Shall we consider making Theory a separate category – alongside Data, Modeling, and others?
Suggested brief description of this category:
Theoretical foundations of computational humanities: basic premises, hypotheses, large-scale questions about cultural change.
Why should people use this category? What is it for?
The Theory category could contain questions like the one about stochasticity/drift by @folgert , as well as many others on cultural evolution (biases, complexity, innovation…), broader implications of computation in culture, etc. Also, it could become a place for sharing recent theoretical findings/papers. My opinion is that theory must become a crucial part of computational humanities. It is very important for formulating hypotheses and for sensible operationalization of these hypotheses.
How exactly is this different than the other categories we already have?
So far most categories seem to be focused on research methods. The Theory category would focus on hypotheses, big questions, and basic premises of computational humanities. The theoretical foundations, so to say.
What should topics in this category generally contain?
- Cultural evolution: drift, transmission biases, cultural complexity, cultural innovation.
- Basic assumptions of computational humanities. Say, should they be hypothesis-driven or exploratory? How should hypotheses be operationalized?
- Theories and concepts from other disciplines (linguistics, anthropology, complex systems theory, etc.) that can be useful for comput. humanities.
- Sharing the papers on novel theoretical findings relevant to comp. humanities.
Do we need this category? Can we merge with another category, or subcategory?
The most similar category, at the moment, is Modeling, but modeling is a more technical side of theorizing: not every theory is described with a mathematical model (though, ideally, it should).