Posts Tagged ‘new philosophy journals’

An interesting find for me this week was the online philosophy journal American Dialectic.  Unlike most online journals AD doesn’t aspire simply to be the online version of a print journal. It aims, instead, to encourage thoughtful discussion by publishing focused responses to the articles and (ostensibly at least)  having authors respond to readers’ questions and comments about their articles.  Hence this, from the journal’s “About Us” page:

American Dialectic is an online journal committed to enriching scholarly publication, discourse, and intellectual development in Philosophy and related fields.  As an organization, American Dialectic is devoted to publishing intellectually excellent articles and to promoting the dialectical development of ideas among a broad community of readers.  This is accomplished by combining the best aspects of a traditional publication with the best aspects of a scholarly conference: lead articles are published on our website and then are followed throughout the publication cycle by edited responses that are written and submitted by our readers.  Through this unique publishing mechanism, American Dialectic aims to foster the continued intellectual development of contributors, respondents, and readers alike. […] Readers are encouraged to genuinely engage with the articles by asking targeted questions and formulating insightful responses.  Substantial questions and responses, junior submissions themselves, are then actively published following the lead article.  The lead authors, respondents and readers can then, as a community, identify important points, clarify issues, resolve problems, and ultimately find common ground by building toward a more complete philosophic understanding.

It’s a nice idea, and one that hearkens back to the way philosophy journals operated until the explosion of PhDs in the discipline in the 1970s and 80s.  Comments and discussion notes are still formally welcomed by many journals, but the reality is that they are seldom published and even less frequently answered.  This means that there isn’t much incentive to write such things even though they do a great service to the person trying to work the bugs out of his or her ideas.  The community of those interested in the ideas of a particular article or writer are, as a result, also deprived of the chance to see how the ideas in question fare in thoughtful, critical discussion. This, to my mind, is a real loss. (more…)

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