Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

What Should Editors Ask of Referees?

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I've previously discussed how frustrating confused referee reports can be for the author, and how the system might actually be made more efficient by allowing authors to (briefly!) respond to these reports before a verdict is reached.  But I think there's a more systematic problem, in that too many referees (seemingly) base their verdicts on bad criteria, such as whether they can think of an objection to the paper. (One otherwise-brilliant philosopher once told me that he has a deliberate policy of rejecting any paper that he disagrees with!  Few would explicitly endorse this, I imagine, but many more may follow a similar rule de facto.)  So I've been wondering what steps a journal editor could feasibly take to try to counteract this.  In particular, are there particular questions that it would be worth asking referees to explicitly address in their report, that would better reveal the truth about a paper's merits?I'd be curious to hear what others come up with.  But here's an initial stab at what I think a report should ideally address:(1a) What (if anything) is interesting and original about this paper?(1b) On a scale of 1 - 10, rate how interesting you expect this paper should be to those familiar with the existing literature on the topic.(2) Are there any egregious errors or oversights that would need to be addressed before the paper was potentially publishable?(3a) How cogent are the paper's central arguments?(3b) Do you expect most other experts would share your verdict, or is there significant room for reasonable disagreement?(3c) On a scale of 1 - 10, rate how insightful or illuminating you expect the average reader of the journal would find this paper.* * *My own view is that (with some wonderful exceptions) referee reports in philosophy tend to systematically overweight (often idiosyncratic) judgments about whether the argument is successful (3a).  But obviously, the mere fact that somebody could object to. . .

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News source: Philosophy, et cetera

Hi, I'm a college freshman taking my first philosophy class. My professor takes

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Read another response about Education Education Share Hi, I'm a college freshman taking my first philosophy class. My professor takes points off my essay for grammatical mistakes I made. I disagree with this approach. Isn't the idea the most important, more so for philosophy?

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News source: AskPhilosophers Questions

Hello, I am a college student from China. My major is material science, but I am

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Read another response about Truth Truth Share Hello, I am a college student from China. My major is material science, but I am obsessed with the Golden Mean recently. It is a very old Chinese thought. Its core idea seems to be "Everything is not black or white. It's gray." "Human beings are between heaven and earth and cannot treat all things extreme."The Chinese people are generally atheists because of this kind of thinking. I want to know how overseas masters view this kind of thinking, thank you!

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News source: AskPhilosophers Questions

Two year postdoc position (2x), philosophy of science

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Job List: 
Europe
Name of institution: 
Warsaw University of Technology
Town: 
Warsaw
Country: 
Poland
Job Description: 

*** apologies for x-posting; please spread widely***

Two full-time postdoc positions (24 months)
Philosophy Department, Warsaw University of Technology, Poland
APPLICATION DEADLINE: 16 DECEMBER 2020

Topic: Theory Construction and the Empirical Social and Behavioral Sciences (TESBS)

Project description: https://bit.ly/TESBS-project

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News source: Jobs In Philosophy

Believe Today; Proof Will Be Here Tomorrow

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Trump questioned the legitimacy of his own election by advancing the claim that millions of people voted illegally in 2016. Despite being has unable to present any evidence for this claim after four years, his supporters seem to still believe this lie. Before the 2020 election he stoked the fears and delusions of his base with unfounded claims of fraud-t0-be while he and his party systemically tried to undermine the election—with a special effort to attack the USPS. In an open display of authoritarianism, Trump has now refused to accept the results of the election. Instead, he has continued to actively undermine American democracy by persisting in false claims about voter fraud. Election officials across the country (Republican and Democrat) have said that there was no widespread fraud and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has expressed confidence in the security of the vote—making a statement that seems to have been in response to yet another baseless allegation of election fraud. Despite the lack of evidence for fraud and the evidence the election was secure, the administration is persisting. Some members of the Trump administration have taken leave from their official jobs to serve as members of a private group investigation the claims of alleged fraud. There is considerable speculation as to why Trump is not accepting the results and, more importantly, why he is being backed in his lies by some top Republicans. Trump is using the claims about fraud to fuel his fundraising, which seems like a reason for him to keep lying. While he is selling it to his base as being focused on the recount, 60% of a donation up to $8,333 goes to Trump’s new PAC and 40% goes to the RNC (which can, but is not required, to spend it on recounts). Trump and the RNC have a clear financial incentive to persist in actively burning down confidence in our democracy—these fires warm and guide his donors. They will, of course, eventually tap out the donors and even his. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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