2.31 Social Contract Theory

Category: History of Philosophy

Keywords: hobbes, reid, rousseau, sovereign, powers, slave, master, authority, power, sovereignty, slavery, locke, obedience, obey, contract

Number of Articles: 176
Percentage of Total: 0.5%
Rank: 81st

Weighted Number of Articles: 194.1
Percentage of Total: 0.6%
Rank: 83rd

Mean Publication Year: 1966.4
Weighted Mean Publication Year: 1963.9
Median Publication Year: 1968
Modal Publication Year: 1940

Topic with Most Overlap: Ordinary Language (0.0459)
Topic this Overlaps Most With: Liberal Democracy (0.0215)
Topic with Least Overlap: Cognitive Science (0.00035)
Topic this Overlaps Least With: Quantum Physics (0.00029)

Social Contract Theory

Figure 2.76: Social Contract Theory

Social Contract Theory Articles in Each Journal

Figure 2.77: Social Contract Theory Articles in Each Journal


One of the first courses I ever taught was on the history of social contract theory. It was an easy enough class to teach, because there are so many versions of the Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau course around to use as a basis. And this is basically the Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau topic.

As you can see, Ethics used to include a lot more papers on history, but now they do very little. And Philosophy and Public Affairs has never done much history. So this becomes a rather small topic, relative to its historical importance. But since none of these articles ever troubled the citation indices enough to appear here, maybe the journal editors are just reacting correctly to the signals they are getting from the market.