Sunday, 1 January 2012

The 12 Key Postings on this Blog in 2011

I opened last year with a summary of the best postings from each month of the year that had just closed and have decided to open this year's postings the same way. Amongst other things it enables a sense to emerge of how the blog develops over 12 months, in terms of trends of interest at different times of year and an indication of which topics have attracted or should have attracted wider engagement.


A month that lacked any clear focus in postings last year but which did include a report on the Netroots conference I attended and which attracted some considerable interest from others who were present so I'd like to recommend this posting to anyone who wasn't there who might like an indication of what the conference concerned. 


A quiet month in terms of postings but included a detailed description and response to the announcement of the philosophy panel in the so-called "research excellence framework". This posting provides important details on those involved in the panel and is worth consulting by anyone in the UK who is likely to have their work judged in due course.


This was the busiest month of the year in terms of postings, which ranged in focus from discussions of the original version of John Rawls' notion of the "original position" to reports on campaigns to keep philosophy alive at Greenwich and Keele universities. Perhaps the most philosophically interesting posting, however, was the first of two that responded to an early Rawls paper on distributive justice


A fall-off in quantity of postings followed the height of March, partly due to a difficult personal situation during this period. During the course of this month I began blogging my way through Rawls' Theory of Justice, something far from finished by year-end! One of the early postings on this topic that emerged this month is the first one on Rawls' view of utilitarianism which I would recommend. 


A small number of postings, mainly focused again on Rawls but, towards the end of the month, I also laid out a sustained defence of the notion of open access publishing and journals which, I think, merits perusal.


A month with a large number of postings on a variety of topics from a response to the New College of Humanities to the beginning of a series of postings on Derek Parfit's new book On What Matters, responses which are on-going on this blog. However, despite the beginning of the responses to Parfit occurring during the course of this month, I think the more important posting during the month concerned Rawls again with a piece on what is involved in constructing the original position that is, I think, one of the best of the year by far. 


Postings during this month divided between responses to Rawls and Parfit with, however, the opening of some on Kant's Groundwork. One of the postings of this month succeeded however in attracting a fair amount of attention and this was my response to Simon Blackburn's review of Parfit's book which you can find here.


This was a month with a lot of postings on a very varied range of subjects ranging from a reply to Nelson Potter's reading of the first part of Kant's Groundwork to some opening discussion of John Skorupski's book The Domain of Reasons.  The most visited posting of the year was posted this month on the topic of the wrongness of prostitution but I would prefer it if readers looked instead at the first of two postings that respond to Skorupski and his conception of "Critical philosophy". 


A slight fall-off in the number of postings after the output of August. Postings again focused on topics as disparate as the annual report on the UK Kant Society conference and a response to the exhibition on Ford Madox Brown held in Manchester. However the response I set out to a profile of Derek Parfit in the New Yorker both served to informed readers of what that profile says and to indicate some additional sides to Parfit himself. 


Postings during the course of this month included further replies to Nelson Potter's reading of Kant's Groundwork and a posting on a conference I attended in Romania on cosmopolitics. The month ended with a posting on the account Derek Parfit gives to treating persons as ends during his 2002 Tanner lectures. 


A month in which the number of postings increased significantly again and ranged from the beginning of a series of postings on Henry Allison's new book on Kant's Groundwork to some new postings on Rawls. Perhaps the highlight of the month though was a report on Barbara Herman's account of moral worth in Kant. 


Final month of the year involved responses to Allison's book on the Groundwork and Parfit's work. Of the Parfit postings the second on his account of treating persons as ends looks at how this developed in his early version of On What Matters which he called Climbing the Mountain.

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