Trends in Philosophy: by word count

In the spring of '09, I was reading a Brian Leiter blog post about recent trends in Philosophy, and I became irritated at the complete and his total lack of data. Philosophers often behave that the discipline itself is knowable a priori, and can't be (or shouldn't be) studied using empirical methods.

I decided to do something about it. This page runs a simple word-count script that hauls in the RSS feeds from various Philosophical journals. Each of these contains abstracts from some set of recent papers (usually the past issue or so). The abstracts are broken up, common words ignored*, and the results tallied. Click 'Details' to see the specifics of which articles are included, their abstracts and even excerpts of where the words occur in those abstracts. Click 'RSS' to subscribe to the feed (one item, updated nightly) of the top ten words for that journal.

The word count for the entire set of abstracts is totaled in a table at the bottom of this page. It isn't as informative as you might think.

If you know of any journals with RSS feeds I've missed, email me (pbradley AT mcdaniel DOT edu) and I'll add them to the process. Journals with no wordcount do not publish their abstracts on the RSS feed - some of Wiley's journals do, and some don't. I'm including all here so they will 'turn on' as Wiley releases more abstracts.

The script that generates this page is covered by

Dr. Peter Bradley

Associate Professor of Philosophy
McDaniel College

Director of the First Year Seminar
McDaniel College - Class of 2016

Chair, Philosophy and Religious Studies Department
McDaniel College - Philosophy and McDaniel College - Religious Studies

Office: BMC 110
Hours: TTh 12:40-2:40.

Email: pbradleyATmcdaniel.edu

Specializes in Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind, Cognitive Science

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  Analysis  Source RSS Feed
Analysis overall word count:
Details RSS
RankWordCount

  Analytic Philosophy  Source RSS Feed
Analytic Philosophy overall word count:
Details RSS
RankWordCount

  Bioethics  Source RSS Feed
Bioethics overall word count:
Details RSS
RankWordCount
1heroin16
2research15
3moral14
4health9
5addicts8
6principle8
7goals7
8vital7
9should7
10responsiveness6

  Dialectica  Source RSS Feed
Dialectica overall word count:
Details RSS
RankWordCount
1words4
2dispositions4
3agent3
4problem3
5finitude3
6avoid3
7those2
8forms2
9version2
10traditional2

  Educational Philosophy and Theory  Source RSS Feed
Educational Philosophy and Theory overall word count:
Details RSS
RankWordCount
1moral10
2education9
3educators5
4rights5
5difficulties5
6theory4
7communitarian4
8external3
9deficiency3
10may3

  Educational Theory  Source RSS Feed
Educational Theory overall word count:
Details RSS
RankWordCount
1knowledge9
2tacit9
3new7
4progress6
5subjectivity5
6education4
7epistemic4
8inquiry4
9levinass4
10toom4

  Erkenntnis  Source RSS Feed

  Informal Logic  Source RSS Feed
Informal Logic overall word count:
Details RSS
RankWordCount
172011b
262011a
3arguments33
4argumentation29
5reasoning14
6theory12
7schemes10
8logic9
9system8
10safety8

  Journal for the General Philosophy of Science  Source RSS Feed

  Journal of Logic Language and Information  Source RSS Feed

  Journal of Philosophic Logic  Source RSS Feed

  Linguistics And Philosophy  Source RSS Feed

  Midwest Studies in Philosophy  Source RSS Feed
Midwest Studies in Philosophy overall word count:
Details RSS
RankWordCount

  Minds and Machines  Source RSS Feed

  Nous  Source RSS Feed
Nous overall word count:
Details RSS
RankWordCount
1agency6
2practical6
3should6
4positive5
5proxy5
6subject4
7sometimes4
8threshold4
9humes4
10shared4

  Philosophical Issues  Source RSS Feed
Philosophical Issues overall word count:
Details RSS
RankWordCount

  Philosophical Perspectives  Source RSS Feed
Philosophical Perspectives overall word count:
Details RSS
RankWordCount

  Philosophical Review  Source RSS Feed
Philosophical Review overall word count:
Details RSS
RankWordCount
1knowledge6
2modesty6
3offers4
4epistemic3
5probabilistic3
6disputes2
7story2
8theory2
9alternative2
10good2

  Philosophical Studies  Source RSS Feed

  Philosophy and Phenomenological Research  Source RSS Feed
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research overall word count:
Details RSS
RankWordCount
1knowledge9
2pragmatic7
3thisness6
4will6
5doctrine5
6luck5
7lucky5
8theory5
9justification5
10agency4

  Ratio  Source RSS Feed
Ratio overall word count:
Details RSS
RankWordCount
1version4
2ibe4
3best4
4physical3
5does3
6my3
7meaningful3
8values3
9concept3
10theories3

  Studies in Philosophy and Education  Source RSS Feed

  Synthese  Source RSS Feed

  The Philosophical Forum  Source RSS Feed
The Philosophical Forum overall word count:
Details RSS
RankWordCount

  The Philosophical Quarterly  Source RSS Feed
The Philosophical Quarterly overall word count:
Details RSS
RankWordCount
1accounts5
2conception3
3do3
4familiar3
5relationist3
6person3
7knowledge3
8assertion3
9withholding2
10act2

  The Southern Journal of Philosophy  Source RSS Feed
The Southern Journal of Philosophy overall word count:
Details RSS
RankWordCount
1emotions8
2intentionality6
3states5
4mental5
5philosophical4
6reflection4
7gutting4
8emotion3
9philosophers2
10play2


Just because I'm sure someone is going to ask, here's the top ten of the overall count--i.e. all the abstracts in one big pot. As you can see, it isn't very interesting:

  Overall word count  
Full overall word count:
RankWordCount
1arguments48
2theory35
3knowledge34
4moral34
5argumentation30
6reasoning30
7their27
8research21
9other20
10will20
11should20
12been19
13my18
14claim18
15principle17
16heroin16
17epistemic16
18way16
19does16
20show16
21education15
22only15
23best15
24concept14
25different14
26nature14
27first14
28new13
29cases13
30particular13
31good13
32health13
33do12
34version12
35model12
36explain12
37problem12
38certain12
39approach12
40many12
41logic12
42may12
43evidence12
44while11
45those11
46any11
47whether11
48agency11
49even11
50practical11
51article11
52given11
53premise10
54since10
55schemes10
56essay10
57shall10
58accounts10
59however10
60discussion10
61use10
62out10
63fallacies9
64beliefs9
65need9
66would9
67well9
68when9
69relevance9
70system9
71autonomy9
72terms9
73claims9
74case9
75tacit9


The common words ignored are:
a about account also an and are argue argument as as at be between but by can class for from has have he he her his how i if in is it its me more more most much no non not of on one or our paper s she so some such than that the then there these they this to two us very view was we were what which with you

Wordles:
2009-2010 Overall:
Wordle: Trends in Philosophy - 09-10
2010-2011 Overall:
Wordle: Trends in Philosophy 10-11
2011-2012 Overall:
Wordle: Trends in Philosophy 11-12
Last updated 04/01/13 03:04:49