2.1 Psychology

Category: Philosophy of Mind

Keywords: sensation, psychical, sensations, nervous, motor, psychic, organs, movements, attention, organ, intensity, association, volition, connexion, physiological

Number of Articles: 545
Percentage of Total: 1.7%
Rank: 10th

Weighted Number of Articles: 428.3
Percentage of Total: 1.3%
Rank: 19th

Mean Publication Year: 1911.7
Weighted Mean Publication Year: 1921.1
Median Publication Year: 1904
Modal Publication Year: 1892

Topic with Most Overlap: Idealism (0.052)
Topic this Overlaps Most With: Emotions (0.0378)
Topic with Least Overlap: Formal Epistemology (0.00015)
Topic this Overlaps Least With: Vagueness (7e-05)

A scatterplot showing which proportion of articles each year are in the psychologytopic. The x-axis shows the year, the y-axis measures the proportion of articles each year in this topic. There is one dot per year. The highest value is in 1889 when 29.9% of articles were in this topic. The lowest value is in 2012 when 0.1% of articles were in this topic. The full table that provides the data for this graph is available in Table A.1 in Appendix A.

Figure 2.3: Psychology.

A set of twelve scatterplots showing the proportion of articles in each journal in each year that are in the Psychologytopic. There is one scatterplot for each of the twelve journals that are the focus of this book. In each scatterplot, the x-axis is the year, and the y-axis is the proportion of articles in that year in that journal in this topic. Here are the average values for each of the twelve scatterplots - these tell you on average how much of the journal is dedicated to this topic. Mind - 5.2%. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society - 3.6%. Ethics - 0.1%. Philosophical Review - 1.9%. Analysis - 0.3%. Philosophy and Public Affairs - 0.0%. Journal of Philosophy - 0.7%. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research - 0.8%. Philosophy of Science - 0.5%. Noûs - 0.2%. The Philosophical Quarterly - 0.5%. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science - 0.5%. The topic reaches its zenith in year 1889 when it makes up, on average across the journals, 29.9% of the articles. And it hits a minimum in year 2009 when it makes up, on average across the journals, 0.1% of the articles.

Figure 2.4: Psychology articles in each journal.

Table 2.4: Characteristic articles of the psychology topic.
Table 2.5: Highly cited articles in the psychology topic.


Several philosophy journals started their lives as combined journals of philosophy and psychology. Most notably for our purposes, Mind is as much a psychology journal as a philosophy journal for several years. And this topic collects those articles.

It isn’t entirely what is now called psychology. George Dawes Hicks was an important philosopher, and longtime president of the Aristotelian Society (Keeling 1941). He read a lot of papers to the society, and it wasn’t uncommon when I was building these models to have a run produce a topic that was largely centered on his work. But he ends up being relatively peripheral to the story this model tells, for better or worse.

Perhaps relatedly, we shouldn’t think of the boundary between philosophy and psychology in the prewar years as being as strict as it was for much of the twentieth century. As Omar W. Nasim notes in his introduction to the Aristotelian Society’s virtual issue on the emergence of analytic philosophy, even an issue like the existence of the external world was often viewed by philosophers at the time as a psychological issue (Nasim 2014).

One thing that surprised me a little was that the model didn’t take the recent empirical turn in philosophy of mind as a reason to put more articles into this topic. I would not have been surprised if some recent work on attention, for example, had turned up. But the model seems to have figured out that this topic is pretty much dead as far as the philosophy journals are concerned.