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The central theme of my lecture is the way in which scholars throughout the ages have sought to identify reasoning patterns in disciplines like philology, art theory, musicology, linguistics, literary theory and historiography. What rules can we apply if we wish to determine whether a tale about the past is trustworthy? By what criteria are we to distinguish consonant from dissonant musical intervals? What rules jointly describe all possible grammatical sentences in a language? How can modern digital methods enhance pattern-seeking in the humanities? I contend that the hallowed opposition between the sciences (mathematical, experimental, dominated by universal laws) and the humanities (allegedly concerned with unique events and hermeneutic methods) is a mistake born of a myopic failure to appreciate the way of reasoning that lies at the heart of this inquiry.

Detail Summary
Date 11 March 2019
Time 18:00 - 19:00
Photographer: Jeroen Oerlemans
Speaker: Rens Bod is professor of Digital Humanities, director of the Center for Digital Humanities and director of the Vossius Center for the History of Humanities and Sciences. He investigates the humanities from both computational and historical perspectives. He currently serves as president of the Society for the History of the Humanities and is a member of Royal Dutch Society of Sciences and Humanities (“Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen”) and of the Society for the Dutch Letters (“Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde”).
Location: Common Room
Amsterdam University College
Science Park 113, 1098 XG
Convenor: Dora Achourioti