Professional philosophy news

APA Presidents and their influence

Eric Schwitzgebel (UC-Riverside) reports here. The idea:

If, like me, you have a kind of morbid curiosity about the fleetingness of academic fame, you might wonder what becomes of these divisional presidents. Lists from the 1930s and 1940s are almost entirely names I don’t recognize: Albert Perly Brogan? Marten ten Hoor?

In several past posts, I have used the concept of a “discussion arc“. A discussion arc for a topic or a philosopher is simply the number of times the topic or philosopher appears in a keyword search (including title and abstract) in the Philosopher’s Index, divided by some representative number of the universe of articles. Some topics and philosophers have fairly steady rates of discussion over the decades (dualism, Kant); others show sharp temporal peaks (ordinary language, Chisholm). I have found that, in general, twentieth century Anglophone philosophers’ discussion arcs tend to peak at around age 55-70.


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