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Philosophical Aspects of Origin

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Publishing policy

Philosophical Aspects of Origin (Polish title: Filozoficzne Aspekty Genezy) (ISSN 2299-0356) is an online philosophical journal devoted to the problem of origin – of the Universe, the first life, subsequent life forms, man, psyche, consciousness, language, scientific theories, religions etc. The scope of the journal also covers philosophical or methodological analysis of theories or beliefs related to the problem of origin.

We accept submissions written in Polish and (since 2014) in English – this includes articles, polemics, translations and book reviews.

The manuscripts should be sent to the editorial assistant’s e-mail address. The manuscript written in Polish should be accompanied with a summary and keywords both in Polish and English and its English title should also be provided. Authors of manuscripts written in English should include a summary and keywords only in English.

The reviewing process in Philosophical Aspects of Origin is based on the double-blind principle, where neither the reviewers nor the author know each other’s personal details. It is, however, the responsibility of an author to compose the manuscript in such a way so as to conceal his or her identity. The content that potentially reveals author's identity can be added on later, after the manuscript has been accepted for publication. In case of translations, the reviewers are aware of the author’s name but not of the translator’s identity. In case of the translated versions of articles that have been originally published by renowned international publishing houses, the review concerns the quality of the translation only. The names of all the reviewers that contributed to a given volume are provided in each volume separately.

All submitted manuscripts, after an initial acceptance of the editor-in-chief (in case of manuscripts dealing with relations between science and religion – also of an area editor) are sent to two independent reviewers affiliated at academic institutions different to that of the author/translator. If only one of the reviews is negative, the manuscript is sent to a third reviewer, whose opinion is considered final. Two negative reviews result in the rejection of the submitted manuscript. In each case, the reviewers have to fill in the review form.

The author is not informed whether the manuscript has been rejected at the initial or at the proper review stage of the reviewing process, unless the reviewers agree to make their reviews available. If both the author(s) and the editor-in-chief agree, the rejected manuscript can be, however, placed in the Other texts section in order to facilitate a discussion on the contents of the article. This can happen only in case if either the editorial board or the reviewers deem such a discussion potentially fruitful.

The accepted manuscripts, after the typesetting and text makeup processes, are sent back to the author(s) for proofs. When the proof-read article is not sent back within the deadline, it is understood that the author agrees that no corrections are necessary and the article can be published as is.

The editorial board of Philosophical Aspects of Origin will do their utmost to publish the accepted pdf version of the article online as soon as possible. It should be kept in mind, however, that the order of articles in a given volume is decided only after the volume has been closed; hence until then the page numbering of the articles should be treated as temporary. Each article can also be the subject of a moderated discussion online.

Ensuring that good scientific practices are being promoted, the editorial board of Philosophical Aspects of Origin actively opposes ghostwriting and guest authorship. “Ghostwriting” is related to not mentioning the name of an individual that significantly contributed to the article and should be considered an author or a co-author. “Guest authorship” means mentioning an individual as a co-author despite the fact that his or her contribution was negligible or non-existent.

The above are examples of scientific misconduct, hence all uncovered improprieties will be publicised and appropriately documented. The editorial board will contact relevant authorities, including the institutions employing the authors of the manuscript in question, as well as other relevant academic institutions or journals. Hence, all potential authors are hereby asked to provide appropriate information on who and to what extent contributed to the submitted work. It is the authors that are considered responsible for ensuring that information provided is true and correct. The editorial board also asks authors to provide the details regarding the funding schemes or funding bodies connected to the submitted manuscript. The submitted manuscripts have to be original work and must not be previously published. There also cannot be a conflict of interest related to the financial ties of the author with individuals or institutions that can negatively influence the research results.

Every work published in Philosophical Aspects of Origin is available online free of charge. The publications featuring original research can be re-printed or translated in full, both in traditional and electronic forms, without prior consent of the editorial board; note that the consent of the author is however required. Reprinting of entire translations or articles re-printed from other sources requires prior consent of the authors and the publisher of the original article. Using only short fragments of original research articles, translations or re-printed materials requires no prior consent of the editorial board, the author or the original publisher.

The only requirement for using the material published in Philosophical Aspects of Origin, either in full or partially, is that the source of a given publication or its fragment is appropriately stated.

