Journals for Indian Philosophy

If you are working on a paper related to Indian philosophy, which journal(s) do you approach for publication? How do you decide which is a good venue for your work?

There are a few philosophy journal rankings around (for example, the Brooks Blog, dating back to 2011– there is some discussion about whether to update it). These rankings, though, tend not to reflect the major journals for Indian philosophy. Nor do they reflect the often interdisciplinary nature of our work (one might wish to publish in more philological/Indological journals for part of one’s research project). Andrew Cullison has an ongoing survey which tracks journals, including Journal of Indian Philosophy, Comparative Philosophy, Philosophy East & West, and some others. The data gives a sense of turnaround time and acceptance rates. However, they don’t tell us which journals are open to Indian philosophy. Warp, Weft, and Way has a list on its main page, though not all of these may be relevant for Indian philosophy.

Matt Dasti and I thought it might be a good idea to compile a list (not a ranking) of journals which are open to work in Indian philosophy, broadly construed. While many journals indicate openness to multiple philosophical traditions (for instance, Mind has recently made such an announcement), it would be useful to know which ones genuinely practice it. In the comments, would you mind helping us out by posting:

  • Journal titles: where you have published work related to Indian philosophy;
  • Referee process: whether the process was anonymous, double-anonymity, etc.;
  • Kind of work: how you would characterize the work, as succinctly and specifically as possible (history of Buddhist philosophy, philological notes on the Nyāyasūtra, comparative philosophy focusing on Continental and Vedānta, etc.)
  • Date: when the work was published.
  • Initial response rate: how long from submission to acceptance (or R&R)?

Note that the relationship to Indian philosophy should be construed broadly. While simply including a footnote on Buddhism in an analytic paper on the mind-body problem wouldn’t count, if your work engages with Indian philosophy (classical or contemporary) in a robust sense, include it.

For your information, the journal list from Warp, Weft, and Way:

 

About Malcolm Keating

Malcolm Keating is Assistant Professor of Humanities (Philosophy) at Yale-NUS College, Singapore.

14 thoughts on “Journals for Indian Philosophy

  1. Thanks for this, Malcom. I’ll add my 3 journal experiences below, two of which are in comparative religions:

    Journal title: Buddhist-Christian Studies
    Referee process: not sure
    Kind of work: Comparison of the emotional/ethical nature of early Buddhist metta-bhavana practice and Ignatian “Spiritual Exercises”
    Date: not published
    Initial response rate: it has been a while, but I think around 3-6 months

    Journal title: Journal of Inter-Religious Studies
    Referee process: blind (I think)
    Kind of work: Comparison of the emotional/ethical nature of early Buddhist metta-bhavana practice and Ignatian “Spiritual Exercises”
    Date: Fall 2014
    Initial response rate: it has been a while, but I think around 3-6 months

    Journal title: Philosophy East & West
    Referee process: blind (I think)
    Kind of work: “Reading the Buddha as a Philosopher” (co-written with Douglass Smith) looking at the meaning of “philosophy” in Buddhist discussions and using Pierre Hadot to argue that the Buddha himself could be classified as a philosopher in the same way Greeks of his time are
    Date: Due out any day now…
    Initial response rate: This was an insanely slow process, at least in light of my previous experiences. The work was first submitted in, if I remember correctly, August 2013. There were about a year’s worth of back/forth with edit suggestions and revisions and a final form was submitted in 2014.

    • Thanks for getting this rolling, Malcolm.

      Speaking of the English speaking world, would anyone disagree that the two leading specialist journals are Journal of Indian Philosophy and Philosophy East and West?

      It seems that one way to distinguish them is that the Journal of Indian philosophy has a significant philological emphasis, while Philosophy East and West allows more space for “creative” (for the lack of a better word) philosophical entries in dialogue with the classical thinkers.

      My experience with Phil East and West and the Journal of Indian Philosophy mirrors that discussed above by Ayon and Justin. (And PEW is definitely double-blind, Justin).

