Mapping the History of Philosophy

This is an interesting piece called Graphing the history of philosophy on Drunks&Lampposts. It uses data sets from Wikipedia’s “Influenced” sections on entries of philosophers. Interestingly the graph also groups together philosophers from related ‘schools’ of thought, the section above is cut from the “Continental” tradition.

From Simon Raper,

Each philosopher is a node in the network and the lines between them (or edges in the terminology of graph theory) represents lines of influence. The node and text are sized according to the number of connections (both in and out). The algorithm that visualises the graph also tends to put the better connected nodes in the centre of the diagram so we see the most influential philosophers, in large text, clustered in the centre. It all seems about right with the major figures in the western philosophical tradition taking the centre stage. (I need to also add the direction of influence with a arrow head – something I’ve not got round to yet.) A shortcoming however is that this evaluation only takes into account direct lines of influence. Indirect influence via another person in the network does not enter into it. This probably explains why Descartes is smaller than you’d think. It would also be better if the nodes were sized only by the number of outward connections although I think overall the differences would be slight. I’ll get round to that.

The full file can be found Here. It’s licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.