Can they reconstitute Philosphy & Public Affairs?

Here is a recent announcement of note:

We are unanimously resigning from our editorial roles at Philosophy & Public Affairs, published by Wiley, and launching a new diamond open-access journal published by Open Library of Humanities (OLH). All of us will play the same editorial roles in the new journal and will retain the aim of publishing the best philosophical work touching on matters of public importance.

Do read the whole text, but you can imagine how the arguments run.  Lots of big names are behind this, including Sen, Scheffler, Srinivasan, Waldron, and others.  I am rooting for them, but can this succeed?

How sticky are reputations anyway?  Nine months from now, what percentage of people on a university-wide tenure committee will know about this change?  Three years from now?

Or consider the new journal itself.  Without the long history of famous articles behind it, might it, with the same set of editors, have a lower reputation?  Talk about mood affiliation!

Or might the existence of a “naming squabble” itself lower the reputations of both the old journal and the new venture?  “Well, if they can’t get along, both outlets will have trouble managing their future reputations…”

Or might some of the highly prestigious editors, over time, be more willing to leave than would have been the case under the old moniker?  Perhaps the newly reconstituted board will not be able to get along with itself, not without the final backstop of “the company” (Wiley) to enforce a core on all the bargaining.

If I am in the second year of my tenure clock in a philosophy department, and I have a great paper, do I send it to the new journal?  In its old manifestation it was a top top outlet, but is it still?  What risks am I running?  Or do I send it to the thing still named Philosophy & Public Affairs, which presumably still has some very good new editors.

I will be watching.



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