy Cours­es Online

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Comments (4)
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  • Fustbariclation says:

    It isn’t clear what the con­nec­tions in the graph rep­re­sent, they aren’t labelled.

    If this was writ­ten in dot, the handy graph defin­ing lan­guage used by graphviz, and omn­i­graf­fle, it’d be use­ful to have the orig­i­nal dot file, so this could be cor­rect­ed.

  • Dr John Rowan says:

    This is real­ly a load of old cob­blers, isn’t it?

  • Dr. Michael Stanley-Baker says:

    I agree with Dr. Rowan.

    I thought the tidi­ness of this graph very sus­pi­cious. It is in fact not a “map of the dis­ci­pline of phi­los­o­phy” it’s a map of the bib­li­o­graph­ic hier­ar­chies of the web­site Philpa­pers. It does not rep­re­sent the over­lap or inter­con­nec­tion of the thought that these hier­ar­chies attempt to describe.

    The link to “The His­to­ry of Phi­los­o­phy Visu­alised” is in fact much more reveal­ing, as it visu­alis­es the dis­tri­b­u­tion of influ­ence of dif­fer­ent philoso­phers. That again is based on Wikipedia depic­tions and does not emerge from the source texts them­selves.

    These should be thought of as direc­tions to take DH visu­al­i­sa­tions, but please, describe your sources more accu­rate­ly.

    A next step might be to visu­alise the tags of each of the papers list­ed in Phil papers, to show the actu­al inter­con­nec­tions between the lit­er­a­ture. That would be a much more sub­stan­tive rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

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