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Philosophy and Literature

Editor :

Garry L. Hagberg, Bard College

47 (2023)
For more than forty years, Philosophy and Literature has explored the dialogue between literary and philosophical studies. The journal offers fresh, stimulating ideas in the aesthetics of literature, theory of criticism, philosophical interpretation of literature, and literary treatment of philosophy. Philosophy and Literature challenges the cant and pretensions of academic priesthoods through its assortment of lively, wide-ranging essays, notes, and reviews that are written in clear, jargon-free prose.
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Journal Details

47 (2023)
Print: 0190-0013
Online: 1086-329X


Articles must be submitted as email attachments. Please include a 100-word abstract (required for articles only, instructions below). 
Address submissions to: 
Submissions may be emailed in any bibliographical, footnoting, or endnoting style or format; if accepted, we will ask you to bring your article into conformity with the Style Guide below.

We welcome submissions in these categories:

  1. Articles of between 6000 and 8000 words;
  2. shorter pieces for our Notes and Fragments column of between 1500 and 4000 words;
  3. Critical Discussions (review essays) of approximately 3000-4500 words;
  4. Book Reviews of approximately 800-1200 words;
  5. Creative Directions, which we have published at lengths between one page and 7000 words;
  6. Lines of Thought multiple-book review essays, assessing an intellectual trend or development, of 4000-5500 words; and
  7. Coda articles of any length up to 6500 words, discussing a cultural issue of a broad kind.

In the subject line of your submission, please include the category of submission, with your last name placed first, e.g., “Werthamer, Article submission”, or “Hagberg, Notes and Fragments submission”, etc. All submissions of any length go through editorial review.

In addition, the Editor will on occasion bring articles together into either Symposia, a set of four or five articles on a given topic or author that speak to each other, or In Focus columns, with two or three articles on a specific and narrowly-defined topic.

PLEASE NOTE: Address all correspondence concerning Philosophy and Literature to only: using other email addresses at Bard College or Johns Hopkins University Press will only complicate and delay matters. We receive an extraordinary number of submissions and emails from around the world, and we try to reply as quickly as is humanly possible. Patience is a virtue -- one that we particularly appreciate. If there is a delay longer than what you regard as reasonable, please re-send your email.

Style Guide

Philosophy and Literature follows the specifications of the Chicago Manual of Style, preferably the most recent edition. Authors who are unable to locate a copy of this valuable book should carefully study the bibliographic style of previous issues of the journal. Among the most important aspects to note: The journal uses endnotes rather than footnotes, and does not use Works Cited lists.

We urge authors to cooperate in careful manuscript preparation and adherence to this guide and the Chicago Manual. Such assistance will expedite the appearance of your manuscript.


Your abstract: some friendly advice. We like to see abstracts, of 100 words or fewer, with submitted papers (though some sections of P&L do not include abstracts). Please give us an abstract that entices, or intrigues, or even exerts a special conceptual magnetism. We want an abstract that people will read and think of your article, “I simply cannot go on without reading this!”


(1) Quotation. Please check and double check all quotations. In general, avoid very long block quotations; readers come to your article because they want to know what you have to say. Never begin an article with a quotation of longer than one sentence. Quotations of up to seven lines in typescript should be run in as part of the main text. Quotations of more than seven lines should be set as block quotations.

(2) References. Where the same book is to be repeatedly referred to in your article, use an endnote for the first citation (with all relevant bibliographic information, including principal city of publication). Subsequent citations should appear in the text in a shortened form, using either the name of the author or (preferably) an abbreviated form of the book title. Here is an example, complete with references to two books by the same author.

1. E. D. Hirsch Jr., Validity in Interpretation (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1967); hereafter abbreviated VI.

2. Richard E. Palmer, Hermeneutics (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1969), p. 60.

3. One should also consult Jesse Kalin, “John Barth and Moral Nihilism,” Philosophy and Literature 1 (1977): 170–82.

4. One of the most interesting criticisms of Hirsch is that of Monroe Beardsley in The Possibility of Criticism (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1970), esp. pp. 24–31. Joseph Margolis criticizes Beardsley’s ideas in “Robust Relativism,” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 35 (1976): 37–46; hereafter abbreviated “RR.”

5. E. D. Hirsch Jr., The Aims of Interpretation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976); hereafter abbreviated AI.

And here is how the references appear in the main text:

He calls this “the only practical norm for a cognitive discipline of interpretation” (AI, p. 7). Again, “the object of interpretation is no automatic given, but a task that the interpreter sets himself” (VI, p. 25). For Margolis, on the other hand, “a relativistic conception of interpretation . . . may well be required” (“RR,” p. 44).