      Besides this, I’d add:

      History of Philosophy Quarterly

      The Paper was “Testimony, Belief Transfer, and Causal Irrelevance: Reflections From India’s Nyāya School,” where I tried to critique and modify a contemporary theory of speaker-belief in testimony by bringing classical and “new” Nyāya views of testimonial “transmission” into the debate.

      Published in 2008

      Time from submission to acceptance was about 5 weeks. From acceptance to publication was about 6 months. Comments were helpful re: polish, but not extensive.

      I think that the editors were very happy to have publishable work on Indian philosophy, and they have expressed openness to widening the contributions from non-Western traditions in the past.

      • Hi Matthew,

        Thanks for your input. I agree that JIP is more philologically-oriented, while PEW encourages more “creative”/exploratory philosophical work. But I’d also add that I think JIP pretty clearly favors analytic philosophy, while PEW seems quite open to both analytic and Continental approaches and thinkers.

  2. I was hoping there would be a post relating to Indian philosophy journals. Thanks very much! Here are my 3 journal experiences:

    Journal: Philosophy East and West
    Referee process: double-blind
    Title of articles: 1. “Śri Harṣa contra Hegel: Monism, Skeptical Method, and the Limits of Reason,” 2. “Toward a New Hermeneutics of the Bhagavad Gītā: Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Aurobindo, and the Secret of Vijñāna,” 3. “Swami Vivekananda’s Vedāntic Critique of Schopenhauer’s Doctrine of the Will” (forthcoming)
    Date published: #1 published in 2014, #2 published in 2015, and #3 is supposed to be published in 2018
    Time from submission to acceptance (or R&R): 2-4 months
    TIme from acceptance to publication: 2-3 years (!!!)

    General comments: I’ve been consistently impressed with the quality of referee feedback on the 3 manuscripts I submitted to PEW. The time between submission and acceptance is also quite reasonable, in my experience. The only problem with PEW is its egregious backlog–the time from acceptance to publication is about 2-3 years!!! This strikes me as unacceptable. I’m also very surprised that PEW has not yet shifted to an online model, which would likely streamline publication time quite drastically (see below for the lightning-fast acceptance-to-publication of Journal of Indian Philosophy, by contrast!).

    Journal: Journal of Indian Philosophy
    Referee: blind (but not sure whether single- or double-blind)
    Article title: “Yogic Mindfulness: Hariharānanda Āraṇya’s Quasi-Buddhistic Interpretation of Smṛti in Patañjali’s Yogasūtra I.20″
    Date published: 2013
    Time from submission to acceptance: 2 weeks (!!!)
    Time from acceptance to publication: 3 weeks (!!!)

    General comments: I have to say that I was quite disappointed with the quality of the referee feedback on my article. I only received one referee report, which consisted in a single sentence (recommending publication). PEW’s referee process strikes me as much more rigorous than that of JIP (but perhaps my experience was unusual). On the other hand, JIP has a much better turnaround time than PEW–in part, no doubt, because it’s an online journal.

    Journal: International Journal of Hindu Studies
    Referee: double-blind
    Article title: “Sri Ramakrishna’s Philosophy of Vijñāna Vedānta”
    Date of publication: forthcoming (later this year)
    Time from submission to acceptance: 7 weeks
    Time from acceptance to publication: about 1 year (I’ve been told)

    General comments: The referee reports were of an exceptionally high quality. The time both for review and for acceptance-to-publication are also quite reasonable. I had a great experience overall with IJHS.

    I look forward to hearing about other peoples’ experiences with journals.

    All best,
    Ayon

  3. Hi all,

    PEW and Asian Philosophy: Similar to what’s listed above.

    Comparative Philosophy. “Where does the Cetanic Break Take Place? Weakness of Will in Śāntideva’s Bodhicaryāvatāra.” Forthcoming, July 2016. Comparative philosophy between analytic contemporary work on weakness of will/akrasia and Śāntideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life. Referee process was blind but not double blind. Comments were helpful, and editor was responsive and professional. Conditional acceptance about three months after submission, and publication scheduled eight months after submission.

