2.13 Ancient

Category: History of Philosophy

Keywords: aristotle, parmenides, plato, platonic, republic, socrates, dialogue, greek, dialogues, soul, aquinas, ancient, wisdom, forms, met

Number of Articles: 418
Percentage of Total: 1.3%
Rank: 25th

Weighted Number of Articles: 293.6
Percentage of Total: 0.9%
Rank: 48th

Mean Publication Year: 1957.9
Weighted Mean Publication Year: 1957.9
Median Publication Year: 1962
Modal Publication Year: 1964

Topic with Most Overlap: Ordinary Language (0.0584)
Topic this Overlaps Most With: Universals and Particulars (0.0174)
Topic with Least Overlap: Formal Epistemology (0.00028)
Topic this Overlaps Least With: Races and DNA (0.00012)

A scatterplot showing which proportion of articles each year are in the ancienttopic. 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 1909 when 4.2% of articles were in this topic. The lowest value is in 1885 when 0.0% of articles were in this topic. The full table that provides the data for this graph is available in Table A.13 in Appendix A.

Figure 2.37: Ancient.

A set of twelve scatterplots showing the proportion of articles in each journal in each year that are in the Ancienttopic. 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 - 1.6%. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society - 1.3%. Ethics - 0.5%. Philosophical Review - 2.4%. Analysis - 0.3%. Philosophy and Public Affairs - 0.1%. Journal of Philosophy - 0.7%. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research - 0.8%. Philosophy of Science - 0.2%. Noûs - 0.6%. The Philosophical Quarterly - 1.7%. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science - 0.2%. The topic reaches its zenith in year 1909 when it makes up, on average across the journals, 3.7% of the articles. And it hits a minimum in year 1885 when it makes up, on average across the journals, 0.0% of the articles.

Figure 2.38: Ancient articles in each journal.

Table 2.33: Characteristic articles of the ancient topic.
Table 2.34: Highly cited articles in the ancient topic.


One of the reasons I ended up with ninety topics was because when I ran this model with sixty to seventy-five topics, it kept putting a weird subset of the Plato papers in with other topics. This was odd because sorting the ancient philosophy papers neatly together was something that just about every other model run did perfectly. And I thought it should be easy for this one too, if I just bumped up the number of topics a bit. And eventually it happened. I kind of expected that I’d have more models that separated Aristotle from Plato, but I don’t think I ever saw that.

The publication numbers are much as I expected. The raw numbers outrun the weighted numbers, which is possibly surprising. If there was more name checking of ancient philosophy in contemporary works—meaning there were a bunch of things that are not really ancient philosophy papers but which had just enough ancient philosophy to confuse the model—it would be the other way around. But the model knows that the word platonism in a metaphysics or philosophy of math paper doesn’t mean we’re maybe doing ancient philosophy.

Still, it does end up being twenty-fifth of the ninety topics. Given the relative importance of books to papers in ancient philosophy, and the complete lack of interest in ancient philosophy from some of these journals, I feared it could be lower than this.