Benjamin Smart: Concepts and causes in the philosophy of disease
Concepts and Causes in the Philosophy of Disease is one of the first titles in philosophy, and certainly the first title in philosophy of medicine, to be published in the Palgrave Pivot series. As this is not a typical book, a few words on Palgrave Pivot are in order before discussing the book itself.
Philosophy has a problem—which I imagine other academic disciplines outside the sciences share—in that, though worthwhile work may be of any length, it can be published only if it is short or long. Up to 15,000 words or so may appear in a journal, and over 75,000‒100,000 words is suitable for a book. In between, no matter how well the length fits the project, authors tend to face a Procrustean dilemma. Either they can cut the work down to size, potentially compromising the argument or leaving out interesting and worthwhile content, or they can expand it, padding their piece with what amounts to fluff. Or, of course, they can ditch the project altogether, which serves no one.