Computational history of knowledge: Challenges and opportunities
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So far, the twenty-first century has been defined by an ever-increasing availability of digital data and substantial advances in computational methods. Taken together, these developments have already affected all aspects of our lives, including the ways research in the sciences and the humanities is conducted. This computational turn is often viewed with unease. But as this essay argues, it also offers exciting new perspectives for the history of knowledge. Rather than fighting these trends, the essay suggests, by embracing new possibilities and actively participating in the development of new computational methodologies the history of knowledge can act as a bridge between the world of the humanities, with its tradition of close reading and detailed understanding of individual cases, and the world of big data and computational analysis. We can gain novel perspectives on the evolution of knowledge that are both detailed and broad.
Author Posting. © University of Chicago Press, 2019. This article is posted here by permission of University of Chicago Press for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Laubichler, M. D., Maienschein, J., & Renn, J. Computational history of knowledge: Challenges and opportunities. Isis, 110(3), (2019): 502-512, doi: 10.1086/705544.