2.81 Reasons

Category: Ethics

Keywords: desires, motivation, deliberation, motivated, irrational, rationality, desire, internalism, rationally, reasons, rational, wants, practical, instrumental, requirements

Number of Articles: 398
Percentage of Total: 1.2%
Rank: 33rd

Weighted Number of Articles: 370.4
Percentage of Total: 1.2%
Rank: 32nd

Mean Publication Year: 1993.1
Weighted Mean Publication Year: 1986.3
Median Publication Year: 1997
Modal Publication Year: 2009

Topic with Most Overlap: Ordinary Language (0.0662)
Topic this Overlaps Most With: Norms (0.037)
Topic with Least Overlap: Quantum Physics (0.00023)
Topic this Overlaps Least With: Denoting (0.00057)


Figure 2.181: Reasons

Reasons Articles in Each Journal

Figure 2.182: Reasons Articles in Each Journal


This includes a bunch of relatively modern work on the nature of reasons, the nature of desires, and the interaction between them. This could say more about me than about the model, but I was surprised this topic wasn’t both bigger and later. It isn’t small - either 32nd or 33rd largest depending on which measure you like. But plenty of model runs had a topic centered on reasons as the latest topic to appear, and having 9 topics come after it was not something I saw in many runs. What happened here, I think, was that this model was more inclusive than other models I ran at including 1970s work (like the Watson and Wiggins articles in the Highly Cited list), but also split off some papers into the Norms topic that could have been here.

One nice thing is that the model seems to have not gotten tricked at all by the terms ‘internalism’ and ‘externalism’. I would have thought they would have thrown it for a loop. But it seems to have been able to figure out that papers about internalism versus externalism about reasons are not the same as papers about internalism versus externalism about justification. This was pleasing, and a fairly hard test for the utility of the model in classifying papers.