I've been thinking a lot about Neil Mehta's writing guide for professional philosophers the past few days. In many respects, I think it is an excellent guide. Like some other philosophers I've known, I struggled to learn how to publish. I had several failed revise-and-resubmits at good journals while in graduate school, and felt for a long time like I would never "learn the formula" for publishing. Fortunately, as time went along, I slowly learned how to publish--and a lot of the things I think I learned are contained in Neil's guide! So, I think Neil's guide is an excellent resource: something that people who are struggling to publish can probably learn a lot from. In fact, I hope to write a few follow-up posts investigating some of Neil's suggestions in more detail, in the hope of providing readers a more concrete picture of how to follow up on those suggestions.
Today, though, I want to focus on something else I've been thinking about in connection with Neil's guide: the issue of how to think about and approach tensions between philosophical ideals. Let me briefly explain what I think those tensions might be, and why I think we should probably care about them, both as individual researchers and as a profession. I'll then open things up for discussion, and will be curious to see what you all think!