I am often aware, because I often write on topics which are academic, that I do not adhere to the standards which academic philosophers expect in published work.
When setting out to write some notes on Ludwig Wittgenstein, which I expected to get nowhere near the usual standards of scholarship for such an enterprise, I found myself compelled to write some account of why I was happy to flout these standards.
Having set out on this road I then decided it would be better to treat this topic on its own, rather than let it intrude into writings on other topics.
This page is my attempt to do that.
There are two primary reasons for my adoption of Factasian rather than academic standards (apart from my inability to achieve academic standards in my work).
The first is sheer necessity in the face of an obsession with purpose.
The second is that though I can see some of the point behind academic standards, I doubt that they in fact achieve their intended purpose and I believe that some aspects of academic standards have side effects which are undesirable.
Professors and Cranks
There can have been no period in the last two thousand years in which a scholar could proceed by reading all the written materials bearing upon his subject (unless it were, as is not uncommon, a very narrow subject).
It is well understood that many Professors are subjected to writings from amateurs (often called cranks) which they must assess and dismiss rapidly if they are not to find their time wasted away.
A recent, related, skill is that of detecting and deleting junk mail without actually reading it.
What may be less obvious is that cranks also have to assess the works of philosophers for its relevance to their enterprise and to dismiss without reading many works which appear unlikely to help.
In this matter, consulting scholars may be of little assistance, since the more prominent a writer the more likely it is that scholars will be locked in dispute about the merits of his work, and will express their opinions in works greatly more voluminous than the original.