Louis Chartrand

Postdoctoral researcher
Deparment of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh
Laboratoire d'analyse cognitive de l'information
After a B.A. and a M.A. in philosophy, I've completed a Ph.D. in cognitive computer sciences (informatique cognitive) under the supervision of Jean-Guy Meunier and Mohamed Bouguessa. I'm currently a SSHRC-funded postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pittsburgh, under the supervision of Édouard Machery.

Current research

The Geography of Philosophy Project

The Geography of Philosophy Project, directed by Édouard Machery, Stephen Stitch and Clark Barrett, aims at mapping the diversity of epistemic concepts across cultures. My role in this project is to head the corpus study, which will gather corpora of textual data from nine different sites across the world, identify relevant epistemic concepts and compare them across cultures.

Conceptual analysis and textual data

In the last few decades, conceptual analysis has mostly been associated either with aprioricity and the physicalist programme on one side, or with intuitions and experimental philosophy on the other. None of these programmes have had much interest in texts. As a result, while discussions on methodology have become abundant in the last few years, there have been little interest in exploiting textual data, and on how it should be done. Drawing on the LATAO group's work in computer-assisted textual analysis in the last two decades, I want to adapt the methodologies we have developed for social science in general to philosophical analysis in particular, and root it in philosophical traditions, experimental philosophy in particular.

Concept mining

In order to facilitate analysis of a given concept in a corpus, I study how concepts and topics are expressed in textual discourse. Through the making of annotated corpuses, I study how experts and laypeople detect the presence or absence of a concept in text. Then, with the help of machine learning and natural language processing techniques, I model concepts and topics and use those models to predict which concepts are present in any given textual segment. I've been pursuing this interest with the LATAO group and as part of an internship with Jackie Cheung.

Epistemics communities

As part of my work as an activist, I have been developing ways to facilitate inclusive and constructive discussion, be it for growth, empowerment, intellectual purposes or organization. As a researcher, I'm interested in how these groups act as vectors enabling knowledge construction and diffusion, and how they counteract epistemic injustice. Along with my colleagues from the Groupe-Réseaux, I study how groups and social networks interact with knowledge dynamics.