Notes on Last Post

Here are some notes relevant to the table given in my last post.

1. I excluded affiliated faculty from the data. I don’t know how this decision affects the overall results. I don’t know any way to standardize the treatment of departments on this score, since some departments don’t have any such status but simply make joint appointments with other departments, while others distinguish between joint appointments and affiliated faculty.

2. When a given faculty member was listed as part time, I counted them as part time and divided the h-value by the appropriate fraction.

3. I haven’t run any precise numbers on this matter, but h-values seem to fall into three groups. The highest h-values are for scholars whose area of research connects with other disciplines: philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of education, philosophy of science, mathematical logic and philosophy of logic, applied ethics (business, medical), environmental ethics, etc. The lowest h-values are found in scholars whose work is in the history of philosophy, and in between are the central areas of philosophy that tend to be of only disciplinary concern: metaphysics, epistemology, (meta)ethics. One might hope that these differences wash out when averaged over entire departments, but such is not the case, since some departments focus more on the areas of purely disciplinary interest: M&E and metaethics. Quick inspection will show that such departments do not do as well on this measure as they do on the Leiter report, though I won’t single any out for mention.

4. Standard preface paradox qualifier: Not only are there difficulties intrinsic to the method used to generate the data, there is some margin of operator error. I’m sure that I’ve miscalculated in some cases, even though I tried to be careful. One particular region for error deserves special mention, however. I tried to exclude citations of non-scholarly work, such as mere textbook work or edited collections (though I didn’t exclude serious editorial work, such as one might find in the collected works of some philosopher). Decisions made here affect the rankings and not all would agree with my decisions about what counts as scholarly work and what doesn’t. Moreover, I’m sure that I missed excluding some things that ought to have been excluded. I don’t think I missed very much, but I may be wrong about that as well, so “caveat emptor” is a multiply relevant caution here.


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Notes on Last Post — 3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Certain Doubts » Hirsch Numbers for Departments

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  3. Pingback: Certain Doubts » Complete Rankings of Philosophy Departments Based on Hirsch Numbers

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