Friday, November 9, 2012


We have now had two posts here at TVP, and unfortunately neither one has received any comments. I am willing to entertain the possibility that this project is doomed to failure, but given the number of people who have expressed excitement about it to me, I thought I'd try to jump-start it.

So, I'm opening this post for comments and suggestions. Did you read the first couple of posts? Why didn't you comment? Would you be more inclined to comment if you could do so anonymously? Or if TVP changed in some other way?

Here are a couple of other ideas I've had/been given: Would people be interested in reading short essays from well-published philosophers on how they select venues in general and other publishing advice? One possibility is for me to try to contact some such people and request contributions.

Another thought: Would people be interested in a having Primary Commentor position to complement the Current Author position? That is, someone who believes that she has helpful things to say about publishing in area X could be matched up with and serve as moderator a for discusssion of some submission in area X.

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Defence of Causation by Absence

Using David Lewis’s (2000) account of counterfactuals to address metaphysical causation has a significant limitation: It significantly overgenerates cases of causation by absence. Helen Beebee (2004) has used this difficulty in an argument that metaphysically robust (i.e. non-arbitrary, determinate) causation by omission is not possible. In this essay, I offer an alternative definition for causation by absence in response. On my definition, the worlds in which the effect fails cannot be closer to the actual world than those worlds in which the omitted event occurs. This definition is determinate, non-arbitrary, and does not require a metric on the distance between possible worlds.

Causation by omission; Relationism; Experimental philosophy; Possible worlds

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Our First Submission! (Untitled)

Since this is our first post, a few prefatory remarks: Please remember to check out the Instructions for Commentors page before commenting. In particular, please remember that the primary purpose of TVP is to get feedback about journals and other venues for publication, not to critique the work itself (except where this is relevant to its suitability for a particular venue). If you would like to discuss something with the author other than appropriate venues (or that is otherwise not appropriate for the comments section) you may email the Current Author at The Current Author will have access to this address until Sunday night (10/28). Our second session will begin at 9am next Monday (10/29).

David Lewis' best-system account of lawhood does not get off the ground unless some 'elite minority' of attributes (i.e., properties or relations) is singled out for special treatment. Lewis thought that this elite class of attributes is formed by the perfectly natural ones, but this idea faces two related challenges: first, the concept of a perfectly natural attribute can easily seem rather mysterious – at least no less so than the concepts of universal and trope on the basis of which it may (according to Lewis) be explicated if it is not taken as primitive. Second, in part because of its mysterious character, it is not clear why the concept of perfectly natural attribute should play any special role in an account of lawhood. In this paper, I offer an account of what it means for an attribute to be simple, and argue that the concept of a simple attribute is better suited for the role that, in Lewis' best-system account of lawhood, is played by the concept of a perfectly natural attribute.

Perfectly natural properties; Laws of nature; David Lewis

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Currently under review at Erkenntnis

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Second CfA

While I have gotten a lot of enthusiastic feedback concerning the prospects for this project over the last couple of weeks, I have received very few submissions. So, in honor of TVP's two-week birthday, I thought I'd quickly post a second CfA to remind people to submit submit submit! I'm sure there are many of you out there with papers that you're just not quite sure where they should go. Why not ask the folks here? The discussion will hopefully benefit not only you but also others working in the same area.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Welcome to The Venue Poll!

Welcome to The Venue Poll (TVP), a new blog dedicated to helping Philosophers find the best venues for publishing their work. 

Many of those in the profession have, either through years of experience, concerted effort, or both, garnered a wealth of knowledge concerning what venues are best for what sorts of papers, how difficult various venues are to get published in, etc. Some of this information is general enough that it can be represented in tables and such (check out the Resources page for some). But it seems that in many cases authors would benefit from specific feedback concerning where to send particular papers.

With that in mind, TVP will be publishing abstracts from Philosophers looking to get relevant feedback on where to send a paper they are working on. TVP readers are encouraged to offer any relevant comments. Before commenting, please make sure to read the Instructions for Commentors page in its entirety.

TVP is now open for submissions. If you have a paper you are working on and would like feedback on where it would best be placed, please head to the Instructions for Authors Seeking Feedback page.

TVP will begin publishing abstracts in mid-to-late October. In the meantime, readers are encouraged to take a look around the site and offer up any suggestions concerning format, etc. All questions and comments should be directed to the Editor at