On journals devoted to thinkers

In spite of their utility, journals devoted to the thought of individual thinkers by their very form do a disservice to thinking. By placing the matter of thinking under the accidental aspect of having been thought by an individual a, they abscond the matter of a genuine thinking from sight (including that of the thinker to whom the journal itself is devoted), and thus further the impression that scholarship in the humanities is about the history of opinions. In certain cases, by virtue of the major themes in the thought of that thinker him/herself (e.g. Heidegger Studies, Kierkegaardiana), an especially acute irony results.

The same can be said, on a broader scale, of journals devoted to historical periods or schools of thought. Here, history is thought as mere chronology instead of assessing it as the phenomenal weight of an age (if you do not understand what I mean here, read Joyce’s “The Dead”). Hence how the whole of the past can be, and is being, transformed into a mere toolbox for the systematician.

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