This special issue addresses a topic of lively current debate with often strongly expressed views. We have observed that some of the papers in this issue employ a tone that may make it hard to distinguish between dispassionate intellectual discussion of other views and disqualification of a targeted author or group.
We believe that vigorous debate is clearly of the essence in intellectual communities, and that even strong disagreements can be an engine of progress. However, tone and prose should follow the usual academic standards of politeness and respect in phrasing. We recognize that these are not consistently met in this particular issue. These standards, especially toward people we deeply disagree with, are a common benefit to us all. We regret any deviation from our usual standards.
Johan van Benthem
Vincent F. Hendricks
Editors-in-Chief / SYNTHESE
This was likely the result of pressure from supporters of Intelligent Design in general and of Francis Beckwith (who is the polemical target of one of the papers in the special issue) in particular.
Over at Leiter Reports, Brian Leiter has urged 'all philosophers to stop submitting to Synthese; to withdraw any papers they have submitted at Synthese; and to decline to referee for Synthese until such time as the editors acknowledge their error, and make appropriate amends.'
Since Synthese is one of the main philosophy of science journals and many of the readers of this blog read, submit to, and publish in that Journal and since Leiter's post doesn't allow comments, I thought it might be a good idea to open the floor for discussion here.