Jason writes that he approves of using Google Scholar to assess which papers are making much of an impact. This does seem like fun, and I wish I had more time to procrastinate with it. A couple of quick observations to add to what Jason said.
Here is a largely complete list= of David Lewis’s presence on Google Scholar. (It leaves off ‘General Semantics’, among other papers classified as mathematics, which is widely cited.) This list really brings out how much more prominent books are than articles. By far Lewis’s three most cited pieces are (in order) Convention, Counterfactuals and On the Plurality of Worlds. The most cited paper, ‘Scorekeeping in a Language Game’ has not much more than half the citations of Convention, and (apart from ‘General Semantics’) no other papers have even a third as many citations.
As Jason notes, some papers are highly cited because people love to tee off on them. Coincidentally, on my citation list the top run scorer is ‘Epistemic Modals in Context’.
Surprisingly, that’s also the most highly cited paper on John Hawthorne’s list, though he has a couple of books that are ahead of it (well ahead in the case of Knowledge and Lotteries) and several other papers published under his old name. Some of John’s papers have slipped under the radar a bit, but hopefully with their republication in his Metaphysical Essays, they will get a little more attention.
Anyway, feel free to chime in in comments with any other interesting results from Google Scholar.
UPDATE: This comment by Michael Kremer in Jason’s thread is really interesting, and possibly the best researched comment ever left on a blog.
Posted by Brian Weatherson in Uncategorized