2.41 War

Category: Social and Political

Keywords: military, war, nuclear, rule, voting, vote, deterrence, rules, violence, soviet, country, attack, majority, nations, nation

Number of Articles: 197
Percentage of Total: 0.6%
Rank: 77th

Weighted Number of Articles: 218.9
Percentage of Total: 0.7%
Rank: 77th

Mean Publication Year: 1975.8
Weighted Mean Publication Year: 1974.2
Median Publication Year: 1974
Modal Publication Year: 1985

Topic with Most Overlap: Liberal Democracy (0.0495)
Topic this Overlaps Most With: Liberal Democracy (0.0272)
Topic with Least Overlap: Beauty (0.00047)
Topic this Overlaps Least With: Psychology (0.00043)

A scatterplot showing which proportion of articles each year are in the wartopic. 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 1985 when 3.1% of articles were in this topic. The lowest value is in 1904 when 0.0% of articles were in this topic. The full table that provides the data for this graph is available in Table A.41 in Appendix A.

Figure 2.100: War.

A set of twelve scatterplots showing the proportion of articles in each journal in each year that are in the Wartopic. 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 - 0.4%. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society - 0.4%. Ethics - 3.1%. Philosophical Review - 0.3%. Analysis - 0.6%. Philosophy and Public Affairs - 3.3%. Journal of Philosophy - 0.4%. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research - 0.5%. Philosophy of Science - 0.4%. Noûs - 0.4%. The Philosophical Quarterly - 0.7%. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science - 0.3%. The topic reaches its zenith in year 1971 when it makes up, on average across the journals, 2.3% of the articles. And it hits a minimum in year 1904 when it makes up, on average across the journals, 0.0% of the articles.

Figure 2.101: War articles in each journal.

Table 2.87: Characteristic articles of the war topic.
Table 2.88: Highly cited articles in the war topic.


I’ve called this war, and that is mostly what it is, though there are two ways in which this is misleading.

One is that the topic is quite broadly about the ethics of what states do. For most of the period that I’m looking at, the state action that philosophers were most interested in was the act of going to war. But the topic includes articles on the relationship between states and international institutions, as well as a few articles on voting and democracy. I suspect that some recent work on immigration, and whether states are permitted to point guns at people who have the temerity to move around the world, would end up here if I extended the study to the present day.

The other, which is related, is that this topic is really focused on state-level actions. Contemporary philosophers writing about war have spent more time focusing on what is permissible and impermissible for individual soldiers to do. And that work is classified with work on self-defence.