Monday, 4 January 2016

OUR CITATION PRACTISES: A Philosophical Reflection at the pilos

In addition to thanking brian yesterday I want to bring up an important issue:

OUR CITATION PRACTISES: A philosophical reflexion

When should we cite new philosophers?

Image result for academic citation

If we don't cite all the little guys then they're never going to amount to much and that isn't fair but we can't all be elite philosophers so let's way up the pros and cons of profesisonal philosophy:



Cirte plenty of papers and then you'll make lots of friends. You can see them at conferences and share views on philosophical topics and what makes academic life worth living.

Get your own citation count up using interdisciplinary work.

Move forwards and upward in the profession and cite all and only the relevant literature to your topic. For example I work with William James and think he's a beautiful philosopher, so I cite papers by him


No one reads your papes sometimes

If we don't cite everybody we might get in to trouble

It's too hard to read all the references and this makes philosdophy boring and upsetting.

Thanks. I hope there can be more blog posts and discussion. Some other authgors have weighed in on this important citation topic this week:

Thanks for all these great contributions!

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  1. Here's how I see the matter. (I'm a mid-tier professor at a small school with nine publications and a book on Descartes under contract.) We need a way to assess value in the profession. We need a way of deciding who will go forward, who will do well, and who to listen to. Also, students need to be able to evaluate their teachers and decide based upon that what to do. So we need some sort of metric. Call this the (MET) problem.

    One option with (MET) is a voting system - but philosophy is not, or should not be, a popularity contest. Disciplines who have done things that way have a long history of failure. So that leaves: interviews, publications and citations.

    One problem with interviews is that sometimes you already know the person and might be embarassed. Another problem is that you might be biased for or against them based on superficial features of the interview. Also interviewing is a costly process, both in terms of time and money.

    A big problem with just counting publications is that someone might publish a lot and not be very good, and conversely, someone who has only published a few things might be a great philosopher, such as Wittgenstein. He certainly wouldn't have been allowed to do philosophy today.

    That leaves citations. It's not perfect, but then you get to see who is actually reading and taking account of your work. This enables us to rank acadmics, make reading and research decisions, and gives students something to work off as well when choosing which teachers to follow. It's not perfect and I think we all know that we need to also use the other methods, and common sense, but it's a guide. (Similar remarks hold about the PGR.)

    That's super quick but I've got to go and prepare for a class on Kant!

  2. I really want to learn more about philosophy, and I'm about to pursue graduate studies to that end. I want to publish in the Leiter top 100, and get my tenure by publishing articles in well respected journals. I have an idea according to which you only have knowledge if you satisfy the axioms of basic rationality, and in that framework your beliefs and desires and concomitant states are the only thing in question.

    Inquiry: The question of logic: what happens to the logical laws if your proposal is adopted?

    Answer: Dominant strategies prevail, a number of truths are co-ordinated.
    Sun burn and saintly dew quiffs, a Moulin Rouge sweepstakes

    Bleedin' thanks!
    A trip bath of balm quick fads!
    But the mesmer mimes I Duke Tresnor gone and followed
    Box cart on miles of this, a plush park gone and hemisblades

    Sog gone and misttle dew of country more Manor,
    I lost sigrid's big dew and lost into Harriet former stages
    Ages and social quips times
    Cropping fog horn mathematics twins on a slot of phosphate crocodile Klondike cakes.
    Parks of musky kid's cadmium, cocks of bridal stakes forgotten half-wit be gracious stakes.
    Gone and caught moxy troglodide cork troubling bond crisis brethren,
    A knock at honk's creepy door cocked crock bonds and bonny pulsate,
    Jingle hot bilm, a greek fog of sunny sulphate moggies

    Bingle crock bims, Beagle brock hymns.

    1. Box of tidal ways pox of my doll plays, for collumn sulphur fits grimace Hawthorn on Belvedere stilts, a wriggling corn of proverbs bleaks down on your hot wet beak of proverbs. I slimmed right down when I caught the orient poor and had a reed only left to kettle me. Bunches of soft Scott meats, bundles of rolling hot Hawthorne, I songed out of the krepps, and bound myself to a soggy wet pole, but a tall pole of fundamental wood, I sold Scotch waiter clothing from under the hood, I raised my hat up on the wood flag like a solid good hag, and there was the truth lying waiting like a pollen jetski.

      A Roald Dahl copper cornucopia. Parched, I leant in and said to my friend, "We're completely fucked and we need to get home immediately"

      A large blond bunch of liberal children came to my aid, their buttery eyes wandering and melting in the thick calm of their next day's learning activities. I bulged Brahms on our first meeting, and went back trusting more and more after that.

      Holga aged more, while Bron listened. 'We've got to get tunics!' Holga said, emphatically. 'That's the only way we'll ever be taken seriously!'

      In that moment I knew I would become a philosopher. Descartes says he was who we was, Kant said he was the category big boy, Hume said he was a lovely clever boy, Collingwood used methods derived form shakespere, and Daniel Dennett is proving to be a bit of a salty dog when it comes to coming up with some nice science books! I love to be with my friends! Soldier on, kittens! I'm your erstwhile friend!

  3. I'm getting up this morning to do some work on my research and I've been asking myself: I wonder if I should cite X or not? Thanks so much for this wonderful resource. Now at least I can think a bit more about it in an informed way!

  4. There's a new online digest of philosophical work opening up, The Philosophical Post. It's going to be like a journal and peer-reviewed but all online and geared towards a general audience. I am soliciting submission for the next three weeks and if we get enough good contributions we will go live some time in 2016. Competition for space will be intense, but at least your articles will not have to be printed, so we can give consideration to your work based solely on its merit.

    The Editorial Board is very distinguished, and has a special focus on epistemology and ethics. I really look forward to seeing your emails and seeing you there. Please write to me with any inquiries about this new venture. We will be indexed by PhilPapers, INTELeX, and Wiley-Blackwell Online. I am currently writing a paper on excluded middle.

  5. I cited a paper recently which is published by a Springer journal. I got a notification from them saying 'Someone might be interested in this', but it was my paper!

    It's a crazy profession.

  6. I work at a small school with a 4-4 teaching load and I couldn't be happier. Sometimes the big wigs in the profession try to intimidate me but I just hold up my copy of Timothy Williamson or William James and say 'This is my idea of philosophy!'.