2.78 Concepts

Category: Philosophy of Mind

Keywords: concepts, concept, conceptual, mcdowell, grasp, peacocke, possession, understanding, thinker, capacities, conceptions, capacity, evans, understand, conception

Number of Articles: 134
Percentage of Total: 0.4%
Rank: 86th

Weighted Number of Articles: 332.4
Percentage of Total: 1%
Rank: 41st

Mean Publication Year: 1991.7
Weighted Mean Publication Year: 1978.4
Median Publication Year: 1996
Modal Publication Year: 2001

Topic with Most Overlap: Ordinary Language (0.0516)
Topic this Overlaps Most With: Wide Content (0.0367)
Topic with Least Overlap: Crime and Punishment (0.00042)
Topic this Overlaps Least With: Formal Epistemology (0.00154)

A scatterplot showing which proportion of articles each year are in the conceptstopic. 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 2001 when 1.9% of articles were in this topic. The lowest value is in 1880 when 0.0% of articles were in this topic. The full table that provides the data for this graph is available in Table A.78 in Appendix A.

Figure 2.180: Concepts.

A set of twelve scatterplots showing the proportion of articles in each journal in each year that are in the Conceptstopic. 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 - 1.3%. Ethics - 0.6%. Philosophical Review - 1.0%. Analysis - 0.7%. Philosophy and Public Affairs - 0.4%. Journal of Philosophy - 1.0%. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research - 1.4%. Philosophy of Science - 1.0%. Noûs - 1.5%. The Philosophical Quarterly - 1.4%. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science - 0.8%. The topic reaches its zenith in year 2001 when it makes up, on average across the journals, 2.2% of the articles. And it hits a minimum in year 1880 when it makes up, on average across the journals, 0.0% of the articles.

Figure 2.181: Concepts articles in each journal.

Table 2.191: Characteristic articles of the concepts topic.
Table 2.192: Highly cited articles in the concepts topic.


Given the importance of concepts to late twentieth-century philosophy, this is a surprisingly small topic. I think that what’s happened here is that it has just gotten squeezed by other topics. There isn’t a single article that’s more than ten pages long with a probability of being in this topic of over 0.5.

Part of the story about this topic is similar to the story with the topic on arguments. More philosophers write about concepts in papers on other topics than write papers directly about concepts. This isn’t surprising, but it did surprise me a bit that there aren’t more papers directly about concepts in the journals. There are several important books on concepts, and there are papers in specialist journals like Mind and Language, and that led me to expect that there would be more here than turned out to be the case.