Presently, Philosophical Aspects of Origin is included in the following databases:

As a result of the most recent parametric evaluation performed by Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the articles published in Philosophical Aspects of Origin are assigned 5 points.

Dariusz Sagan

Citation rules

The submitted manuscripts must use the so-called Zielona Góra citation rules. In what follows we present examples and justification for all the rules.

The footnote number should be placed AFTER and not before a punctuation mark. This is then a departure from some of the most popular citing standards (including the PWN standard, widespread in Poland), where a footnote number is placed before a punctuation mark, right after the last word. In some cases, this standard leads to misunderstanding or unintentionally funny situation. Consider the following:

a) Let us assume that a footnote should be placed after the sentence that ends thus: “… in the year 44 B.C.” Where, in such a case the footnote number should be placed? Before the full stop? Yet the full stop is on double duty here – it ends the sentence and abbreviates the phrase. A footnote cannot be placed before the full stop as this latter function is thus invalidated. The problem disappears when footnote numbers are placed after the punctuation marks.

b) Consider the situation where the footnote is to be placed, say, after a sentence that ends with information on the number of atoms in the Universe: “… is 1080.” If now we place a footnote number before the full stop, we risk a misunderstanding: “… is 10805.” (where 5 is the footnote number). The Zielona Góra citation rules avoid this problem by ensuring that a footnote number is placed after the full stop. Hence, we have: “… is 1080. 5

There is only one case when a footnote number can be placed before a punctuation mark; namely, when the footnote does not relate to the entire sentence (or its large part) but only to the last word used there. This way, the Zielona Góra citation rules allow footnotes to precisely refer to the intended part of the sentence.

A. Citing books

a) the first citation: the first and last name of the author (the last name in small caps), the title in boldface, if the book is translated, the following should be added after the title: trans. Jan Kowalski, if the book is a part of a series, the series should be given in italics, then (non-italicised) volume number, then the publishing house, place and year of publication, then the page number. For example:

Józef Marceli Dołęga, Kreacjonizm i ewolucjonizm. Ewolucyjny model kreacjonizmu a problem hominizacji, Akademia Teologii Katolickiej, Warszawa 1988, p. 17; Kazimierz Jodkowski, Metodologiczne aspekty kontrowersji ewolucjonizm-kreacjonizm, Realizm. Racjonalność. Relatywizm, vol. 35, Wydawnictwo UMCS, Lublin 1998, pp. 395-396; Richard Dawkins, Ślepy zegarmistrz, czyli jak ewolucja dowodzi, że świat nie został zaplanowany, trans. Antoni Hoffmann, Biblioteka Myśli Współczesnej, PIW, Warszawa 1994, p. 48.

b) subsequent citations: the last name of author (in small caps), abbreviated title ending in points of ellipsis, page number. For example:

Dołęga, Kreacjonizm i ewolucjonizm…, p. 17; Jodkowski, Metodologiczne aspekty…, pp. 395-396; Dawkins, Ślepy zegarmistrz…, p. 48.

B. Citing articles, reviews etc.

a) the first citation: the first and last name of the author (the last name in small caps), the title in quotation marks, if it is a translation, then the phrase “trans.” and the first and last name of the translator, journal title in italics, year, volume number, issue or volume part, page number, the first and last page of the text in square brackets; if the article was a part of joint publication, then after the title (or after the translator’s name) the first and last name of the editor, abbreviation “ed.” in brackets, the title of the joint publication, publishing house, place and year of publication, page number, and the first and the last page of the text in square brackets. For example:

Dieter Münch, “Umysły, mózgi i nauka kognitywna”, trans. Paweł Łupkowski, Filozoficzne Aspekty Genezy 2004, vol. 1, p. 148 [140-160]; Gonzalo Munévar, “Dopuszczanie sprzeczności w nauce”, trans. Kazimierz Jodkowski, in: Kazimierz Jodkowski (ed.), Czy sprzeczność może być racjonalna?, Realizm. Racjonalność. Relatywizm, vol. 4, Wydawnictwo UMCS, Lublin 1991, p. 210 [209-214].

b) subsequent citations: the last name of author (in small caps), abbreviated title ending in points of ellipsis, page number. For example:

Münch, “Umysły, mózgi i nauka kognitywna…”, p. 148; Munévar, “Dopuszczanie sprzeczności w nauce…”, p. 210.

