Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Most-Cited Philosophers of Mind and Language in the Stanford Encyclopedia

On Monday, I posted a list of the most-cited ethicists in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Today I'm posting my list of most-cited philosophers of mind and language. I've generated these lists in connection with a particular research project -- comparing the rates at which ethics and non-ethics philosophy books are stolen from libraries -- but the results are, perhaps, independently interesting.

The method and caveats are described in my post on the ethicists. Let me add a few more comments here:
* I excluded posts that I took to be closer to philosophical logic than philosophy of language; often this was a judgment call that could have gone either way.
* I excluded philosophy of action / moral psychology.
* The bibliography on mental imagery was huge, creating some overrepresentation of authors who have written prominently on that topic (esp. Kosslyn, Pylyshyn, Paivio).
* Only first authors are counted for multiply-authored essays.
* There are approximately 7000 mind and language bibliographic lines, compared to over 9000 in ethics.

Here's the list, then. The number indicates the number of bibliographic lines in the relevant SEP entries. I find Kripke's relatively poor showing rather strange. It's probably due to a combination of distortive factors in this method of ranking.

148. Fodor, J.
98. Dennett, D.
94. Block, N.
74. Lewis, D.
73. Chalmers, D.
67. Dretske, F.
67. Tye, M.
66. Davidson, D.
66. Jackson, F.
64. Shoemaker, S.
58. Putnam, H.
56. Searle, J.
49. Burge, T.
49. Lycan, W.
44. Armstrong, D.
44. Peacocke, C.
40. Churchland, P. (Paul)
38. Quine, W.
35. Stalnaker, R.
33. Horgan, T.
33. Kripke, S.
32. Davies, M.
32. McGinn, C.
32. Rey, G.
32. Salmon, N.
32. Soames, S.
31. Schiffer, S.
30. Carruthers, P.
30. Nagel, T.
29. Loar, B.
28. Chomsky, N.
28. Clark, A. (Andy)
28. Kim, J.
28. Sellars, W.
27. Crane, T.
27. Kosslyn, S.
26. Byrne, A.
26. Millikan, R.
26. Perry, J.
25. McDowell, J.
25. Papineau, D.
25. Rosenthal, D.
24. Stich, S.
23. Grice, P.
23. Pylyshyn, Z.
22. Devitt, M.
22. Evans, G.
21. Bach, K.
21. Harman, G.
21. Martin, M.
20. Dummett, M.
20. Kaplan, D.
20. Levine, J.
19. Chisholm, R.
19. Richard, M.
19. Stanley, J.
18. Bechtel, W.
17. Hardin, C.
17. Heil, J.
17. King, J.
17. Paivio, A. (all citations from mental imagery)
16. Hill, C.
16. Strawson, P.
15. Smolensky, P.
15. Yablo, S.
14. Boghossian, P.
14. Brook, A.
14. Church, A.
14. Churchland, P. (Patricia)
14. Haugeland, J.
14. Place, U.
14. Smart, J.
14. White, S.

Coming Monday: A list of books in Philosophy of Mind/Language and in Ethics that appear in at least five different bibliographical lists from the SEP.


Kenny said...

It looks like there must be a lot more mind articles than language ones, given the number of people that are above Lewis (and, as you point out, Kripke). I'm guessing Kripke's low ranking is mainly because he publishes so little - if everyone just cites Naming and Necessity and the Kripkenstein book, with occasional references to A Puzzle About Belief and possibly the truth paper, then he's not going to compete with people that publish articles every year.

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Yes, I think that's basically right. Philosophers of language do reasonably well on this list (e.g. Salmon at 32), but only if there are entries in which they have several articles or books appear. Almost all citations of Kripke are just of Naming & Necessity. Also, Kripke and Lewis would do much better, presumably, had I included metaphysics and logic entries in the list.

Anonymous said...

At a quick skim, it looks to me like you've missed Hans Kamp (with anywhere from 15 to 17, depending on how a couple of pieces on the language/logic boundary are counted) and Jim Higginbotham (with 17, although 4 of those are in a section "Other Useful Works" following a bibliography, and 3 are citations to an anthology on which he's first-listed editor).

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Thanks, sheep! I don't have my original notes here right now (I'm home for Thanksgiving!) but looking quickly, I get counts of 12 for Kamp and 9 for Higginbotham. These are lower than their total number of bibliographic lines in the SEP, because I'm only including mind/language entries, not logic, metaphysics, action, or other topics.

Anonymous said...

I see - I misunderstood the method, taking it to be "total number of SEP citations of works in mind/language". So is the method "total number of cites in SEP articles on mind/language of works in mind/language", or just
"total number of cites in SEP articles on mind/language"?

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

The latter. I made judgment calls about which SEP entries were mind/lanugage, but not about individual articles or books within those entries.

Anonymous said...

What is this supposed to measure? It's clearly yielding some very wrong results if one is using this as a measure of influence or prominence in a field (e.g. several odd placements well ahead of Chomsky), and also it seems like SEP has a strong bias toward more recent publications in general (which is not surprising)

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

I agree that there's a tilt toward more recent work.

What I'm interested in is some measure of prominence in the field that doesn't simply reflect my own personal biases, for the sake of my research on the rates at which ethics vs. non-ethics books are stolen.

I admit there are serious problems with the measure, and I don't take it very seriously. Still, with the exception of Kripke and arguably a few others, the top 15 seems pretty good to me.

If you can think of a better measure -- one that I can actually do! -- let me know. I'd be interested to hear!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps I simply off base, but shouldn't Wittgenstein be on this list somewhere?

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

I cut it off at 1960 so Wittgenstein doesn't qualify. I should have made that clear!