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From Philosophy Pathways Issue 154



International Society for Philosophers: ISFP Publishing


Publishing is not a new venture for the International Society for Philosophers. We have two electronic journals, Philosophy Pathways and Philosophy for Business, both of which were added this year to the Directory of Open Access Journals http://www.doaj.org hosted by the University of Lund, Sweden.

However, the idea of book publishing is something else entirely. This is not a great time to be a book publisher from an economic standpoint, and the ISFP is hardly in a position to take the considerable financial risks involved. The reality is that the ISFP is run on a shoestring, staffed entirely by volunteers. It is only the wonder of the internet which enables an international organization such as ours to exist at all.

That was my thinking up to a month ago, when I received an intriguing offer from ISFP Board member Matthew Del Nevo. The argument was made that we have a respected name in the academic world, which gives us a very real advantage compared to a publishing venture starting from square one. But still, the lack of finance was a major obstacle.

Meanwhile, Rachel Browne another ISFP Board member had been corresponding with two authors, Nick Acocella and [Removed] both frustrated by the difficulties in finding a commercial publisher for their very original works. The two books, in different ways, push the boundaries in a manner which would make many publishers extremely nervous. What do you you do? Do you send off proposal after proposal, hoping eventually that you will strike lucky and find a publisher prepared to go the extra mile?

So we formed the idea of a service which would help authors by offering the chance to attract academically qualified reviewers who would put their weight behind a book publishing proposal, as well as providing, in effect, an ongoing in-depth editorial service.

We are not offering these books for sale. The only way to get a copy is to request a copy for review. Membership of the ISFP will be a point in favour of your request for a review copy being granted, but it is not a guarantee.

We are issuing a call for manuscripts, on any topic related to philosophy. Philosophical novels will be just as welcome as works on philosophical anthropology or the philosophy of physics.

Manuscripts need to be in a tidy state — which have been checked for grammar, spelling, factual errors etc. — but not necessarily up to full publishable standard. The assumption is that a manuscript will go through several revisions before the author is ready to submit a proposal to a commercial publisher. The ISFP would be able to give its full backing, having seen the work through each stage of its progress.

We are launching ISFP Publishing with a list of just four works. In addition to the books by Nick Acocella and [Removed] Pathways mentor Martin Jenkins has agreed to allow us to include the expanded version of his ISFP Fellowship dissertation on Nietzsche which he is hoping to get published. To encourage others, and to show a good example, I have added an updated version of my work ‘Ethical Dilemmas’.

It is fair to say that all four works court controversy, in different ways. As I state on the front page of the ISFP Publishing site, ‘We welcome authors who are prepared to take risks and rock the boat. No subject is taboo. Philosophy should push you out of your comfort zone.’ — That is not to say that a book has to be controversial in order to be included on our list. But it should at least encourage the reader to think differently.

Books should be submitted as a single document in Word (.doc or .docx). This will be converted to a PDF file. Details of the work and the private download location will be circulated to members of the Board of the ISFP. In order to be added to the public ISFP Publishing list, a work needs at least one member of the Board who is prepared to sponsor it. Knowing the expertise which the Board collectively muster, I am confident that this will be sufficient to keep the list looking ship shape.

Here is the current list which you will find on the ISFP Publishing web site:

  1. Nick Acocella — The Divine Inspiration of Porn and the Beginning of Sexual Metaphysics
  2. [Removed]
  3. Martin Jenkins — Aristocratic Radicalism or Anarchy? An Examination of Nietzsche’s Doctrine of Will to Power
  4. Geoffrey Klempner — Ethical Dilemmas: a primer for decision makers

For more details, including short descriptions, reviews and authors bios, go to the ISFP Publishing site http://www.isfp.co.uk/publishing/. There is a form for submitting requests for review copies on the web site.

Please send all comments, inquiries, submissions to me at klempner@fastmail. net. I look forward to hearing from you!

(c) Geoffrey Klempner 2010

E-mail: klempner@fastmail.net


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