Where a single book is being discussed in your text, the bibliographic endnote should say “hereafter cited by page number,” and used thus in the text:

Critical modes are treated “not as positions to be defended but as locations or openings to be explored” (p. 339). Whatever you do, don’t rule your opponent out of the community (p. 28); follow Booth in his “simple effort to be a good citizen in the republic of criticism” (p. 34).

Be careful that the quotation “is followed by the page number in parentheses before the period” (pp. 23–24), except following a block quotation, where the period precedes the citation. Don’t pepper your page with numbers: if you have many separate quotations from a one- or two-page stretch of text, a single reference at the end of the paragraph will suffice. When citing the same book multiple times in a single paragraph, use the shortened form in the first reference, then page number only for subsequent references in that paragraph.

(3) Bibliographic style. Again, the aim is simplicity and clarity, consistent with Chicago style. Avoid “ibid.” and never use “op. cit.” or “loc. cit.” Here are some examples of bibliographic citations:

Single-author book.

6. Northrop Frye, Anatomy of Criticism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1957), pp. 115–28.

Translated book. Note volume number in arabic, not roman, numerals:

7. Umberto Cassuto, A Commentary on the Book of Genesis, vol. 1, trans. Israel Abrahams (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1961), p. 69.

8. Letter to Witold Hulewicz, the Polish translator of Duino Elegies, November 13, 1925. R. M. Rilke, Briefe (Wiesbaden: Insel, 1950), p. 480 (my translation).

9. Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness, trans. Hazel Barnes (New York: Philosophical Library, 1966), p. 42.

10. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Zettel, ed. G. E. M. Anscombe and G. H. von Wright, trans. G. E. M. Anscombe (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1967).

Same article in journal and book. Note that journal references use a colon before page numbers; books use “pp.”:

11. For an excellent discussion of this ode, see C. P. Segal, “Sophocles’s Praise of Man and the Conflicts of the Antigone,” Arion 3 (1964): 46–66; reprinted in Sophocles: A Collection of Critical Essays, ed. T. Woodard (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1966), pp. 62–85.

Mixed references with one author. Note again use of colon and “pp.”:

12. See W. T. Jones, “Philosophical Disagreements and World View,” Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 43 (1969–70): 461–83; “World Views: Their Nature and Their Function,” Current Anthropology 13, no. 1 (Feb. 1972): 79–109; “Talking about Art and Primitive Society,” in The Study of Primitive Art, ed. A. Forge (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1973), pp. 256–77; “World Views and Asian Medical Systems,” in Asian Medical Systems: A Comparative Study, ed. C. Leslie (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976), pp. 383–404.

Reference to a daily or monthly. Use date of issue instead of standard journal citation:

13. Since I developed this notion of Descartes I have read Frances Yates’s review of Brian P. Copenhaver’s Symphorien Champier in the New York Review of Books (Nov. 22, 1979).

(4) Reference to a webpage. We request that authors only cite URLs when they deem it absolutely necessary, since URLs can change. An adequate solution is simply to say that an article already identified and quoted is online. Readers can then go and find it for themselves.

(5) Miscellaneous matters.

Section headings within the text are simple roman numerals (I, II, III), not titles. We trust you will make your point without needing spotlights.

Wherever possible, avoid passive subject/verb phrases such as “there were” or “it is.” The sentence in (4) above holds more immediacy by stating, “An adequate solution is simply…” than “It should be enough simply to say that…”

The editors have noticed the increasing misuse of “cf.” “Cf.” stands for “confer,” and it means “compare with.” It is never italicized. Do not use “cf.” when you mean “see also.” “See” and “see also” are perfectly acceptable. We also do not use “ff.”; please indicate full range of page references.

All commas and periods “fall within quotation marks.” The only exception is where a page reference is given “at the end of the sentence” (pp. 463–64). (Note en-dash instead of hyphen in page citation.)

When you cite an article or a book for the first time in a numbered endnote, do not supply only partial information about the source, even if you repeat some of what is already given in the main text. Provide complete information, including author’s full name and the work’s full title, in the citation’s initial endnote appearance. In other words, we do not want a reference to Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn to take the reader to an endnote that reads: “17. (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1958), pp. 132–33.”

Avert the need to place a capital or lower-case letter in brackets. “[T]edious, academic bracket-mongering must be avoided!” A way around such nonsense is almost always available, as for example quoting in mid-sentence the Editor proclaiming that “tedious, academic bracket-mongering must be avoided!” Rarely in the history of this journal have we been driven to this pedantic fussiness—and in those cases only because we didn’t have the original source material to accurately recast the quotation ourselves.

