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(It’s been a long time since I last commented here, but I still read pretty regularly!)

Preliminary note: What follows is mostly a personal opinion, and absolutely not an advice from a prestigious author.

I don’t write short papers. I have, as it were, become unable to do so. What I shall suggest, then, is purely hypothetical: I can only assume that to write a piece that Analysis could accept, you should do just what you’d do to write a piece Ethics would accept: read many papers actually published in Analysis, not in order to improve your knowledge, but so as to “get how they work.” I guess (it’s a guess, really, but one that reflects the kind of recommendations I’ve read for “standard length journals”) that if you’re able to see how authors published in Analysis make their point, how they succeed in being brief, precise, and rigorous at the same time, in other words if you get the kind of standard you should meet in order to place a paper in Analysis, you should also be able to apply and meet that kind of standard yourself.


Greetings; this post caught my eye, as I have published some flash fiction pieces myself. I returned to school to do a second undergrad, this time in philosophy, and have often thought about the similarity between writing a flash piece to an academic paper. Mind you, I am just a senior/grad school applicant in philosophical training terms, but for what's worth, my writer sense tells me that not all topics or subjects in philosophy will be amenable to the form, and that the form may not suit the work of all writers (or philosophers in this case). Think of Wittgenstein's claim that the form and presentation of the text in the "Philosophical Investigations" was linked to the investigations themselves. Yes he was a genius, but there are plenty of geniuses (or at least very, very intelligent people) in philosophy and other fields that could not have pulled that one off. Nietzsche wrote in aphorisms; Gilbert Ryle in epigrams. For a more contemporary example, Ernest Sosa struck me as someone that writes in a very specific style.

In short, I would very timidly say that every writer, whether literally or an academic, should perhaps adopt the style that best suits his work and himself as a writer.

(Hope you excuse the undergrad intrusion; hope I can contribute more a couple years from now!)

Helen De Cruz

Thanks for your comments - The Cocoon is for everyone, not just academic philosophers with PhDs! Anyway, I suspected too that it's a matter of style, and not just of subject. I personally work associatively, whenever I find a topic to write about, lots of other things come into my mind and I develop these are second and subsequent minor strands in the paper.

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