New: The Saudi Journal of Philosophical Studies
The Saudi Journal of Philosophical Studies is a new semi-annual, multi-lingual, peer-reviewed philosophy journal.
The journal is a general academic philosophy journal, publishing original philosophical research in Arabic, English, and French, as well as book reviews. Its editor-in-chief is Sarah Al-Rajhi, its managing editor is Badr Al-Din Mostafa, and its editorial board includes a range of scholars from around the world.
You can learn more about the journal and how to submit to it here (it is one of several projects whose pages appear on the Mana website).
The first issue is due out soon.
This project is financed by the Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Foundation (MiSK), the de-facto MBS cultural propaganda organization operating today in Saudi Arabia, at a time when the intellectual life and freedom of expression are at their worst point in Saudi Arabia. Countless people who are truly interested in philosophical discourse and reform in Saudi are facing political persecution ranging from travel bans extending to 10 years to imprisonment and execution of intellectuals. This is beside the irony of having the name “Saudi” and “MBS” next to “philosophy”, since Saudi is a national identity constructed around the name of an oppressive royal family, a family for decades forbid the practice of philosophy and today it aims to co-opt such practice for the sake of a new “liberal” and “enlightened” facade—at least the journal could have chosen a name less ironic! Notwithstanding, there is no philosophy department of any sort in public or private Saudi universities. I wonder what is the credibility of a journal which lacks any history or department behind it.Report
Just don’t mention the war!Report
It is a welcome development. We hope the Journal will be allowed to really philosophize.Report
Is this an ad for the journal? I don’t think Daily Nous gives news about every new journal that is created. Is there money coming in to post it, especially given the first response about MBS and Saudi connections?Report
If you took a minute or two to search you would find several other posts announcing new philosophy journals.
To answer your question: no, no one paid me or offered to pay me to post about this journal.Report
“Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy, hostile to women’s and L.G.B.T.Q. rights and without protections for a free press or open expression, but its associations beyond its borders can make it seem almost like an honorary Western nation. Another way to view the Saudi relationship with American universities is as a form of branding; its recent moves to sponsor prominent sporting events serve the same purpose. “It’s a way of spreading soft power,” says Jordan, the former ambassador”
I hope the journal is open to submissions on applied ethics. In my view, one of the hottest topics in that area is the knotty question of when it is acceptable to kill and dismember dissident journalists.Report
I don’t see the issue with a journal operating from within a very problematic country. I mean, we’re happy to have USA journals, and their government has killed hundreds of thousands of people abroad on false pretenses time and time again. That doesn’t mean that anyone that is based in the USA and opens a philosophy journal necessarily perpetuates US imperialism.
And the funding could be an issue of course! But it may not be. This post at least does not outline the details of the funding agreement. Again, we don’t use the same metric for journals funded by public US funds, do we?
I think it would be a step forward to not approach Saudi Arabia (or any country, for that matter) as a monolith and see the journal for what it will do. If it ends up being a propaganda outlet, criticism will be fair. If it ends up being a legitimate venue that will support critical thinking in Saudi Arabia as well as other Arabic speaking communities across the world, and foster more understanding, that would be great!Report
Public and institutional fund should be okay if ultimately, when regime changes occur, the hope such institutions would still function. On the other hand, funding by a specific organization whose goal is propagating an enlightened image of MBS and co-opting the history of intellectual labor always existing in the country by its people is highly problematic and make one deeply complicit.Report
It’s impressive how often dirty-hands arguments miraculously justify the exact behavior that the people who give them were going to engage in regardless.
People should view this new journal with a great deal of skepticism. But I find it hard to take seriously the claim that a grad student publishing in it is somehow more problematic than a senior philosopher indirectly supporting the Saudi economy through their extensive use of planes, cars, and other oil-intensive behavior.Report
Yes, we all know Saudi Arabia is a committed abuser of human rights. Should we boycott, divest, and sanction institutions that are set up and funded by such states? I wonder how many US schools would be fair BDSing game in that framework in light of the unparalleled number of war crimes the US is responsible for? And, no doubt, seemingly ever university in Israel? It seems the price is too high to pay and what would perhaps be better instead is to let good philosophy do its work in the tiny cracks that sometimes open up even in the apparatuses of even the most brutal regimes.Report
If we can’t be morally perfect, why be moral at all!!!!Report