Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bill and Keith

Yesterday, my old internet pal Keith Burgess-Jackson kindly linked to my recent post about my old internet pal Bill Vallicella’s post on copy editors. And today we come full circle as Bill offers some kind words about Keith and me. So here are some words about them.

I have long regarded Bill as something like the Platonic Form of a philosophy blogger. His blog contains, in my view, just the right mix of serious posts and light ones, polemical political pieces and coolly intellectual ones, long posts and short posts, original pieces and links to the work of others, along with the occasional cooking tip or link to YouTube. Plus he is a terrific aphorist. And a solid technical philosopher. Gotta love it. If any of you readers find my own blog worthy of your time, you might give Bill some of the credit, since he has been my model. Chalk the defects up to yours truly.

Keith and I both started to write for Tech Central Station (now TCS Daily) back in 2003 – Keith a little sooner than I did – and I think Bill and I first made contact by email shortly thereafter. Keith later brought Bill and me on board his ground-breaking group blog The Conservative Philosopher, which was my own first foray into the blogosphere. So, again, if you like anything you see here, give Keith some credit too. He got me started.

Indeed, Keith got a lot of things started. The Conservative Philosopher featured, in its brief lifespan, many important posts by its fine list of contributors, including Keith himself. Many of the bloggers on its roster, including Bill and me, went on to form the nucleus of the Right Reason blog (edited by Max Goss) which had a pretty good run and got a fair amount of attention in the larger conservative blogosphere. Though he was not himself on its roster, Right Reason simply would not have existed without Keith Burgess-Jackson. He was the one who assembled most of the group that went on to form the core of RR (including Roger Scruton and John Kekes, its two most prominent philosophers). He was the one who came up with the idea of a group blog for conservative philosophers in the first place. His Conservative Philosopher blog established the original audience that went on to become the core audience for RR. Many friendships and professional contacts were formed through TCP and RR, and many books, articles, blog posts, and other activities resulted from these relationships. After RR’s own demise, several of us RR alumni (Frank Beckwith, Steve Burton, Lydia McGrew, and me) would reunite over at What’s Wrong with the World. We owe all of this to Keith’s original vision.

So thank you Bill! Thank you Keith!

Sounds like I’m toasting these guys. And why not? So here’s an idea. Pour yourself a strong one tonight and spend some time over at Bill’s blog and Keith’s blog. And raise a toast to them as you do so. That’s what I’ll be doing.


  1. I just found your blog today because of Keith's post. What a delight! I am now following it. Finding this blog has made my day! -Mike