Authors
Oliver Lean
University of Bristol
Luca Rivelli
Université Catholique de Louvain
Charles H. Pence
Université Catholique de Louvain
Abstract
Philosophers of science regularly use scientific publications in their research. To make their analyses of the literature more thorough, some have begun to use computational methods from the digital humanities. Yet this creates a tension: it’s become a truism in science studies that the contents of scientific publications do not accurately reflect the complex realities of scientific investigation. In this paper, we outline existing views on how scientific publications fit into the broader picture of science as a system of practices, and find that none of these views exclude articles as valuable sources for philosophical inquiry. Far from ignoring the gap between texts and practice, proper use of DH tools requires, and can even contribute to, our understanding of that gap and its implications.
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