Blogs and Books

by Brian on April 19, 2006

Language Log is having a book published of their best posts for the last few years. Although there won’t be anything new in this, it should be a fun record of what has long been to my mind one of the best academic blogs around.

I’m sure there are other examples of blogs turning into books, though I think this is the first time it’s happened to a blog that I read regularly. To be honest, it’s hard to think of many other blogs I read that would be even suitable for this treatment. (Perhaps CT is the only one, though not for my contributions!) Most political blogs are too focussed on the day to day aspects for there to be much value in a print publication. And most philosophy blogs tend to publish snippets, thoughts in progress and the like, which need a lot of polishing before they are ready for print. When I started blogging it was with the hope that it would genuinely be an alternative publishing source. That is, it would be a place where I put things that were finished pieces, but which wouldn’t, couldn’t or shouldn’t end up in traditional print journals. But in fact it has turned into a repository for transient thoughts, not a publishing place. Language Log has, to a large extent, gone the other way.

Which other blogs do people think are worthy of commemoration in dead-tree format?

A graduate student asked me the other day for some summer reading suggestions; must-read articles in political philosophy from the past 25-30 years. I was a bit shocked at how narrow my list was (though I did leave off a bunch of papers that I knew he’d already read, and that would have broadened my list a bit), and I thought it would be a nice exercise for the political philosophers who read CT; suggest one or two papers from the past 30 years that you think everyone who wants to write a dissertation in the area of political philosophy reasonably broadly conceived should have read. Do not suggest your own papers unless you are dead or plan to be by the summer. I’ll follow up with an eccentrically chosen list of 10 , with the best links I can manage.