Sunday, May 4, 2014

Announcing: The Philosophical Disquisitions Journal Club

From the excellent

I have been blogging for well over four years now. Although I doubt I will ever stop (there are a variety of personal and professional benefits I derive from the exercise, irrespective of the readership), I worry sometimes my approach has become too formulaic, and that the blog lacks a certain level of interactivity that one finds elsewhere in the blogosphere.

Consequently, I'm going to try a few experiments over the next few months in order to shake things up a little bit. These may all turn out to be spectacular failures. If so, I'm perfectly willing to abandon them after a period of time. But I think it's worth giving it a shot. And rest assured none of this means that I will stop doing what I ordinarily do on the blog.

Anyway, this month I'm starting off the first of those experiments: the Philosophical Disquisitions Journal Club.

How is this going to work?
Essentially, it will work like any normal academic journal club wherein academic papers are read and critically analysed and discussed by a group of interested people. So every month a paper will be nominated (by me or someone else), those who are interested can read the paper, and then join in a discussion about it here on the blog. You can even join in if you haven't read the paper. Maybe the discussion will encourage you to do so later.

I, of course, will commit to reading all the nominated papers, and I will try to kick start the discussion by writing up a brief introduction to the paper, along with my own comments and reflections. These will be shorter than my usual posts (probably under 1,000 words). The idea is not to give a comprehensive overview, but to offer up thoughts for discussion. That way we can try to develop a genuine conversation.

These posts will be written on the last day of every month. 

What is this month's paper?
I'm going to abuse my power as the author of this blog to nominate the first paper for discussion. In future, I'll take nominations from readers. If you have a suggestion, there are a variety of ways to get in contact with me. You can simply post suggestions in the comments section, or you can contact me via any of my social media profiles (Facebook; Twitter; Google+). To avoid spam, I don't post my email address on here, but it's pretty easy to find if your interested.

Anyway, this month's paper is....

(From the abstract): "The paper argues that evils perpetrated in the name of God (‘religious evils’) generate a special version of the problem of evil...that cannot be solved by any of the current defences and theodicies."

I think this looks like a very interesting paper (I haven't read it yet), one that fits within the recent group of papers that attempt to disambiguate the problem of evil into more precise forms. I covered several examples of the genre last year on this blog.

Unfortunately, the paper is behind a paywall, which makes it less than ideal for discussion on here (I would generally prefer to nominate papers that are in the public domain). Fortunately, if you contact me by one of the methods listed above, I may be able to help you in procuring a copy...just saying.

So that's it for now. Check back on May 31st for a discussion of the paper.

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