Sunday, October 14, 2007

Welcome to the blogosphere...

to Public Reason, a group blog on political theory and political philosophy with quite a list of potential contributors. The mission statement:

Public Reason is a new group blog for political philosophers and theorists. The purpose of the blog is to create an informal but professional online venue where members of the academic political philosophy and theory community can discuss their work. Academic blogging has undergone a remarkable growth lately. A number of group blogs have been created by philosophers and political scientists, but none is specifically dedicated to political philosophy or theory. Public Reason aims to remedy that deficit. Contributors to the blog will have the ability to post a number of items:

* Literature discussions. If you have something to say about a recent article in journals such as Ethics or the Journal of Political Philosophy, you can link to the article and post a discussion of it on the blog.
* Reading groups. Work through a book chapter by chapter with colleagues.
* Working papers. Upload or link to working papers you would like to receive feedback on.
* Conference announcements. Post information about forthcoming conferences or calls for papers.
* Teaching discussions. Unsure about how to best explain sovereign authority in Hobbes’s Leviathan or the constraints of deliberative democracy to students? Post ideas about conveying theoretical concepts in the classroom.
* Podcasts. If you are giving a talk or just want to read a paper for colleagues to listen to on their iPods over lunch, record an mp3 file, upload it here, and subscribe to Public Reason podcasts via iTunes.
* General issues. Raise an issue of academic interest not sufficiently addressed in any literature you can find.

Why should an academic blog? For the same reason you attend conferences, give talks, ask questions, chat with colleagues, read books, and publish papers. An academic group blog is merely an online tool used to continue the conversations begun on the journal pages and in the conference halls. In that respect, Public Reason is not intended as a vehicle for purely personal reflections, social observations, or “Friday night cat blogging.”