That Paper… Again?


A philosopher who prefers to remain anonymous writes in with a good question:

How often can one present a paper in progress before one is simply presenting “old work”?

When I get invited to give a talk or present at a workshop, I often will use the same 1 or 2  papers 3-4 times within the space of a year or so. These are usually papers I’m working on and I want to get as much feedback as I can before I send them off for review. But I’ve also talked to philosophers who write a whole new paper (though, related to previous work) every time they are invited to present. This seems to me to require that I write way too many new papers if I’m invited to give a talk or present more than twice in a year, which I am. However, I’ve also gone to talks by philosophers who are still presenting the same paper they presented more than a year ago and been annoyed that they are not presenting something new. Finally, (and this seems clearly to me to be a no-no) I’ve gone to talks where the philosopher in question presents a paper that has already been accepted for publication. How does one strike a good balance?

Readers, what do you do? What are good and bad practices here?

(Andy Warhol, Sunsets)

(Andy Warhol, Sunsets)

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