4.2 Split Topics

Normally at this point I would include a long discussion of the methodology that produced graphs like this. But the methodology is so complicated that I put it in a whole separate chapter. But there is one point I need to clarify before discussing the individual topics.

Several topics didn’t easily fit into one or other category. For several of them, I just had to choose the least bad category to put it in. But for some, it turned out to be possible to split the topic into two sub-topics, and categorise the sub-topics. I somewhat arbitrarily imposed a limit on myself of doing this 10 times, so the following ten topics got broken into two sub-topics each.

Original Topic First Subtopic Second Subtopic
Ordinary Language OLP Ethics OLP Mind
Freedom and Free Will Political Freedom Free Will
Crime and Punishment Forgiveness Law
Sets and Grue Grue Sets
Origins and Purposes Teleology Origin Essentialism
Arguments Conceivability Arguments Arguments
Medical Ethics and Freud Medical Ethics Freud
Frankfurt Cases Frankfurt Cases Fiction
Races and DNA DNA Race
Norms Language Norms Moral Norms

So we end up with 100 topics and subtopics to classify; the 80 original topics that weren’t split, and the 20 sub-topics just generated. How I split them up is a bit of a saga, and I’ll run through it in the next chapter.

In what remains of this chapter, I’ll go one by one through eight of the twelve topics. For each topic, I’ll look at its trends, and how those are generated by its constituent topics, and by the twelve journals. I’m leaving out four categories from this discussion.

  • Idealism is a single topic, and I’ve already discussed it.
  • Aesthetics and Philosophy of Religion are just a pair of topics, and there isn’t much to say that isn’t in the discussion of their constituent parts.
  • I’m doing a deeper look at epistemology in a later chapter, so there’s no need for another discussion here.