Monday, March 22, 2010
Philosophy dissertations online
I chanced onto a website that provided a small cumulative list of philosophy dissertations that can be read/downloaded as you choose. Don't be intimidated by the formal titles for many of these are worth reading.
This is a personal project by, unfortunately, an unknown individual. The person writes...
Philosophy dissertations have a way of disappearing into the void. They are rarely read or cited, and if they are to have an influence, it's only by way of being extracted into papers or reworked into books. It isn't like that in every field. In linguistics, for example, dissertations are quite frequently cited. Irene Heim's dissertation, for example, gets 1,120 citations on Google Scholar. It's hard enough to find any philosophical work with that many hits, let alone a dissertation. (Question: what's the philosophical work with the highest citation count on Google Scholar? Michael Kremer and David Chalmers have drawn my attention to The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, at 10,556. I think that will be very hard to beat. The next closest I know of is A Theory of Justice, at 6001. I haven't found a dissertation with more than 22.) I'm sure the reasons for the lack of reference to dissertations in philosophy is complex, but it's hard to avoid the suspicion that good work is going unnoticed in them. I thought perhaps a central clearinghouse might make a small step in a positive direction just by making the dissertations easy to get at.
Check it out...