2.8 Beauty

Category: Aesthetics

Keywords: artistic, esthetic, art, aesthetics, poetry, poem, aesthetic, music, artist, critic, literary, arts, musical, beautiful, beauty

Number of Articles: 560
Percentage of Total: 1.7%
Rank: 8th

Weighted Number of Articles: 319.4
Percentage of Total: 1%
Rank: 43rd

Mean Publication Year: 1954.3
Weighted Mean Publication Year: 1954.2
Median Publication Year: 1954
Modal Publication Year: 1961

Topic with Most Overlap: Ordinary Language (0.0597)
Topic this Overlaps Most With: Depiction (0.0312)
Topic with Least Overlap: Formal Epistemology (0.00018)
Topic this Overlaps Least With: Explanation (0.00021)

A scatterplot showing which proportion of articles each year are in the beautytopic. 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 1944 when 4.2% of articles were in this topic. The lowest value is in 1886 when 0.0% of articles were in this topic. The full table that provides the data for this graph is available in Table A.8 in Appendix A.

Figure 2.27: Beauty.

A set of twelve scatterplots showing the proportion of articles in each journal in each year that are in the Beautytopic. 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 - 0.8%. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society - 1.4%. Ethics - 0.6%. Philosophical Review - 1.1%. Analysis - 0.3%. Philosophy and Public Affairs - 0.1%. Journal of Philosophy - 2.1%. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research - 1.5%. Philosophy of Science - 0.1%. Noûs - 0.4%. The Philosophical Quarterly - 1.1%. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science - 0.1%. The topic reaches its zenith in year 1890 when it makes up, on average across the journals, 4.0% of the articles. And it hits a minimum in year 1886 when it makes up, on average across the journals, 0.0% of the articles.

Figure 2.28: Beauty articles in each journal.

Table 2.22: Characteristic articles of the beauty topic.
Table 2.23: Highly cited articles in the beauty topic.


The striking thing about this topic is how confident the model is that articles from both ends of the timeline belong together.

Table 2.24: Bernard Bosanquet, E. Wake Cook and David G. Ritchie, “Symposium: The Relation Of The Fine Arts To One Another.”
Subject Probability
Beauty 0.4932
Idealism 0.1749
Life and value 0.0981
Psychology 0.0604
Ordinary language 0.0429
Table 2.25: Dominic McIver Lopes, “The Myth Of (Non-Aesthetic) Artistic Value.”
Subject Probability
Beauty 0.6125
Value 0.1799
Theories and realism 0.0392
Arguments 0.0354
Universals and particulars 0.0293
Norms 0.0281

It knows that Bosanquet is an idealist and McIver Lopes is not. But it also knows that despite that, they have a subject matter in common. This isn’t something you see for many other topics. The same thing happens with the temporal paradoxes and, to a lesser extent, with colour. But it is particularly marked here.