Practicing Public Philosophy

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“Practicing Public Scholarship.” Public Philosophy Journal 1, no. 1 (2018). https://doi.org/10.25335/m5/ppj.1.1-1.

Situating the Public Philosophy Journal at the intersection of philosophy and questions of public concern, this essay articulates how the journal hopes to practice public scholarship through a formative review process designed to create communities capable of enriching public life.

This is the inaugural essay in the inaugural issue of the Public Philosophy Journal. 

The @PubPhilJ Paradigm

By | The Long Road, The Public Philosophy Journal | No Comments

At Bucknell’s Digital Scholarship Conference last fall, Zeynep Tufekci made a compelling case for public academic writing. Her keynote address, Researching Out Loud: Public Scholarship as a Process of Publishing Before and After Publishing, argued that public academic writing can have enriching effects on both public discourse and the research and pedagogy of individual scholars.

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Philosophy and the Networked Public

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Philosophy has always been a public activity, although its relationship with the public and its own public nature have long been fraught with anxiety for philosophy and the public both.

At this year’s Society for Phenomenology and Existentialist Philosophy, the advocacy committee organized a panel entitled “New Media, Social Networks, and Philosophy.” Each panelist was asked to frame the conversation in ways that might open a wider discussion.

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The Public Philosophy Journal at #DH2014

By | Presentations, The Public Philosophy Journal, Vita | 2 Comments

In this poster session, we present the project of the Public Philosophy Journal and our plans for cultivating a community of engaged scholars to sustain it.

At the session, we explain our motivations for designing the journal to perform public philosophy as its mode of publication, highlight the journal’s role as a hub for community-sourced curation and open peer review of existing work, and introduce our model for the collaborative writing and editing of publicly engaged scholarship.

We draw attention to common aims of differing conceptions of public philosophy, and discuss how the PPJ will leverage digital media in promoting both reasoned deliberation concerning the public good and the modeling of virtues of thought, expression, and action within the public sphere.

Here is the poster itself, designed in collaboration with Matrix at Michigan State:

Public Philosophy Journal Poster for DH2014

Public Philosophy Journal Poster for DH2014

Public Digital Scholarship: The @PubPhilJ at the #APAEastern

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This presentation on the Public Philosophy Journal, invited by the APA Committee on Public Philosophy, provides an update on the status of the development of the open access, open peer review journal.

However difficult it is to create an open access, open peer review site of excellent digital scholarship, the Public Philosophy Journal includes a yet more ambitious performative dimension: the PPJ seeks to perform, as its very mode of scholarly publication, the sort of public philosophy it hopes to cultivate and amplify.

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The Peer Review Coordinator and the Collegiality Index

By | The Long Road, The Public Philosophy Journal | 10 Comments

As we sought to map out the design and functionality of the PPJ with colleagues at Matrix a few weeks ago, we began to suggest how a disciplinary economy of an open peer review might be navigated in ways that at once ensure rigor and maximize collegiality. Recognizing that peer review itself is an important scholarly activity, this post outlines the contours of one aspect of the PPJ user score, the “Collegiality Index.”

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Digital Dialogue 68: Building the PPJ

By | Digital Dialogue Podcast, The Public Philosophy Journal | 2 Comments

During our first planning trip to Matrix at Michigan State to develop the Public Philosophy Journal, Mark Fisher and I sat down to talk with Ethan Watrall and Bill Hart-Davidson about creating the journal as an ecosystem of scholarly communication.

Ethan Watrall (aka: @Captain_Primate) is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Michigan State and Associate Director of Matrix. In addition, Ethan is Director of the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative and the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool here at Michigan State.

Ethan’s research interests fall in the domain of cultural heritage informatics, with particular (though hardly exclusive) focus on digital archaeology and serious games & meaningful play for cultural heritage learning, outreach, and engagement.

Bill Hart-Davidson (aka: @billhd) is Associate Professor of Rhetoric & Writing and Director of the Rhetoric & Writing Graduate Program. He is Senior Researcher at WIDE Research at Matrix Writing in Digital Environments Research, and a co-inventor of Eli Review , a web service for coordinating and evaluating peer review. Bill is currently President of the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing and in January he will become the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in the College of Arts and Letters.

The four of us discuss five functional aspects of the Public Philosophy Journal: the user profile, the open peer review process, curation, collaborative writing, and the publication itself-complete with the process by which it came into being.

