It is time to stop pretending that the "H4" journals (Nous, Journal of Philosophy, Philosophical Review, and Mind) are generalist philosophy journals. (I'll get to JAPA at the end).
They are not. As my co-bloggers have recently pointed out (see e.g, here and here), they focus on metaphysics, epistemology, mind, and language and offer very little coverage of other areas such as aesthetics, history, applied ethics, feminism, critical race theory, etc.
Now, some might claim that LEMM are "core" analytic areas on which other areas draw. However, that is neither true in practice nor in principle. With regard to "practice," it is simply not true that other areas of philosophy must reference these four areas in order to proceed, and they often do not. With regard to "principle," I can't tell you how many LEMM talks I have been to where assumptions have been made about the nature of science, scientific explanation, or some particular scientific finding (think, for example, of water=H2O, which turns out to be a more substantive assumption than most realize). Does that mean that philosophy of science is a core area, too? No, it means that we'd be better off seeing different areas of philosophy as an interconnected network rather than seeing some at the "core" and some as the "periphery."
Others might say that field X is inferior to LEMM and thus does not belong in a top journal. Well, I have been doing this long enough to have heard every single field -- yes, including LEMM -- be counted as X. I have come to realize how corrosive, how unsupported, and dare I say, how unphilosophical such claims are. It is neither justified nor productive to dismiss entire areas of philosophy. There are wise and interesting insights to be found in all areas (which is not to say that everything said is wise or interesting).
We need to stop pretending that the "H4" journals are generalist philosophy journals not only because the belief is false but also because the belief is harmful. The actions that we take take in accordance with the belief penalize people who don't publish in those journals simply because they are not in LEMM. Given the current distribution of minorities in areas within and outside LEMM, it also unfairly penalizes those who are not white, non-disabled, straight males.
So, that brings me to JAPA, which has the goal of being a genuinely generalist philosophy journal. Some have declared the project dead even before it is born. I don't know if it will succeed, but if philosophy needs a truly generalist journal, then we ought to give it the chance to succeed, and support it in any way we can. I say "if" because there are times when I am so frustrated with the discourse I hear that I hope for my areas (philosophy of science, philosophy of biology, and environmental ethics) to cut themselves free from the rest of philosophy. But today I think positively and hope for a healthy, respectful, and inclusive discipline of philosophy.