I have almost no philosophical associations at this point. I have been out of school for years and my philosophical interests have little impact on how I feel about philosophies and philosophers on which I don’t work. One of the things I have tried to live by is that I don’t know where the next interesting thought will come from.
Of course, if I have experience with individuals or philosophies then I can make determinations about their worth.
I run this philosophy blog which has a very limited readership. It is always fun to host a philosophy carnival, which I have done three times, and get a boost in traffic. By a vast amount, the link Brian Leiter placed on his blog provided the most visitors. And it is no secret that his blog is the most, or at least one of the most, trafficked philosophy blogs.
So when he did not link to my last carnival, I thought it was a mistake, but then it dawned on me that he could be angry that I had posted links to something that was critical of The Philosophical Gourmet Report, which he runs. As I said above, there is no conspiracy here, I just thought the posts were interesting. Then he did not link to further carnivals, which removed major support from the carnival. The explanation given on the new philosophy carnival is that Dr. Leiter was unhappy with the quality of the philosophy carnivals.
This is nonsense. The philosophy carnivals have been about the same for years. Also, I put a good deal of effort into my carnival and made sure to have lots of high quality links. Dr. Leiter himself put up a link to the same philosophy posters that I had used in my carnival. Moreover, if Dr. Leiter is happy to regularly link to Philosopher’s Anonymous, which is often enough a philosophical bitchfest (not that I am saying there is anything wrong with P.A.), he isn’t in the least worried about “philosophical quality.”
I really can’t speculate on his exact motives, but, whatever they are, it is odd that the issues are so big that he is willing to be so petty. The carnival provides an opportunity for anyone to write something philosophically interesting and then have an audience, if only the carnival host. It is noble in its modest goal. There is no reason not to support it, even if some random person on the internet links to something critical of something you work on, or you don’t like some of what gets posted.
EDIT: Maybe I’m just pissed because it looks like I killed it seeing as I was the last regular post before it went on hiatus and then spluttered.