Also, please note that Chicago Manual of Style allows for insertion of capital or lower-case letters in quotations if warranted in the context.

If possible, avoid references to current political or other fleeting contemporary events that would tend to date your article in a way that might obscure its broader relevance and longer-range significance.

Provide English translations of all but the most obvious quotations in foreign languages; of course, cite the source, and if the translations are your own, say so.


Finally—and a matter definitive of the spirit of this journal—jargon. The natural home for jargon is the natural sciences, where the need for technical language is undisputed. But the farther we move into the humanities, the more does a reliance on jargon become a matter of trying to attain prestige by using big words. Or big phrases borrowed from what some regard as a social science: “mutually interactive dyadic postdictive social interaction processes” can be translated into untortured English as “two people talking to each other.”

Of course, jargon does have a place in humanistic studies—in the history of grammar, rhetoric, linguistics, and philosophy generally, to name some instances. In literary theory, however, within recent decades the reliance on it became a form of intellectual kitsch and a replacement for hard thinking. Since Philosophy and Literature deals with technical philosophers from Aristotle and Kant to Husserl and Heidegger, we do not “outlaw” jargon as some popular publications might. On the other hand, we do not appreciate it where it is used to obscure and mystify. Nor do we enjoy jargon when it is employed to achieve the rhetorical effect of identifying the writer with fashionable positions. In our opinion, the most erudite, sophisticated, interesting, elegant, and intellectually disciplined writers in humanistic studies find fresh ways to articulate their views in voices that are their own. Writers who need jargon of the obscurantist kind in order to express themselves can find numerous journals that will welcome their work. Philosophy and Literature will not. Conceptual clarity remains central among our ideals.

A remark that the elderly Kant made about jargon is as good today as it was when he wrote it, about 1790: “One doesn’t know whether to laugh harder at the charlatan who spreads all this fog . . . or at the audience which naively imagines the reason it cannot clearly recognize and grasp this masterpiece of insight is that new masses of truth are being hurled at it” (Critique of Judgment, §47).

The Hopkins Press Journals Ethics and Malpractice Statement can be found at the ethics-and-malpractice page.

PHL Peer Review

Philosophy and Literature welcomes submissions of original articles in a number of categories. These include: regular Articles (approx. 6,000-8,000 words); pieces for the Notes and Fragments column (approx. 2,500-4,000 words); pieces for the Creative Directions column (any length from 2,500 to 8,000 words) that may take the form of creative fiction with philosophical content; or pieces for the Coda column (any length from 2,500 to 8,000 words) that are more general commentaries on the state of a given area or field, the direction a field is taking and its broader cultural significance, and so forth. We also invite Critical Exchanges (full book review essays with a reply from the author) Critical Discussions (full book review essays), and multi-book review essays for the Lines of Thought column, as well as some standard shorter book reviews. On occasion we publish short pieces as Readers’ Reponses, submitted in response to a previously published article in the journal. The range of our coverage across the arts and humanities is wider than our title would suggest. Also, submitted articles that fit together on a given theme or topic may be assembled into a set, either for the Symposium section or, with not more than three pieces on a narrowly defined topic, the In Focus section.

All submissions are read by the Editor; some are declined at that stage as inappropriate or unacceptable, with many more moving to a stage of closer and detailed review with the Editor and members of the Editorial Board or, in some cases, other experts. Following this second-phase consideration and consultation the Editor makes the final decision. Intellectual depth, conceptual power and clarity, quality of writing, and sense of serious humane engagement are the only criteria allowed to enter into the consideration of a given submission; no external considerations of stature, academic affiliation, reputation, or of political, social, or religious identity ever come into play. We try to get answers back to authors within approximately four months of the date of submission; while we do send letters in response to all submissions, we regret that we cannot provide readers’ reports. All accepted pieces are worked through carefully and in detail with our Managing Editor in preparation for publication. Our acceptance rate varies depending on the rate of submission, but ranges between 6% and 10%.


