Declaration of Principles


The Association for Provincial Thought, Ltd., after decades of fruitless nattering, has reached a tentative decision to publish as often as might be wholly practicable (in the circumstances) The Journal of Provincial Thought (A Journal of the Mind), as it were.  This organ aims to disseminate ideas and ideals of APT, but not too far.  We hope to find convinced or potential provincial readers in out of the way places.  Several inconclusive meetings led to our elucidating basic tenets of JPT.  Allowing for slippage and shrinkage in transmission, our basic beliefs are:

1.  What’s That? and Who Cares?  The dualistic doctrine of obscurity and inutility is thus concisely rendered.  We shall deal with any issues totally esoteric and inoperative.  This is key to our campaign to defeat pragmatism, lucidity and reader interest. 1

2.  So What?  Every idea groped by JPT will be tested rigorously by exposure to massive indifference and apathy.  Submissions exciting interest or intellectual growth will be weeded out ruthlessly. 1

3.  Prove It!  Assertions, questions and statements will be subjected to scathing ridicule and skepticism.2  Ideas withstanding unbridled contempt and abuse will be retained.3

4.  Cogito ergo nix.  Attempts to define, explain or demonstrate ideas by reference to phenomena are disallowed.4

JPT is a refereed journal, so academic slaves may use accepted submissions freely to pad curricula vitae.  A small, inelegant certificate of significance is available at modest cost to persuade dubious department heads or deans.  It may be pasted directly onto the body of the CV itself, for those wishing to add sparkle to lackluster pages.

The Editorial Board disowns any responsibility for the content of JPT.  As a medium of unrestricted enquiry, it will sink of its own demerits.5  So we invite submissions on controversial or under-discussed topics.  On the principle that smaller is bigger, we hope readers and potential JPT authors will turn over pebbles, listen to seashells and make molehills of mountains.  Provinciality is more than a state of mind—it is a Complete Way of Life!


It is fitting that The Journal of Provincial Thought commence publication in the Bimillennial Year of 2007 to mark the rise of Pyrrhonism in the West.  You may well ask why we did not begin publication on the birth- or death-dates of Pyrrho of Elis (360 or 270 B.C.).  Simply, those dates in bimillennial years would have fallen in 1640 or 1730 A.D., when America had not yet attained enough Provincial Thought to look backward to Pyrrho’s Golden Days.

Why, then, is 2007 a Bimillennium? you may ask.  Astrological computation and estimation of the time required for the Murk Of Elis to waft across the Peleponnesus is some 277 years, give or take.  Thus we feel 7 A.D. is the date when doctrines of Pyrrho were most widely disseminated in the Ancient World.

Alert readers may also enquire Why Pyrrho?—a question that echoes through Western Thought.  JPT, in accordance with its founding principles, especially in regard to the twin doctrine of obscurity-inutility, traces its provenance to Pyrrho of Elis, sometimes called the Vacant Philosopher or the Indifferent Sage.  Owing to the general soddenness of Pyrrho’s logic and rhetoric, we base our ideas on his life, not his utterances or doctrines.


1In the opinion of some Association thinkers, these Principles are prematurely enumerated and disproportionately driven by the biases of more radical elements within our leadership.  What is to be gained, one queries, in courting reader disinterest?  In weeding out stimuli?  There exist forces, it appears, who would see the Association wither from within.    RETURN    

2How then reconcile “ridicule and skepticism” with “indifference and apathy”?  There are those in positions of influence who would negate our mission by commending to us paradoxical objectives, effectively teleporting this Association to the logical equivalent of an abandoned prison planet wherein gravity has broken away from mother physics and no longer takes inertia to task.  While the way around this elegant analogy might not immediately be clear, such paradoxical commendation, we urge, is deplorable. RETURN

3If the intellectual climate favors those who truly do not care, as coldly proclaimed in Principle 1, why bother to retain anything?  Retain to what end?  There are those who would dash this assemblage headlong into chaos and perversity.  How does this differ from other awful things? RETURN

4See now, this is what we’re on about.  “Prove it!” Principle 3 bellows.  “Just don’t refer to anything while doing so,” enjoins Principle 4—which, for proof, definition, or explanation pretty much leaves us with a “whatever is, is” analysis (and it isn't necessarily GOOD, all due respect to ' Xander Pope)—whatever the definition of is is, of course. RETURN

5It will do no such thing.  Each of us falls well short of the mechanical Pyrrhonian ideal—in presuming to launch declarative assertions (consider this very line you are reading), in our espousal of theory in the first place, in our imperfect Indifference that sees us quibbling in footnotes—and it is likely the organic energies generated of this maladjustment that will sustain the heartbeat of JPT. . . a-boompa. . .  boompa. . . boompa. . . through ages to come, until humanity outgrows its present heart and happens on a whole new beat.   RETURN

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