Re: Serials Review Interview

From: ransdell, joseph m. <ransdell_at_DOOR.NET>
Date: Sat, 17 Oct 1998 15:43:48 -0500

Stevan says:

>I think Professor Ransdell is tilting at too many adversaries at once:
>copyright, university administrations, peer review, tenure review,
>academic inequities. These are all real problems, worthy of attention,
>but they are not the problems at issue here, and only confuse the
>issue when wrapped into it.

You're the moderator, Stevan, and I am not here to push my own agenda on
anyone. I didn't intend to suggest that those sorts of problems have to
be solved in their own right -- in fact they can't be -- but only
intended to point out some things about the professional life of people
in the humanities and related areas these days, prevailing attitudes,
etc., that need to be taken into account which are not yet being taken
into account. I could of course be mistaken. I do want to say,
though, that I am not talking conspiracies nor even adversaries: this
casts it in a warlike mode that does not reflect my way of thinking of
these things, and I regret that it comes across to you that way.

Our difference is simply that you do not perceive difficulties in the
offing where I do. Time will tell who was right. I would certainly
feel better if our disagreement were left with that understanding of it
rather than with the understanding that the talk of conspiracies and
adversaries suggests.

Anyway, that said, I would appreciate just listening in to whatever
further discussions do occur with this group or are spawned from it. I
assume that these discussions will remain public, in any case, but I
would like to request that you or others keep me informed of other
public discussions that might be generated from it. It is all grist for
my mill, which is not primarily an activist agenda but rather an
investigatory one for philosophical purposes. Such activism as I engage
in is for the sake of understanding what is happening.

My view is that philosophy of science has lost contact with what is of
basic importance in science by regarding science from the point of view
of theory of knowledge -- which is essentially a librarial and
administrative conception of science -- rather than regarding it as
inquiry, which is the way the working scientist thinks of science. When
you focus on science as an inquiry process rather than as a body of
results, publication as communication is the key to it, and it is the
implications of publication practices so conceived for academic life in
general as well as for the sciences in particular that especially
interests me. I find every message posted here informative about these
things -- these are historically important deliberations -- and
appreciate the willingness of all concerned to make these deliberations

Best regards,

Joe Ransdell

 Joseph Ransdell <> or <>
 Department of Philosophy, Texas Tech University, Lubbock TX 79409
 Area Code 806: 742-3158 office 797-2592 home 742-0730 fax
 ARISBE: Peirce Telecommunity website -
Received on Tue Aug 25 1998 - 19:17:43 BST

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