Saturday, January 15, 2011

Publish and Perish, or, The Strange Customs of Foreign Peoples

Oxford had a long tradition of not publishing during one's lifetime, indeed it was regarded as slightly vulgar to publish. People who did publish a lot, like A. J. Ayer, were regarded as remiss for having published too much too soon. As far as having a career and making a reputation were concerned, the attitude in Oxford was that the only opinions that really matter are the opinions of people in Oxford, and perhaps a few in Cambridge and London, and they will know about one's work anyway. One does not need to publish. What one does not want is a lot of graduate students somewhere, picking over one's half-backed publish texts and -- horror of horrors -- finding mistakes.

- John Searle, "J. L. Austin", in A Companion to Analytic Philosophy, ed. Aloysius Martinich & Dzvid Sosa (Wiley-Blackwell, 2001), p. 227

No comments: