Computers and the Humanities

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 261–275 | Cite as

Frame-based representation of philosophical systems using a knowledge engineering tool

  • Maryvonne Longeart
  • Gilbert Boss
  • Douglas Skuce


This article addresses the methodological problem of the non-linear representation of philosophical systems in a computerized knowledge base. It is a problem of knowledge representation as defined in the field of artificial intelligence. Instead of a purely theoretical discussion of the issue, we present selected results of a practical experiment which has in itself some theoretical significance. We show how one can represent different philosophies using CODE, a knowledge engineering system developed by artificial intelligence researchers. The hypothesis is that such a computer based representation of philosophical systems can give insight into their conceptual structure. We argue that computer aided text analysis can apply knowledge representation tools and techniques developed in artificial intelligence and we estimate how philosophers as well as knowledge engineers could gain from this cross-fertilization. This paper should be considered as an experiment report on the use of knowledge representation techniques in computer aided text analysis. It is part of a much broader project on the representation of conceptual structures in an expert system. However, we intentionally avoided technical issues related to either Computer Science or History of Philosophy to focus on the benefit to enhance traditional humanistic studies with tools and methods developed in AI on the one hand and the need to develop more appropriate tools on the other.

Key Words

conceptual analysis knowledge representation knowledge engineering semantic networks text analysis 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maryvonne Longeart
    • 1
  • Gilbert Boss
    • 2
  • Douglas Skuce
    • 3
  1. 1.Département d'informatiqueUniversité du Québec à HullHull, QuébecCanada
  2. 2.Faculté de philosophieUniversité LavalQuébecCanada
  3. 3.Computer Science Department, Artificial Intelligence LaboratoryUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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