Why do it this way and not in a way consistent with some of the most popular citation rules?

Some authors refer to a publication in the body text (or in a footnote) citing author’s name and year of publication, for example: Feyerabend 1965, or: Feyerabend [1965], or: [Feyerabend 1965]. Sometimes after a comma or a semicolon a page number is added, e.g. [Feyerabend 1965, p. 34] or [Feyerabend 1965:34]. In such cases, the full bibliographic data is to be found in the references section at the end of the publication. Some go a step further and do not even mention the name of the author, replacing it with the number assigned to a given item in the references section, for example [34, p. 17] or [34:17]. From the point of view of humanities, this citation style – in its many guises – is the worst. Some of its drawbacks are listed in what follows.

1) This citation style works well in natural sciences, where the most important information is rather who and when discovered something as documented in a given publication, and not the title of the publication. In humanities, however, the title of the publication is also important. Imagine a conference talk, where we say “As it was shown by Popper 1959 and which was rejected by Kuhn 1962…” Sounds strange, doesn’t it? For we normally speak in the following manner: “As it was shown by Popper in The Logic of Scientific Discovery and which was rejected by Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions…”.

2) This citation style has a great disadvantage: it is extremely easy to make a mistake. A finger can slip resulting in a wrongly-typed year; or confused a, b, c etc. when citing publications from the same year. In contrast, when a regular title is used, it is still identifiable despite a potential typo. One of the authors that submitted a manuscript to the journal originally used this criticised citation style. After the citation style had been changed consistently with the Zielona Góra citation rules, a number of errors became evident and the author had problems correcting them. This disadvantage is not that evident in the publications from natural sciences, since these articles are often short and there are only a dozen of references – as a result, it is relatively easier to not to make that type of mistakes. The publications in humanities are, however, often much longer and contain a large number of references.

3) The third disadvantage is related to citing very old publications. One can end up with the following: Aristotle 1985, Plato 2003 etc. If this only concerned the works of Lenin, who – as it is known – will live forever, it would not be that bad. Citing the title or an abbreviation, consistently with the Zielona Góra citation rules, looks natural no matter the time period, when the cited author lived. This disadvantage is not as evident in publications from natural sciences, as these refer mostly to contemporary publications. Authors of such publications are not interested in what did Copernicus or Newton think on the given problem – they often neither know nor read nor cite classical texts, even if these were written only a half a century before.

4) The last drawback of this citation style is related to citing authors with popular names. It sometimes happens that a number of individuals with the same last name (e.g. Hintikka or Nagel) are citied within one article. In order to distinguish between them, one has to refer to the first names of such authors, which results in irregularities – in one place a first name is mentioned and in other it is not.

All this is avoided if, when citing, the first and last name of an author as well as the title and other bibliographic data of a given publication are all provided.

Why the first name in full instead – as it is more common – merely an initial? First of all, it often allows one to recognise sex, and sometimes nationality, of a given author (a barbaric custom of translating names into their analogues in other languages should be avoided, unless it is a well established usage – e.g. Karol Darwin for Charles Darwin in Polish). If the name Henryk (Henryk Mehlberg) is printed on the cover of The Reach of Science, this tells me that notwithstanding the author’s background and place of residence, he felt Polish. Moreover, it is worthwhile to know the first names of the authors, as research in humanities often deals with individuals (the research in natural sciences is rather focused on problems).

Why the last name of an author should be typed in small caps? For two reasons.

Firstly, the reader can sometimes confuse the first and the last name of a given author. For example, a famous evolutionist John Maynard Smith is often considered to be a Smith with two first names: John and Maynard. In reality, however, he is a Maynard Smith with the first name John. Small caps make this sort of confusion impossible.