    Contemporary Pragmatism, “Antifoundationalism and the Commitment to Reducing Suffering in Rorty and Madhyamaka Buddhism” (Dec 2010). Comparative philosophy between Rorty’s ethics and Madhyamaka Buddhist ethics. No reviewer comments, and ten months or so between submission and acceptance, but editor contacted me to say manuscript was still under consideration. Clearly open to non-Western/comparative engagement with pragmatism.

    Sophia: “Demandingness, Well-Being and the Bodhisattva Path” (June, 2015). Comparative Philosophy between a topic in analytic ethics (moral demandingness/demandingness objection) and Buddhist ethics. I believe the review was double blind. About three months from submission to conditional acceptance. Nine months from submission to publication. Excellent reviewer feedback.

    Journal of Buddhist Ethics: “Does Anātman Rationally entail Altruism.” (2010) Close philosophical reading of an argument by Śāntideva about the entailment between selflessness (anātman) and altruism. I believe review was blind. I think three months or so from submission to acceptance? Good comment and great responsiveness by the editor. About four-five months between submission and acceptance??

    (There have been some rejections too!! But nothing that indicated a lack of responsiveness to comparative work/Indian Philosophy, so no need to list them! )

    • I want to second Stephen’s positive evaluation of Sophia. My article, “Kant on the Epistemology of Indirect Mystical Experience,” is forthcoming in Sophia (I didn’t incude it in the original post because it’s not related to Indian philosophy). The review time was 6 months, but the referee feedback was incredibly detailed and incisive, so it was well worth the wait. And Sophia is also quite open to Indian and cross-cultural philosophy.

  4. My experience with Philosophy East and West has been similar to others. In my case it was almost four years from submission to publication, but the feedback was very good. Also, our very own Matthew Dasti is the Indian philosophy book review editor, which isn’t quite such a long process, so send him something!

    Has anyone had experience with Comparative Philosophy?

    Here are some others.

    Journal title: Asian Philosophy
    Referee process: Not sure.
    Kind of work: Epistemology, particularly critiques of Dignāga’s epistemology from Candrakīrti and Jayarāśi.
    Date: Nov. 2015
    Initial response rate: About four months, then acceptance. Very little feedback.

    Journal title: International Journal for the Study of Skepticism
    Referee process: Double blind.
    Kind of work: Looking at Vasubandhu’s Twenty Verses in conjunction with external world skepticism.
    Date: Forthcoming later in 2016.
    Initial response rate: Submission to R&R: one week(!), submission of R&R to acceptance: one day(!). Excellent comments from a single reviewer.

  5. The relatively new Journal of the American Philosophical Association has claimed that they are open to non-Western philosophy, although I have yet to see any articles on non-Western traditions in the journal. Perhaps someone should send them something on Indian philosophy to test their claim?

    Other journals that have, at least at some point in the past, published articles on Indian philosophy are The Philosophical Quarterly, American Philosophical Quarterly, International Philosophical Quarterly, and Idealistic Studies.

  6. I think it is worth noting that Journal of Consciousness Studies and Phenomenology and Cognitive Science has a lot of work on Indian philosophy. It is mixed in with science, analytic, phenomenological, and other traditions. I also have some papers I am preparing to send out. Some of the new venues, like the JAPA (American Philosophical Association) are worth testing out. But so is Mind, that just announced that it is also open to other traditions.

    • I have published work on comparative/Buddhist philosophy of mind in Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences and Journal of Consciousness Studies (in addition to PEW and Asian Philosophy). Monima Chadha has also published on Buddhist phil of mind in PCS. Both have blind review. PCS does everything electronically and they’re fast. Working with PCS as both submitter and reviewer has been great. The quality of the feedback and the efficiency and speed of turn-around have been outstanding. This is in sharp contrast to both PEW and Asian Philosophy.

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