2.65 Egalitarianism

Category: Social and Political

Keywords: egalitarian, distributive, equality, income, opportunity, rawls, resources, inequality, ownership, poor, justice, fairness, injustice, welfare, nozick

Number of Articles: 386
Percentage of Total: 1.2%
Rank: 35th

Weighted Number of Articles: 305.3
Percentage of Total: 0.9%
Rank: 47th

Mean Publication Year: 1986.5
Weighted Mean Publication Year: 1985.3
Median Publication Year: 1985
Modal Publication Year: 1977

Topic with Most Overlap: Ordinary Language (0.0417)
Topic this Overlaps Most With: Feminism (0.0477)
Topic with Least Overlap: Heidegger and Husserl (0.00025)
Topic this Overlaps Least With: Analytic/Synthetic (0.00022)

A scatterplot showing which proportion of articles each year are in the egalitarianismtopic. 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 1977 when 3.7% of articles were in this topic. The lowest value is in 1887 when 0.0% of articles were in this topic. The full table that provides the data for this graph is available in Table A.65 in Appendix A.

Figure 2.151: Egalitarianism.

A set of twelve scatterplots showing the proportion of articles in each journal in each year that are in the Egalitarianismtopic. 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 - 4.2%. Philosophical Review - 0.3%. Analysis - 0.5%. Philosophy and Public Affairs - 12.1%. Journal of Philosophy - 0.9%. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research - 0.3%. Philosophy of Science - 0.1%. Noûs - 0.6%. The Philosophical Quarterly - 0.9%. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science - 0.2%. The topic reaches its zenith in year 1977 when it makes up, on average across the journals, 3.7% of the articles. And it hits a minimum in year 1887 when it makes up, on average across the journals, 0.0% of the articles.

Figure 2.152: Egalitarianism articles in each journal.

Table 2.159: Characteristic articles of the egalitarianism topic.
Table 2.160: Highly cited articles in the egalitarianism topic.


In the early 1970s two things happened almost simultaneously. One was that Rawls published A Theory of Justice. The other was that Philosophy and Public Affairs launched. The effect of these two things was to push questions about distributive justice onto the pages of philosophy journals in ways that they had never been before. There are a lot of topics that really take off in the early 1970s, but none have as steep a rise as this one.

Note also how widely cited the articles in this topic are. The topic has only 1.2 percent of the articles, but nearly 4 percent of the six hundred articles I’ve called “highly cited”. There are a few reasons for this. One is that some of these are genuinely great articles, and they fully deserve the attention they’ve received. Another is that citation practices have been changing over time, and the result is that topics with more recent articles in them are going to get more citations. And a third is that philosophers tend to be relatively stingy with citations, so articles that get picked up outside philosophy tend to do very well on citation counts. We see this in cases where philosophy articles cross over into psychology/cognitive science, or into linguistics, or, as here, into political science.