Types of Contributions to the Philosophical Literature

Your additions welcome.

27. showing the historical background of a philosophical idea

Sandy Goldberg, professor of philosophy at Northwestern University, asked this question recently on Facebook, clarifying “a contribution is something that would be recognizable by peer reviewers and by readers as what the writer added to what the literature already contained.”
8. introducing and defining new concepts
28. discovering “new” philosophy and philosophers in history
33. analyzing an empirical experiment or case study
19. showing how a conflict or incompatibility across different theories or positions is merely apparent
3. unearthing a hidden presupposition in a discussion
21. applying a philosophical idea/principle/theory to new real-world cases
2. proposing and defending a new analysis
30. showing surprising relationships or similarities between different ideas/arguments/schools of thought
4. raising an interesting new question
14. clarifying and improving understanding of an existing idea or theory
31. showing how a philosophical concept, position, or question has changed over time
6. making useful distinctions
Many others came pouring in. Here are some of them:
5. finding a new argument for/defense of an existing position
13. philosophizing about a new (or previously not philosophized about) phenomenon
12. mapping the logical space / explaining options
7. overcoming apparent distinctions
26. showing how a philosophical question is actually a multidisciplinary one
10. raising a new objection
1. counterexampling an accepted analysis
32. identifying the types of empirical information needed to make progress on a philosophical question
What are the different types of contribution one can make to the literature in philosophy?
[Studio Drift – “De-Produced Volkswagen Beetle”]
22. showing how to (and how not to) solve a problem
24. drawing out the implications of an argument or theory for other, seemingly unrelated matters
35. literature reviews
15. modeling or formalizing
With his permission, I’m sharing his question here, with some of the suggested answers.
20. taking an existing idea in one context and applying it to a new context
11. posing new puzzles or dilemmas

23. drawing out the implications of an argument or theory for related matters
29. explaining the value of a previously neglected philosophical contribution
16. providing a new analysis or explication of something used by non-philosophers
Professor Goldberg started with four suggestions:
18. showing how a problem is merely apparent
9. creating and defending a new theory
17. extending a theory or principle to cover new cases
34. checking folk theories and assumptions with empirical or experimental methods
25. noticing what is missing from an argument/idea/theorizing