Cartesianism as a Social Epidemic: A Network Analysis Approach

poster / demo / art installation
  1. 1. Paolo Rossini

    Leiden University

Work text
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The aim of this paper is to give a concrete example of how network analysis can be applied to study the dissemination of new ideas throughout history. The father of modern philosophy, René Descartes (1596--1650), is taken as a case study. To trace the rapid spread of Descartes' ideas across early modern Europe, I will rely on ePistolarium, a web archive of more than 20,000 digitized letters. Using the metadata and transcriptions of ePistolarium, I will model a network in which the edges will represent the letters mentioning Descartes and the nodes will represent the people connected by those letters. Studying the topology of the network, I will be able to determine which actors were more involved in spreading Descartes' ideas and the routes along which information about Descartes travelled.

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Conference Info

In review

ADHO - 2020
"carrefours / intersections"

Hosted at Carleton University, Université d'Ottawa (University of Ottawa)

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

July 20, 2020 - July 25, 2020

475 works by 1078 authors indexed

Conference cancelled due to coronavirus. Online conference held at Data for this conference were initially prepared and cleaned by May Ning.

Conference website:


Series: ADHO (15)

Organizers: ADHO