Eight journals over eight decades: a computational topic-modeling approach to contemporary philosophy of science

Synthese 199 (1-2):2883-2923 (2020)
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Abstract

As a discipline of its own, the philosophy of science can be traced back to the founding of its academic journals, some of which go back to the first half of the twentieth century. While the discipline has been the object of many historical studies, notably focusing on specific schools or major figures of the field, little work has focused on the journals themselves. Here, we investigate contemporary philosophy of science by means of computational text-mining approaches: we apply topic-modeling algorithms to eight major philosophy of science journals, from the 1930s up until 2017. Based on the full-text content of some 15,897 articles, we identified 25 research themes and 8 thematic clusters that show how the research agenda of the philosophy of science has changed in its content over the course of the last eight decades, up to the philosophy of science we now know. We also show how each one of the journals contributed in its own way to this thematic evolution.

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Author Profiles

Christophe Malaterre
Université du Québec à Montreal
Jonathan St-Onge
Université du Québec à Montréal

References found in this work

Four Decades of Scientific Explanation.Wesley C. Salmon & Anne Fagot-Largeault - 1989 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 16 (2):355.
Explanatory Depth.Brad Weslake - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (2):273-294.
Genes made molecular.C. Kenneth Waters - 1994 - Philosophy of Science 61 (2):163-185.

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