A philosopher writes into Brian Leiter arguing that journals should straight up accept submissions, with suggestions for improvements preferred in a final draft, or outright reject them in order to free up referees to read more papers and to prevent time wasting counter-productive scenarios like this one:
a very prominent journal gave me an R&R, writing ” we find the paper a promising one, and we hope that you will be willing to revise it… we would not be inviting resubmission this strongly if we were not optimistic about finding a subsequent version acceptable for publication.” They enclosed two reader’s reports with minor suggestions. The journal then sent my revised paper to two entirely new referees, one of whom didn’t like it. After two rounds of revisions–bloating my paper with attempts to satisfy the one critical ref– the piece was rejected. I have heard many similar stories from others. No one wins in this scenario, and I can’t see that it contributes either to the pursuit of truth or to the efficient functioning of our profession. R&Rs ought to be abolished.
Overwhelmingly, Leiter’s readership is (so far) rejecting the idea, read their thoughts and contribute your own by going to Leiter Reports.