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David Hilbert

I've done a lot of co-authoring by the standards of philosophy (or more accurately since I'm not especially productive a higher than usual percentage of my work is co-authored). The professional justification I give is that I do better work with co-authors than I can do by myself because we bring different strengths and background knowledge to the projects. Another important factor motivating me towards co-authorship, however, is just that it's a lot more fun than working by myself. This is implicit in some of what you say but it's worth emphasizing more. At least for me, a large part of the pleasure in doing philosophy is discussing ideas and problems with other people. If you get a co-author that's now a person that has some commitment to doing that with you. It's not that I disagree with the other virtues you mention but I think it's important to emphasize that one of the values of philosophical interaction is that it is enjoyable.


As someone who as three co-authored papers coming out this year (2 with one co-author, the 3rd with a second), after a huge lull of no publication brought on by new parenthood followed by taking up the position of department chair, let me just say hear hear. The papers we have written are better than what we could have written alone, and the experience of writing them far more philosophically interesting. I will be loathe to write solo going forward I expect.

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Here's a link to my past blogging (and discussions involving me) at: New APPS.


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