Tracing the Life Cycle of Ideas in the Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Arjuna¬†Tuzzi

Table of contents

About this book


This book demonstrates how quantitative methods for text analysis can successfully combine with qualitative methods in the study of different disciplines of the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS). The book focuses on learning about the evolution of ideas of HSS disciplines through a distant reading of the contents conveyed by scientific literature, in order to retrieve the most relevant topics being debated over time. Quantitative methods, statistical techniques and software packages are used to identify and study the main subject matters of a discipline from raw textual data, both in the past and today. The book also deals with the concept of quality of life of words and aims to foster a discussion about the life cycle of scientific ideas.

Textual data retrieved from large corpora pose interesting challenges for any data analysis method and today represent a growing area of research in many fields. New problems emerge from the growing availability of large databases and new methods are needed to retrieve significant information from those large information sources. This book can be used to explain how quantitative methods can be part of the research instrumentation and the "toolbox" of scholars of Humanities and Social Sciences. The book contains numerous examples and a description of the main methods in use, with references to literature and available software. Most of the chapters of the book have been written in a non-technical language for HSS researchers without mathematical, computer or statistical backgrounds.


Text Mining Distant Reading Digital Methods Digital Humanities Life-Cycle of Ideas History of Ideas Pattern Recognition Knowledge Discovery Textual Data Analysis of Textual Data Chronological Textual Data Diachronic Corpora Historical Corpora Quantitative Epistemology Quantitative History

Editors and affiliations

  • Arjuna¬†Tuzzi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Education and Applied PsychologyUniversity of PadovaPadovaItaly

Bibliographic information