Based on recent reviewers’ reports, I’ve come up with some quick guidelines to reference when submitting to philosophy journals:
1. Do not make an argument in your paper. If you do, it will be ignored, and hence is a waste of everyone’s time. Do not fear, though: The reviewer will tell you what argument should have been written and how you failed to provide sufficient supporting justifications for that argument.
2. Building and supporting the results of previous sections is likewise ill-advised. By having the sections relate to each other it ensures that they will be incompatible with the argument the reviewer is looking for.
3. Distinctions are dangerous! By associating two concepts together you will introduce complexity to your paper. The reviewer cannot be expected to remember which concept you are discussing, no matter how clearly you state which you are talking about.
4. Providing new definitions of traditional concepts should be avoided. As the old, contradictory, definition is so much more familiar, any new definition will inherently be too obscure to have any utility.
Conclusion: Basically assume the paper will be reviewed on a Friday night after heavy drinking.
OK. Done venting.