Secondly, it sometimes happens that a publication is co-authored by a number of authors and that the title also mentions some names. Consider the following (real-life) example: Andrzej Łodyński, Thomas S. Kuhn, Paul K. Feyerabend i problem niewspółmierności teorii naukowych, Studia Filozoficzne 1980, no. 5, pp. 19-40. If the name is written in small caps, the problem if it was only Łodyński that wrote about Kuhn and Feyerabend or that Łodyński co-wrote an article on Feyerabend with Kuhn is instantly solved. In this example, the former is the case, but it is not always that evident. Consider the following (also real-life) example: Joseph Agassi, Tristam Shandy, Pierre Menard, and All That, Inquiry 1971, vol. 14, pp. 152-164.

Why a book title is typed in boldface and an article title is not?

Some of the most common citation standards advise writing both book and article titles in italics. This approach has a fundamental flaw – it is hard to identify the publication type (a book or an article?). Admittedly, the first citation is free from this problem – if the publishing house, place and year of publication are provided, then it is a book; if the journal title and volume number are given, then the citation relates to an article – it becomes, however, evident with full force in the subsequent citations as these are heavily loaded with abbreviations, avoiding the repetition of all bibliographic data. In a case when we fail to remember all the details, we might run into troubles when trying to decide whether the citation deals with a book or an article. And there are situations where even a good memory is of no use. Dennett wrote both a book and an article with the same title: Darwin’s Dangerous Idea. When citing using abbreviations, only the varying typeface allows one to distinguish the book from the article. I, for one, prepare a book entitled Twarde jądro ewolucjonizmu with an article entitled “Twarde jądro ewolucjonizmu” already published (available here). In the citation standard with abbreviated citations both these publications would be indistinguishable.

If citation were confined to footnotes only, there would be no necessity to place article titles in quotation marks. But there are times when article title appears in the body text. In such cases, if it is not placed between quotation marks, it will be hardly distinguishable from the surrounding text. For the sake of consistency, the quotation marks should also be used in footnotes.

For the same reason, to allow it to stand out from the surrounding text, the journal titles should be written in italics.

According to some citation standards, foreign phrases should be written in italics. This can cause problems when, at the same time, the publication titles are to be also written in italics. The problem arises when one stumbles upon a title containing some foreign phrases. How one is to add italics to the already italicised text? This problem is non-existent when using the Zielona Góra citation rules. Consider the following (real-life) example: Nicholas Tiho Mirov, The Genus Pinus, Ronald Press Co., New York 1967.

The first citation provides not only the page numbers but also, in square brackets, the first and the last page of the article. In my experience this is very helpful to the author. One does not have to re-visit the sources when, after writing up the entire article, he or she prepares the references section. This feature also sometimes allows one to identify an error. For example: Ms Joanna Najder on page 10 of her BA thesis in footnote 13 cites Gould’s article and refers to a specific page number from that article. For some reason this time, the first and last pages of the article are not given. Which is a pity, as if it had been, the author would have noticed that “something’s wrong here”. The article page range given in the references section does not match the page number provided in the footnote.

The points of ellipsis in subsequent citation indicate that some bibliographic data have been omitted.

C. Citing fragments of publications

If the fragment is relatively long, if it is not just a couple of words, I suggest making the quotation distinguishable by left-side indent with a small space on top and bottom with footnote-size font and single line spacing (in short: similar to footnotes but with left-sided indent). As shown in this example.

This allows one to achieve certain visual effect. The text is not monotonous and the thoughts of author(s) stand out, making them easier to find when skimming the article. However, if the quotation is short, placing it between the quotation marks suffices. In case of a longer quotation, the quotation marks are not necessary as their function is fulfilled by the indent and text formatting.

Citing works that have not been translated into the language, in which the article is being written, is another matter. Quotations in original or both in original and the article’s language are considered bad style. This rule does have its exceptions: it is permissible or even advisable to quote the text in the original language, if there is an important reason to do so. For example, if the original text has a feature that is lost in translation (double entrende, word play etc.). Another valid reason for quoting in original is the situation, where we want to criticise some other author who referred to this fragment and, in our opinion, made a mistake. Then, we should quote the original so that the reader can be convinced by our argumentation. Also, sometimes we want to focus the reader’s attention on the style of the text, the phraseology used etc., which can justify quoting the original. Such a quotation, depending on its importance, can be placed either in the body text or in a footnote.

Kazimierz Jodkowski

Philosophical Aspects of Origin Advisory Board
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