Natural Language Processing and Semantic Network Visualization for Philosophers

In Eugen Fischer & Mark Curtis (eds.), Methodological Advances in Experimental Philosophy. Bloomsbury (forthcoming)
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Progress in philosophy is difficult to achieve because our methods are evidentially and rhetorically weak. In the last two decades, experimental philosophers have begun to employ the methods of the social sciences to address philosophical questions. However, the adequacy of these methods has been called into question by repeated failures of replication. Experimental philosophers need to incorporate more robust methods to achieve a multi-modal perspective. In this chapter, we describe and showcase cutting-edge methods for data-mining and visualization. Big data is a useful investigatory tool for moral psychology, and it fits well with the Ramsification method the first author advances in a series of recent papers. The guiding insight of these papers is that we can infer the meaning and structure of concepts from patterns of assertions and inferential associations in natural language.
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