Given the prickliness of some of our cousin communities regarding what constitutes philosophy, who is qualified to discuss it, when to properly misuse charges of ad hominem, what troll/misunderstood genius has been banninated this week, and other such details, a clear need has been demonstrated for a more free-wheeling forum with a lighter (and mostly unaffiliated) hand at the tiller.
Hence, open_philosophy. We're not going to tie ourselves down by endorsing particular schools of thought, aspects or even methods of philosophy. Simple 'love of wisdom' is good enough for us. We're not going to ask you to be polite. Civil, perhaps, but never polite. We assume that you've all been involved in interpersonal conflicts at some point or another and have built up a sufficiently thick skin to take a few (likely deserved) insults in the course of heated disagreements. We understand everyone has at least one nemesis and that we are defined as much by what we hate as by what we love. Just keep it down to a dull roar so the neighbors don't call the cops, okay?
That said, here's a short list of rules:
1. No locked posts, 'comments disabled' posts, 'comments frozen' threads, or deletion of posts or comments (even your own). The restriction of speech is reserved solely for the moderator. All comments posted here are the property of the group as a whole, not the individual who posted them. Restricting speech in any manner not authorized by the moderator is the surest and swiftest route to bannination. The moderator will only exercise such authority in cases of violations of the following two articles. Any deletions will be noted at the time and explained. Discussion of the reasons for such decisions, other acts by community members (including the moderator) or any other community issues is always to be considered 'on-topic' and will never result in any disciplinary action.
2. Deliberate and repeated griefing of individuals is a no-no. If you hate them so much that you have to follow them around commenting about what morons they are then maybe you need to spend more time in therapy and less time blogging. Keep it up and we'll help you along that path. Whazzisname may be an arrogant prick who foolishly thinks that two years at a public college makes him a "Philosopher", Whosit might be not at all cut out to be a moderator, Tut-tut-tut might be... an Objectivist. Everyone has their flaws and they're usually quite evident. No need to dwell on them unduly.
3. Obvious trolling and spam-posting are frowned on. Try to keep posts vaguely on-topic and goatse-free. We don't think that's too much to ask.
4. The <lj-cut> tag is your friend. If your post is lengthy, use a cut. If we ask you to edit your post to include one, humour us.
5. The truth may be dear to us, but Boethius is dearer still. We don't care if you have a PhD in Late 20th Century Neo-Popplerian Hermeneutics, academic authority is no vouchsafe of validity and no substitute for an argument. If you try to bury folks in jargon, you might get asked to unpack it for the benefit of folks who aren't into your particular bag. I, for example, tend to think quality thought died out about two centuries ago somewhere in Europe and have certainly not kept abreast of the hot new theories by some 30 year old professor at Princeton, so if we ask you to explain the basic notions surrounding "Radical Ethical Re-evaluation Under Johnson's Double-Plus-Good Methodology" or "Yernck's Analysis Of Everything That Is Logically Greater Than P" just resign yourself to having to deal with the hopelessly square and try and sum it up in under 300 words (or six formulae). If you have an idea then you're already one up on most of mankind. If it's your idea and not just someone else's, then you're practically unique - so speak up, speak out and ask questions.
6. I'm the mod, and that means what I say go- oh wait, no... that means that I'm in charge of setting the interests, fiddling with room design, and escorting the obnoxious drunks outside when the rest of you get sick of dealing with them. You could live in fear of me and suck up like little toadies. It'd be cool and all and I'm sure I'd get an ego stroke off it, but you don't have to - and that's what I like to think spells a huge difference between this and some other communities right there.