The following is a first attempt at a factor analysis
PhilPapers Philosophical Survey main answers.
Caveat: There are many different ways to
perform a factor analysis, and we are not experts in the area, so the
following should be regarded as a suggestive illustration rather than
as a serious scientific analysis. Furthermore, factor analysis results are strongly dependent on the
choice of questions for the survey.
Download resulting component matrix: Excel, OpenOffice, PDF
To obtain this component matrix we used one variable for each of the thirty
questions (for non-binary question we chose the variable with
strongest correlations to other questions). To extract the components, we used the principal components method, stopping when eigenvalue < 1. We performed a Varimax rotation with Kaiser normalization, which converged in 8 rotations. In the attached component matrix we list only loadings with an absolute value greater than 0.25.
The interpretation of the factors is a subjective matter, but one
could naturally suggest that the first four factors are strongly
The fifth factor appears strongly connected to the variety of anti-realism that goes along with an epistemic view of truth.