Thursday, October 7, 2010

What I’m reading

Helen Heath of VUP guest posts on TimJonesBooks about the view from the publisher’s side of reviews, book blogs and such. Useful stuff for authors, who as a rule don’t hear enough from publishers, imho. 

A Companion to Philosophy in Australia and New Zealand by Graham Oppy and NN Trakakisis, published by Monash University, is available for free online here. So it would be churlish to complain, but has that ever stopped us before?

The entry on David (D.M.) Armstrong seems skimpy for his stature. The entry on Auckland University is written by Robert Nola, a good choice as he is such a good writer. (He taught me Marx, so I am the only person I know, left or right, who has actually read Das Kapital, with the possible exception of Chris Trotter though I bet he skimmed.) But it is unavoidably a partisan account, and I don’t believe that anyone at Monash would have been able to check it for bias, so I bet all the other entries for other universities are similarly skewed. 

But as always with a big book like this it’s not who’s in that matters. it’s who’s not. The elephant not in the room is Armstrong’s colleague at the University of Sydney, David Stove. Whatever one’s politics (guess which side he was on to deserve being airbrushed out of the record?), a book calling itself A Companion to Philosophy in Australia and New Zealand that does not have an entry for Stove is a joke.

No comments: