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Mark Lance

One correction:
"Second, Glymour takes for granted (with a nod to Michael Friedman) that the main business of the philosophy of science is to offer "new frameworks for scientific inquiry.""

Not so. he says this is the business of *Philosophy*.


How much editorial review is common on book reviews? I've published reviews in the NDPR twice, and only once even had any discussion at all, on my initiative, on review length. On another couple of reviews I have also talked about length with editors, but never, at all, on content. (I've published 8 book reviews, in a variety of locations so it's not a tiny sample.) If it's in fact very unusual to get editorial input on content, then even if this is a bad review, I don't think it's necessarily a failing of the NDPR.

Eric Schliesser

Because a consistent failure to uphold editorial standards is not blameworthy? (That ordinary procedures have been followed may be a proper standard in a bureaucracy and the law, but it is not a very good one in academic publishing.)

Chris Stephens

Glymour might think the main business of philosophy is to offer new frameworks for scientific inquiry, but Freidman himself doesn't say anything this narrow. Friedman's main contrast is just with other ways of doing "scientific philosophy" - he certainly doesn't argue that this is the only valuable way to do philosophy.

I wonder what Glymnour makes of this ".. in philosophy (and, mutantis mutnandis, also in the other humanities), it is always to our advantage to let a thousand flowers bloom. Finally, it is folly as well for philosophy (and for the other humanities) to regret this lack of scientific status..." (p. 24, The Dynamics of Reason).


"(That ordinary procedures have been followed may be a proper standard in a bureaucracy and the law, but it is not a very good one in academic publishing."

I don't claim that these _should_ be ordinary procedures, but only that, if they are the ordinary ones, they shouldn't be changed w/o prior notice. Doing that would be a pretty bad policy, including within academic publishing.

That said, I also expect that, if significant editorial review of book reviews was put in place, it would be much harder to get people to write book reviews. (My impression, from talking to a few book review editors at good journals, is that it's actually fairly difficult right now.) As noted, I've published a fair number of book reviews, but I get no "career" credit for it at all, and if I had to worry about dealing with significant editorial control, I'd be much less likely to do them.

Clark Glymour

A lot of ad editorium in these comments, people perhaps indignant at the suggestion that their subject risks becoming risible. Is no one willing to defend the view that the book so disdainfully reviewed deserves a more elaborate and sympathetic review? There is no limit on space for comments that would prevent giving one. The only limitation is the content of the book.

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