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1. Yes. I already have in a paper of mine. The SEP contains literature reviews on specific topics—and they are even updated every few years! Scientists constantly cite literature reviews for brevity, etc. They are some of the most cited papers. But the citing should have the right purpose of brevity and pointing to a review of the literature; if you talk about an authors individual views, I'd expect that you at least read and cite that particular author directly.

2. Depends on particulars. Philosophers of science are expected to talk about science. Reviewers likely do not read the citations carefully, but will tell if you are citing only peripheral-to-the-field authors and may make the paper seem less important. But it really depends on your thesis, yes?

If it's such-and-such is relevant to a question, and it comes from out of philosophy, fine. But in order to be understood by your peers and make an impact, it has to be sufficiently embedded in the extant philosophical conversation. So here is a plausible principle that follows: the more interdisciplinary your philosophical paper is, the more you have to do to motivate and justify the interdisciplinarity to your diciplinary audience.


Regarding the first question, I've definitely seen SEP articles cited by some very influential people. And not always *only* as review of literature: some SEP articles actually do break ground and some do present novel positions, though of course not in highly developed form. But I have seen SEP articles develop sketches of positions not worked out elsewhere.


1. Yes, when I wanted to point to a useful lit review or overview of a topic. As Roman mentions, some articles make nice contributions to the literature, and they're worth citing for those reasons.

2. I used science teaching references in a recent paper (American Phil Quarterly), but that's because I was using them to support my central example (about a teacher teaching physics -- the referee challenged the plausibility of my case, so I used a few references to put a stop to that). I also regularly use psychology references in my work when I find it relevant.

Relevant references are relevant: it doesn't matter if they're not "philosophy."

Alex Hughes

I have cited the SEP so that readers might find a good review of a topic I couldn't myself explicate within the journal's length limits. It seemed appropriate, given that the task of an article is to educate.

I'll admit to being a bit paranoid that it would rub some reviewers the wrong way, but decided to choose quality over marketing. The paper is still under review. So its fate remains unknown and it cannot yet constitute a data point on whether SEP citation decreases the probability of acceptance.

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