Peer Review and the Revolutionary Academic: A Kuhnian Critique

By Adam Riggio.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper explores what I take to be a significant activity of human thought: the creation and enforcement of orthodoxies. I do so through investigating examples with which many academics are familiar: the formations both of standards for publication in peer reviewed journals, and of our allegiances with particular traditions and predecessors in our fields. Several sociological studies of these phenomena could lead one to conclude that our current methods of academic discipline stifle the progress of many fields. When the standard for publication or recognition of the merit of academic work is based on how well the work fits with established orthodoxy, an academic field can become repetitive and moribund. However, the vocabulary of Thomas Kuhn’s 1962 work, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, can give us the ability to understand a different way of relating to orthodoxies, in which our thinking is more open to novelty and creativity.

Keywords: Peer Review, Thomas Kuhn, Academic Culture

International Journal of the Book, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.9-16. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.182MB).

Adam Riggio

Graduate Student, Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Humanities, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Adam Riggio is a PhD candidate in philosophy at McMaster University in Canada. His major work currently focusses on developing alternative approaches to environmental philosophy. He has also published and presented in political philosophy, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language.

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