Garry L. Hagberg, Bard College

Founding Editor

Denis Dutton (1944–2010), University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Editor Emeritus

Patrick Henry, Whitman College

    Managing Editor

    Cynthia Werthamer, Bard College

    Editorial Advisory Board

    Robert Alter, University of California, Berkeley
    Eva T. H. Brann, St. John’s College, Annapolis
    Anthony J. Cascardi, University of California, Berkeley
    Nancy Easterlin, University of New Orleans
    Richard Eldridge, Swarthmore College
    Kathleen M. Higgins, University of Texas
    Walter Jost, University of Virginia
    Deborah Knight, Queen's University, Canada
    Joshua Landy, Stanford University ​
    Ray Monk, University of Southampton
    Alexander Nehamas, Princeton University
    Alex Neill, University of Southampton
    Wang Ning, Tsinghua University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University
    Martha Nussbaum, University of Chicago
    Thomas Pavel, University of Chicago​
    Marjorie Perloff, Stanford University
    Steven Pinker, Harvard University
    Gerald Prince, University of Pennsylvania
    Martin Puchner, Harvard University

    Journal editor Garry Hagberg has joined JHUP for both a video and a podcast about the journal's importance in the field. 


    Send books for review to:

    Prof. Garry Hagberg
    Bard College
    Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-5000


    Please send book review copies to the contact above. Review copies received by the Johns Hopkins University Press office will be discarded.

    Abstracting & Indexing Databases

    • Clarivate Analytics
      • Arts & Humanities Citation Index
      • Current Contents
      • Web of Science
    • De Gruyter Saur
      • Dietrich's Index Philosophicus
      • IBZ - Internationale Bibliographie der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaftlichen Zeitschriftenliteratur
      • Internationale Bibliographie der Rezensionen Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaftlicher Literatur
    • EBSCOhost
      • Academic Search Alumni Edition, 4/1/2005-
      • Academic Search Complete, 4/1/2005-
      • Academic Search Elite, 4/1/2005-
      • Academic Search Premier, 4/1/2005-
      • Current Abstracts, 4/1/2005-
      • Humanities International Complete, 4/1/2005-
      • Humanities International Index, 4/1/2005-
      • Humanities Source, 4/1/2005-
      • Humanities Source Ultimate, 4/1/2005-
      • International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance with Full Text, 4/1/2005-
      • MLA International Bibliography (Modern Language Association)
      • Poetry & Short Story Reference Center, 4/1/2005-
      • Russian Academy of Sciences Bibliographies
      • The Philosopher's Index
      • TOC Premier (Table of Contents), 4/1/2005-
    • Elsevier BV
      • Scopus, 2002-
    • Gale
      • Book Review Index Plus
      • MLA International Bibliography (Modern Language Association)
    • OCLC
      • ArticleFirst, vol.14, no.1, 1990-vol.34, no.2, 2010
      • Electronic Collections Online, vol.19, no.1, 1995-vol.34, no.2, 2010
      • Periodical Abstracts, v.24, n.1, 2000-v.34, n.1, 2010
    • Ovid
      • The Philosopher's Index
    • Peeters Publishers
      • Repertoire Bibliographique de la Philosophie (Online)
    • Personal Alert (E-mail)
    • ProQuest
      • Art, Design & Architecture Collection, 04/01/1996-
      • Arts & Humanities Database, 04/01/1996-
      • Arts Premium Collection, 4/1/1996-
      • Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts (Online), Selective
      • Literary Journals Index Full Text
      • MLA International Bibliography (Modern Language Association)
      • Periodicals Index Online
      • Philosophy Collection, 04/01/1996-
      • Professional ProQuest Central, 04/01/1996-
      • ProQuest 5000, 04/01/1996-
      • ProQuest 5000 International, 04/01/1996-
      • ProQuest Central, 04/01/1996-
      • Religion Database, 04/01/1996-
      • Research Library, 04/01/1996-
      • The Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL)
      • The Philosopher's Index

    Abstracting & Indexing Sources

    • Children's Book Review Index   (Active)  (Print)
    • Abstracts of English Studies   (Ceased)  (Print)
    • Index to Book Reviews in the Humanities   (Ceased)  (Print)
    • Literary Criticism Register   (Ceased)  (Print)
    • MLA Abstracts of Articles in Scholarly Journals   (Ceased)  (Print)
    • Social Planning - Policy & Development Abstracts   (Ceased)  (Print)

    Source: Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory.

    0.2 (2022)
    0.1 (Five-Year Impact Factor)
    0.00021 (Eigenfactor™ Score)

    Rank in Category (by Journal Impact Factor):
    19 of 53 journals, in “Literary Theory & Criticism”
    53 of 204 journals, in “Literature”

    © Clarivate Analytics 2023

    Published twice a year

    Readers include: Literature scholars, teachers, and students

    Print circulation: 116

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    eTOC (Electronic Table of Contents) alerts can be delivered to your inbox when this or any Hopkins Press journal is published via your ProjectMUSE MyMUSE account. Visit the eTOC instructions page for detailed instructions on setting up your MyMUSE account and alerts.  


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