Pluralism and Peer Review in Philosophy

Philosophers' Imprint 17 (2017)
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Abstract

Recently, mainstream philosophy journals have tended to implement more and more stringent forms of peer review, probably in an attempt to prevent editorial decisions that are based on factors other than quality. Against this trend, we propose that journals should relax their standards of acceptance, as well as be less restrictive about whom is to decide what is admitted into the debate. We start by arguing, partly on the basis of the history of peer review in the journal Mind, that past and current peer review practices attest to partisanship with respect to philosophical approach. Then, we explain that such partisanship conflicts with the standard aims of peer review, and that it is both epistemically and morally problematic. This assessment suggests that, if feasible, journals should treat all available and proposed standards of acceptance in philosophy as epistemically equal, and that philosophical work should be evaluated in terms of the novelty and significance of its contribution to developing thought in ways that are of value. Finally, we show, in a programmatic way, that improving the current situation is feasible, and can be done fairly easily.

Author Profiles

Krist Vaesen
Eindhoven University of Technology
Joel Katzav
University of Queensland

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