As you listen, we invite your thoughts and comments here or on the Public Philosophy Journal blog.

Digital Dialogue 66: Sustainable Scholarship

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Almost immediately upon being awarded a $236K Mellon Grant to develop the Public Philosophy Journal, Mark Fisher, Dean Rehberger and I found ourselves in New York at the 2013 Ithaka Sustainable Scholarship conference to learn more about how to identify a path by which scholarly projects like the @PubPhilJ can be sustained after their period of funding.

In the 66th episode of the Digital Dialogue, we discuss the journal, the technology behind it, the interface, and the future of scholarly publishing. At Ithaka, we learned more about the current state of scholarly publishing, the challenges it faces and the possibilities open to it in a digital age. In this podcast, we think together out loud about where we are and where we hope to go with the Public Philosophy Journal.

Accountability and Public Scholarship

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With the announcement that Mellon has funded the first year of the Public Philosophy Journal, I have been thinking more reflectively on what it means to do public scholarship. Receiving the grant is, however, only one of a confluence of recent experiences that have forced me to consider how best to cultivate habits of excellent public scholarship in digital contexts.

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The End of the Beginning and the Path Ahead for @PubPhilJ

By | Academic, Grants, Fellowships, Awards, The Long Road | No Comments

On Friday, October 4th, we received the good news that the Mellon Foundation’s Scholarly Communications and Information Technology program will provide $236K to support the development of the Public Philosophy Journal (PPJ, aka @PubPhilJ).

The grant marks the end of the beginning for the Public Philosophy Journal, a collaborative endeavor between the Department of Philosophy at Penn State and Matrix at Michigan State, to create an open access, open peer review digital publication intent on performing public philosophy as its mode of publication.

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The Public Philosophy Journal $236,000 Mellon Grant

By | Grants, Fellowships, Awards, Vita | No Comments

The Public Philosophy Journal, an innovative open access, open peer review online publication in philosophy, has received a one-year, $236,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The grant will support the development of the journal which, in addition to accepting traditional submissions, will also search the web each day for content at the intersection between philosophy and issues of public interest in order to identify digital conversations that might be developed further for scholarly publication.

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Public Philosophy Journal

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Philosophy is often mistakenly viewed as distant from public life, secluded in the Ivory Tower away from the public concerns of civil society.

However, the affordances of digital scholarly communication have enabled philosophers increasingly to bring the value of their work to bear on matters of public importance from ethics and public policy to cultural criticism. Even so, however, there are few publishing venues available for philosophers to gain publicity for their work and to reach diverse audiences.

The Public Philosophy Journal is designed to re-envision the relationship between the academy and everyday life by creating a public space for accessible but rigorous scholarly discourse on challenging contemporary issues of public concern.

The Public Philosophy Journal is a collaborative endeavor between the Department of Philosophy and the Humanities in a Digital Age initiative at the Pennsylvania State University, and Matrix: The Center for Humane Arts, Letters, and Social Sciences Online and the Department of Philosophy at Michigan State University.

Our intent is to create a journal that will perform public philosophy as its mode of publication.

By leveraging the open and collaborative capacities endemic to digital communications, the Public Philosophy Journal will cultivate a community of scholars engaged in curating, reviewing, editing, co-writing and modeling rigorous work related to public philosophy broadly construed.

The process of publication for the journal will involve five basic dimensions:

  1. Curate: Current digital public philosophy discussions and pertinent web content will be curated by leveraging the work and input of a world-wide community of scholars, graduate students, and policy makers;
  2. Review: The journal will include mechanisms for open peer review of curated content, including a system for reviewing reviewers and credentialing reviewers who are consistently engaged and thoughtful in their contributions;
  3. Enrich: Digital public philosophy will be greatly enriched by creating a space for collaborative writing to further develop the content of the online discussions into a rigorous scholarly article;
  4. Publish: Reviewed articles will be openly published together with invited responses to the reviewed work;
  5. Cultivate: Ongoing open dialogue about the published articles will be cultivated by invited and curated responses that have the potential to feed the development of new collaborative scholarship.

Below is a Prezi that Mark Fisher and I developed for the Networked Humanities conference at the University of Kentucky, February 15-16, 2013, #NHUK, that explains in a bit more detail the vision behind the Public Philosophy Journal.

If you are interested in being a part of the @PubPhilJ community, please fill out the attached form and help curate excellent content from around the web.