Category Archives: Publishing

OUP “Philosophy in Focus” on East Asian Philosophy

Oxford University Press is currently running a marketing campaign focused on many of its titles in East Asian Philosophy; chapters from each volume are available for free download through the end of June. Topics covered include classical Daoism, Zen lessons from nature, the history of Confucianism, harmony through diversity in the Huainanzi, neglected texts, and more. See here for the details.

New Book: Ziran: The Philosophy of Spontaneous Self-Causation

I’d like to announce the publication of my new book Ziran: The Philosophy of Spontaneous Self-Causation. Targeted specifically at students, this book takes a key concept form early Chinese metaphysics—ziran 自然—and applies it to several fields of contemporary scholarship.

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New “Elements” Series on Comparative Political Theory

Leigh Jenco is the series editor for a new series at Cambridge Univeristy Press that adopts their novel “elements” approach. Leigh explains that an “element” is a “work of up to 30,000 words, is peer-reviewed, efficiently published, fully searchable and downloadable online with print-on-demand, and can be enhanced with images, videos, sound files, etc.” She adds that “the format is, in other words, combining the best features of books and journal articles at the same time. I think it is very well-suited to comparative philosophy and political theory, because it gives space to say more about background and context while also allowing the development of a substantive argument.” For more information, see here.

Publishing on the History of Chinese Philosophy

The recent discussion of the scope of “philosophy” reminded me of Amy Olberding’s excellent idea that those of us with tenure, at least, should make a point of endeavoring to publish in “general” philosophy journals, at least some of the time. (Just to be clear: this is no criticsm of existing journals focused on Chinese or comparative philosophy!) I am finishing up an essay on how to understand (and translate) tian in the context of Neo-Confucianism, and thought that it might make sense to try submitting it to a general history of philosophy journal. Which to choose? I decided to do a little research. I was pretty sure that Brian Leiter’s blog would have some sort of ranking of such journals, and sure enough, it does (from 2010). What surprised me was what I found when I started looking at the journals’ websites.

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More on archiving publications

In response to my posting about archiving my papers, Brian Bruya and I had a bit of correspondence about the differences among home-grown archive sites (like the “WesScholar” site I am using) and others, such as, ResearchGate, PhilPapers, and perhaps others. Brian also pointed me toward this very interesting discussion of the pros- and cons- of various options. Just a couple days ago, a colleague in anthropology told me that in her field, it was very common to post everything — including PDFs of published articles, which I think violates the policies of most journals — on The advantages in terms of ease of access are pretty obvious, although see the discussion referenced above for some downsides of just using Academia (or, perhaps, any single approach).

Brian himself uses a homegrown arching mechanism, as does Hagop Sarkissian:

I’d be interested in: (1) links to any other on-line sources of work in Chinese and/or comparative philosophy, and (2) any further thoughts about these topics.

New Book Series

Studies in Comparative Political Theory (Oxford University Press)

Editor: Diego von Vacano (Texas A&M University)

Consulting Editors: Andrew March (Yale) and Leigh Jenco (LSE)

The book series will seek to publish the best new research in Comparative Political Theory. We understand this term in a broad sense, as work that goes beyond traditional Western canonical approaches to major political questions or problems. We are especially interested in work that is comparative (deals with two or more distinctive cultural traditions in political thought) and which comes from the discipline of Political Theory in Political Science. However, other approaches and disciplines such as History, Philosophy, Anthropology, and Sociology are welcome. Interdisciplinary perspectives on cardinal political issues will also be of interest.

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Call For Proposals: Critical Inquiries in Comparative Philosophy book series

We are currently seeking book proposals for the Critical Inquiries in Comparative Philosophy book series (Rowman and Littlefield International). The volumes in this series aim to present recent research on topics within comparative philosophy generally as well as to present original work on these topics. Right now we are most interested in developing volumes focusing on Chinese Philosophy and/or Indian Philosophy, though proposals on topics in other areas of Asian and Comparative Philosophy are certainly welcome too.

There are currently two volumes of the series in development.  Alexus McLeod’s Theories of Truth in Chinese Philosophy: A Comparative Approach will be released this November, and Bongrae Seok’s Moral Psychology of Confucian Shame: Shame of Shamelessness is due to appear in 2017. Further information on the series and individual volumes can be found at the RLI series webpage.

Those interested in discussing topics or possible proposals for the series should contact Alexus McLeod at

Academic Book Costs

Given the energetic interest (e.g. here, recently) in academic book prices that are clearly pitched to institutional library collections and not for the average disposable income of individuals, I thought perhaps we could discuss this in a separate post and if we’re lucky, some of the blog readers who are in the publishing end could weigh in. At the very least, it might provide a forum in which to find out what goes into the decision to print a hardcover, library volume exclusively — I suppose something more illuminating than “there isn’t a market big enough for a softcover printing” would be nice. Comments from all sides are welcome.

Please keep comments civil — I know there is frustration out there but it may be constructive not to rage against the machine in this context.