New Blog: Underappreciated Philosophy?

I’d like to invite everyone to check out this new blog I’ve started: Underappreciated Philosophy?. It’s something of an experiment. I have no idea if it will actually fly. But, or so it seems to me, it’s worth a try. Existing power-structures in the discipline — gender imbalances, biases, journal rankings, etc. — make it possible for good philosophy to go underappreciated or improperly credited to some people over others. This blog aims to be a forum to help rectify these situations.

Here is the blog’s mission statement:

This blog was inspired by these three posts over at “What is it Like to be a Woman in Philosophy?“, and this post at “The Philosophers’ Cocoon.” These posts collectively suggest two things:

  1. Sometimes good philosophy is unjustifiably ignored or underappreciated, and
  2. Sometimes credit for a good philosophical idea or argument is unjustifiably attributed to one person(s) rather than another (either in whole or in part).

This blog is premised on the idea that both phenomena are regrettable and deserve a forum for redress. This blog aims to be such a forum.

Its mission is simple: Anyone who believes that a philosophical work, idea, or argument has been unfairly ignored or insufficiently credited to a particular person is invited to submit an entry briefly explaining why in detail.

I will post submissions as I receive them, without any editing — subject, however, to several rules (see below).  Site visitors are then encouraged to discuss the merits of the post in the comments section.

A few rules:

  • Submissions should be sent to Marcus Arvan at marvan@ut.edu
  • Submissions will be posted anonymously unless the author wishes their identity to be known.
  • Submissions must be submitted to me non-anonymously from an email address that I can verify to be registered to its submitter.
  • A submitter can only submit one post per calendar year on a given work, idea, argument or author (multiple submissions by a single submitter on different works/idea/arguments/authors are fine). This is to prevent individuals from repeatedly posting on the same philosopher or idea.
  • For moral and legal reasons, allegations of plagiarism or research misconduct (or anything remotely similar) will not be permitted. This is not a place to report that people “stole your ideas.”  Submissions may only make a case for (A) an idea piece of work being unjustifiably ignored or (B) insufficiently credited to a person by the profession at large.
  • Discussion in the comments section must be respectful. I will use my moderating powers to ensure a respectful tone of conversation.

Finally, submissions may be from the authors of the work in question. There are no rules against self-promotion here. If you feel that your own work, idea, or argument has been unjustifiably ignored or insufficiently credited to you, you may submit a post on it (though you should be aware that some readers may infer that the submitter in fact you).

If this blog becomes a no-holds-barred place for self-promotion, then as far as I am concerned, so be it. The way I see it, in a competitive professional environment such as ours, anyone should be able to make a case that their work deserves greater consideration or recognition. Whether anyone chooses to listen or accept the case being made, of course, is another issue. 🙂

I would very much like to encourage readers of Brains to submit posts.  Whether the blog is successful will depend on the submissions we get — and I expect there are pieces of underappreciated work in philosophy of mind and cognitive science that might be brought to greater attention.

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