Divide et impera: Modeling the relationship between canonical and noncanonical authors in the early modern natural philosophy network

Andrea Sangiacomo, Daan Beers

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This article aims to study the relationship between today’s canonical and noncanonical authors in the domain of early modern natural philosophy through the lens of social network analysis. By studying a massive corpus of letters (Electronic Enlightenment pro-ject), we examine the structural relationship between several of today’s canonical authors in natural philosophy and noncanonical women philosophers operating in the same network. We demonstrate the structure of this network and its effects on noncanonical authors. By modeling the case of women philosophers, we show that our model can be used to identify further noncanonical authors who had similar profiles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365–413
Number of pages49
JournalHOPOS: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1-Sep-2020


  • network analysis
  • canon
  • early modern philosophy
  • early modern science
  • women philosophers

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