The philosophy journal Analysis has only had three editors in the last forty years (a rather remarkable record, I suppose). Christopher Kirwan edited it from late 1976 to 1987; I was editor from 1988 to 1999; and Michael Clark has been editor ever since 2000.
But Michael has now announced he wishes to relinquish the editorship next year. I hope his successor will be as devoted to that so-time-consuming job as he has been.
It is surely good for philosophy to have a range of different journals with their own quirks and individual flavours; and so it is surely good for philosophy too if there is someone (or maybe some small team) willing to take charge of an editor-run journal like Analysis. Yet — unless things have radically changed just recently — editing a journal counts for very little in the metrics by which either individuals or their departments are judged. And other pressures on people’s time of course get only worse. So good luck to the Analysis Committee in finding someone else to take on the editorship.
I guess I’m glad I did the job (though I carried on a couple of years too long). That earlier timeslice of myself enjoyed it — though I wouldn’t see the attraction now, since I’ve so lost the taste for most philosophy. But maybe that change of heart isn’t as radical as it sounds. What made me quite a good editor (which people said I was) can’t be disconnected from fact that even then I thought that a lot of philosophy is very dull indeed, and of the potentially interesting stuff, lots is just not very good. Being very hard to please made it rather easier, perhaps, to crack on with the business of selecting out what eventually got published. And when I did get enthused, I was correspondingly willing to put in (when needed) a lot of editorial effort to help improve the paper.
It all seems a long time ago. But for anyone who might think about picking up the torch, the headline from the official notice is that interested parties (expected to be from the UK) should contact Dr Ben Colburn, at [email protected] (soon).