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11. Research Report | Forms, Patterns, Structures: Citation Analysis and the History of Analytic Philosophy


In this brief note I discuss two citation analysis-based studies in history of analytic philosophy that I recently published, highlighting some of their methodological features. In the first section, I sum up the two studies, focusing on the three methodologies that were used (citation counting, co-citation analysis, and citation context analysis). In the second section, I advance three remarks on these studies. Firstly, I argue that citation analysis methods shed light on the form rather than the content of the object. Secondly, I argue that these methods frame the object under study at the documental level, instead of  the intellectual level studied by internalist and the social level studied by externalist history of philosophy. Thirdly, I point out that citation analysis unveils patterns that are invisible at the micro-scale and that are difficult to study by traditional methodologies. I argue that we need new theories and concepts to better understand the objects and phenomena we observe from this distant point of view. In the third section, I highlight the strengths and weaknesses of citation analysis. I conclude by stressing the need for an interdisciplinary research programme that integrates citation analysis, history of philosophy, and the social studies of science.

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ISSN 2280-8574. Published by GISI - UniTO. Hosted by Reg. Trib. Torino n. 9, 24-01-2011. Direttore responsabile: Simone Mammola. Contact: The JIHI editors. Book reviews contact: Simone Mammola.

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