Monday, May 08, 2006

Hey, That's My Idea!

Via Concurring Opinions, I see that the Yale Law Journal (which already did something surprisingly sharp and cutting edge with its Pocket Part) is putting out a call for debate-style papers. Two professors with opposing views submit somewhat incomplete papers, then "develop" their ideas in response to objections from their partner.

At the risk of being self-aggrandizing, let me point out that I had this idea over a year ago:
Perhaps an alternative would be recasting the norm about what "acceptable" (esp. for tenure review) scholarship is. If academia was changed to be more debate oriented, with the expectation that professors would not just construct arguments but also actively engage in debate with their philosophical opponents, that could help ... giv[e] an alternative path to academic success beyond just making new claims and blissfully ignoring the scathing criticism coming from the other side of the political divide.

Always on top of the latest trends here at The Debate Link.

PrawfsBlawg is offering itself as a gathering point for scholars to partner up with each other on the project. But one of their commenters made a sobering point: It's possibly (and very likely) that the YLJ will go after the highest-profile names possible, setting up battle-royale matches between titans in particular fields. This would undoubtedly be fun to read, but makes life difficult for young guns who saw this as an opportunity to get their foot in the YLJ.

Sigh--my own brainchild, leaving me outside its gates.

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