After 260 consecutive posts since the last summer break, I pause to take a two week family holiday. These posts average about 800 viewings (although the variance is pretty significant), which continues to creep up. I continue to be honored by your regular interest, dear reader, in my expanding, unsystematic system of Impressions.
This time last year, I reported that "out of the twenty most widely read Digressions, nineteen pertain to 'professional' issues and norms in academic philosophy (and university life more generally))." I am especially pleased to report that the mix of top-25 individual Digressions by readership is somewhat different this year:+
- Professional issues: 14
- Guest posts: 3
- Scholarly posts: 6
- Political: 1
- Autobiographical: 1
Obviously, many of these posts can fit more than one category. For example, I am often autobiographical and scholarly in my professional posts (recall this one), and the widely read autobiographical Impression on depression in graduate school resonated with many professional peers (judging by the emails I received). I am especially pleased with the increased readership for scholarship and methodology at D&I, including the previously unpublished letter from Quine to Benardete. In fact, two of the most popular guest posts (by Dennett and Morton) are also scholarly in character. While I try to avoid pontificating on politics (I have no talent for punditry), the 'political' post is on the legitimacy of Zionism (a topic I return to irregularly).
Given that Yap's guest post was the target of (petty)* criticism in the philosophical blogosphere this week, I say something about my stance on guest-posts. I sometimes solicit guest posts for the following, often overlapping (but sometimes incompatible) reasons:
- I want to promote discussion of an issue because I am curious to learn more about it (and other people's views).
- I agree with the guest-post.
- I want to give somebody a change to respond to my criticism/position.
- I want to promote exposure to a method and/or philosopher.
- I want to have a view 'on record,' so I can respond to it down the road.
- I want Digressions to be associated with folk that have or merit philosophical status/prestige/cool-ness.
- I know I'll be on the road or short of time on Day X, and want to provide my readers with high quality content.
The guest-posts tend to have excellent readership (higher than the blog average). I always welcome unsolicited suggestions for guest-posts, including self-nominations.
And that wraps up another year of Digressions.