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 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.

So 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 (peterbradley AT ferris 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 Journals with no wordcount do not publish their abstracts on the RSS feed - some of Wiley's journals do, and some don't. I'm including all here so they will 'turn on' as Wiley releases more abstracts.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

Director, The Honors Program at Ferris State University

Office: HFE 131

Email: peterbradleyATferris.edu

Specializes in Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind, Cognitive Science

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      Analysis  Source RSS Feed


    Analysis overall word count:
    Details RSS
    RankWordCount
    1problem7
    2justification6
    3twodimensional6
    4nesting6
    5nested5
    6environments5
    7state4
    8true4
    9false4
    10claim4

      Analytic Philosophy  Source RSS Feed


    Analytic Philosophy overall word count:
    Details RSS
    RankWordCount

      Bioethics  Source RSS Feed


    Bioethics overall word count:
    Details RSS
    RankWordCount
    1claim5
    2arguments5
    3organ5
    4many4
    5donation4
    6immunity3
    7exploitative3
    8details3
    9would3
    10academic3

      Dialectica  Source RSS Feed


    Dialectica overall word count:
    Details RSS
    RankWordCount

      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
    1everyday5
    2study4
    3lewis3
    4confucius2
    5agamben2
    6order2
    7through2
    8work2
    9studier2
    10three2

      Erkenntnis  Source RSS Feed


    Erkenntnis overall word count:
    Details RSS
    RankWordCount
    1knowledge9
    2borels8
    3necessary7
    4ful6
    5thesis6
    6horn5
    7problem4
    8norm4
    9essay4
    10vagueness4

      Informal Logic  Source RSS Feed


    Informal Logic overall word count:
    Details RSS
    RankWordCount
    1argumentation20
    2arguments19
    3theory15
    4logic13
    5their10
    6reasoning8
    7informal8
    8argumentative8
    9expert6
    10opinion6

      Journal for the General Philosophy of Science  Source RSS Feed


    Journal for the General Philosophy of Science overall word count:
    Details RSS
    RankWordCount
    1scientific11
    2science9
    3machine8
    4physics8
    5turings7
    6progress6
    7approach6
    8implicit6
    9paradox5
    10different5

      Journal of Logic Language and Information  Source RSS Feed


    Journal of Logic Language and Information overall word count:
    Details RSS
    RankWordCount
    1information14
    2agents12
    3awareness8
    4logic7
    5abductive6
    6verification6
    7semantics6
    8logics6
    9system6
    10verb5

      Journal of Philosophic Logic  Source RSS Feed


    Journal of Philosophic Logic overall word count:
    Details RSS
    RankWordCount
    1logic15
    2modal11
    3possible10
    4epistemic9
    5worlds9
    6will8
    7closure7
    8theory5
    9firstorder5
    10logics5

      Linguistics And Philosophy  Source RSS Feed


    Linguistics And Philosophy overall word count:
    Details RSS
    RankWordCount
    1semantics7
    2automata6
    3practical6
    4linguistic5
    5indicative5
    6conditional5
    7existence5
    8antecedent5
    9clause5
    10john5

      Midwest Studies in Philosophy  Source RSS Feed


    Midwest Studies in Philosophy overall word count:
    Details RSS
    RankWordCount

      Minds and Machines  Source RSS Feed


    Minds and Machines overall word count:
    Details RSS
    RankWordCount
    1information26
    2abstraction8
    3program8
    4computational6
    5philosophy6
    6questions5
    7ht5
    8method5
    9floridis4
    10emotion4

      Nous  Source RSS Feed


    Nous overall word count:
    Details RSS
    RankWordCount
    1views5
    2explanation4
    3causal4
    4realism4
    5deweys4
    6provide3
    7many3
    8causes3
    9optimality3
    10against3

      Philosophical Issues  Source RSS Feed


    Philosophical Issues overall word count:
    Details RSS
    RankWordCount
    1reasons7
    2epistemic7
    3actions3
    4wrong2
    5attitudes2
    6beliefs2
    7structure2
    8sense2
    9agency2
    10active1

      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
    1parfits6
    2numbers5
    3against4
    4consequentialism4
    5arguments4
    6desert4
    7mathematical4
    8credences4
    9argued3
    10theory3

      Philosophical Studies  Source RSS Feed


    Philosophical Studies overall word count:
    Details RSS
    RankWordCount
    1reasons8
    2epistemic8
    3virtue8
    4selfcontrol6
    5will5
    6h25
    7free5
    8fines5
    9experiences5
    10h15

      Philosophy and Phenomenological Research  Source RSS Feed


    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research overall word count:
    Details RSS
    RankWordCount
    1epistemic8
    2luck6
    3grounding5
    4intrinsicality4
    5terms4
    6reactive3
    7theories3
    8promise3
    9communicative3
    10adequate3

      Ratio  Source RSS Feed


    Ratio overall word count:
    Details RSS
    RankWordCount
    1moral7
    2incompleteness6
    3arguments6
    4cappelen5
    5twt5
    6rationalism5
    7located4
    8version4
    9overridingness4
    10thesis4

      Studies in Philosophy and Education  Source RSS Feed


    Studies in Philosophy and Education overall word count:
    Details RSS
    RankWordCount
    1education24
    2citizenship10
    3islam9
    4world8
    5empirical8
    6islamic7
    7philosophical7
    8public6
    9my6
    10research6

      Synthese  Source RSS Feed


    Synthese overall word count:
    Details RSS
    RankWordCount
    1knowledge21
    2epistemic10
    3logical9
    4cognitive8
    5implicit7
    6justification6
    7thought6
    8concept6
    9perceptual6
    10both5

      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
    1test3
    2will3
    3obstacle3
    4responsibility3
    5x3
    6moral3
    7acting2
    8question2
    9responsible2
    10nature2

      The Southern Journal of Philosophy  Source RSS Feed


    The Southern Journal of Philosophy overall word count:
    Details RSS
    RankWordCount


    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
    1knowledge63
    2theory63
    3information55
    4their53
    5epistemic52
    6arguments50
    7will49
    8logic47
    9moral40
    10both37
    11show35
    12analysis35
    13been35
    14other34
    15claim34
    16model34
    17education34
    18possible33
    19first33
    20philosophy32
    21terms31
    22way31
    23only30
    24agents30
    25logical30
    26any29
    27use28
    28certain27
    29thesis27
    30problem27
    31particular26
    32different26
    33notion26
    34cognitive25
    35reasons25
    36science25
    37true25
    38argumentation25
    39my25
    40do25
    41semantic25
    42many25
    43case25
    44should24
    45semantics24
    46approach23
    47concept23
    48theories23
    49modal23
    50used23
    51reasoning23
    52cannot23
    53general23
    54article23
    55question22
    56all22
    57given22
    58must22
    59principle21
    60framework21
    61present21
    62epistemology21
    63does21
    64makes20
    65language20
    66when20
    67into20
    68argued20
    69research20
    70process20
    71provide20
    72logics20
    73against20
    74explanation19
    75essay19


    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
    May 2013 restart:
    Wordle: Trends in Philosophy 13
    Last updated 04/20/14 12:04:35