2.38 Origins and Purposes

Category: Philosophy of Science/Metaphysics

Keywords: animals, cats, dog, teleology, cat, animal, ship, fish, tree, dogs, table, tables, wood, teleological, fido

Number of Articles: 96
Percentage of Total: 0.3%
Rank: 89th

Weighted Number of Articles: 169.1
Percentage of Total: 0.5%
Rank: 85th

Mean Publication Year: 1974.8
Weighted Mean Publication Year: 1969.7
Median Publication Year: 1982
Modal Publication Year: 1978

Topic with Most Overlap: Personal Identity (0.0444)
Topic this Overlaps Most With: Personal Identity (0.0198)
Topic with Least Overlap: Game Theory (0.00048)
Topic this Overlaps Least With: Liberal Democracy (0.00048)

Origins and Purposes

Figure 2.91: Origins and Purposes

Origins and Purposes Articles in Each Journal

Figure 2.92: Origins and Purposes Articles in Each Journal


A tiny topic, but still one that seemed to need breaking up in order to categorise. The papers are mostly about origins and ends, which make sense as a unified category. But then it bifurcates into debates within metaphysics, primarily about essentialism and identity over time, and in philosophy of science, about the role of teleological reasoning.

There are only 90 articles here, so there isn’t a ton to say about them collectively. It was a little surprising to me that we don’t see a Kripke/Parfit related bump in the 1970s for work on personal identity, especially since so much of the work is on origin essentialism. Part of the story is that there is a bit of work in the British journals on personal identity before the Kripke/Parfit boom, some of it inspired by Wiggins. And the topic is small enough that that’s enough to stop there being a huge rise once Kripkean and Parfittian theories of personal identity become prominent.