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2009-11-13
Suggestion about the pro/non-pro system
What if for us non-pros you set a certain quota of accepted messages past which we no longer have to have our posts reviewed before they appear on the board?

This could save you some work, but it would continue to filter out the crazies. And us serious non-pros would be able to participate in conversations without having to wait a day or two (or three or sometimes more) between contributions.

2009-11-16
Suggestion about the pro/non-pro system
Reply to Kris Rhodes
I'm new to this, but as a non-pro, i sort of like the slow format as it reminds me of the 17 and 18th Century letter writing correspondences where you had to really put some thought into what you say with days, weeks or years between gratifications. They really had to hang on every word. Twitter/instant email culture is too shallow for philosophy.

Regards,
Gary

2009-11-16
Suggestion about the pro/non-pro system
Reply to Kris Rhodes
It would be good if some "pros" weighed in on this issue.  As a non-pro, I've also felt frustration at having to sometimes wait a week or more for my posts to appear.  I've started putting the date of submission under my name to indicate the lag and hopefully avoid confusion.

I agree that the approval process does force one to measure one's writing more carefully, and this is a good thing.  However, I think discussions would progress more fluidly and coherently if contributions were posted in real time.

I asked Professors Chalmers and Bourget about this some time ago, and the answer is that they want to minimize the number of non-professional posts so as not to scare away professional philosophers.  (Of course, to be a pro, you do not have to be a professional philosopher; you just have to have been published in a relevant journal.  But I suppose professional philosophers are more open to discussions with those who have been published.  Though I suspect a good many professionals are not so picky.)  More generally, the desire is to maintain a certain level of forum integrity.  It seems possible to maintain such a level while granting pro status to those who have demonstrated an ability to engage in a competent and professional manner.

Regards,
Jason


P.S.  It looks like posts in these meta-threads do not need to wait for approval.  That's good.


2009-12-15
Suggestion about the pro/non-pro system
Reply to Kris Rhodes
This sounds like an excellent idea, Kris. Unfortunately I'm too a non-pro, so we still remain without a pro's opinion.

2009-12-15
Suggestion about the pro/non-pro system
Reply to Nathan Jones
Sorry.  This is still primarily a forum for professional philosophers.  We don't want it to turn into a forum dominated by discussion by non-professionals, even intelligent discussion.  So we will keep the moderation.

2009-12-17
Suggestion about the pro/non-pro system
At the top of the page it says, "Note that these forums are primarily intended for professional philosophers and graduate students." But since the moderation actually works on the basis of a "pro/non-pro" distinction, and in light of what David Chalmers has said above, it looks as though the "and graduate students" bit ought to be removed.

It's not up to me to decide, but the question of whether we need this divide is obviously important. In real life, graduate students usually participate in seminar discussions, reading groups and conferences without having to run their comments past the chair first. Heavy moderation inclines me towards simply emailing the relevant people when I have a comment to make.

2009-12-17
Suggestion about the pro/non-pro system

Very understandable. But it also sounds like you're saying that to keep the forum from being dominated by non-pro's, you limit the amount of intelligent posts by them. I'm not sure I quite understand that.

What are the criteria for the acceptance/denial of a post, anyway? Is there a page where this can be found?


2010-01-26
Suggestion about the pro/non-pro system
It is fine to exclude uninformed and unintelligent discussion, but to limit intelligent discussion on the basis of status is a recipe for intellectual inbreeding, not philosophical inquiry.

2010-01-27
Suggestion about the pro/non-pro system
Reply to Dennis Polis
Even though I am a "non-pro" as my doctorate is in theoretical physics, I have two published and one forthcoming philosophical papers in refereed journals (Metaphilosophy, The Modern Schoolman, and The Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies), yet none of these journals is classed as "popular." Why is a person with three refereed philosophical articles a non-pro, but one with a single article in a "popular" journal a pro? What is the criterion by which some journals are popular and others unpopular? I notice that many journals of high scholarly repute are not on the list. Why is the list restricted as it is?

DFP

2010-07-10
Suggestion about the pro/non-pro system
Reply to Kris Rhodes
I am a graduate in Philosophy, and  did some courses at the Doctorate level, I have a book published and many writings in Internet, even so David Gourmet considers that my writings proposed to Philpapers are not good enough, an attitude I resent as offensive.

It happens too often that what David Gourmet accepts or not to be published in Philpapers depends on his tastes on Philosophy, his biases, his School of Philosophy ( he is a neopositivist) and nothing else, and has nothing to do with the rightness of the  text submitted and its philosophical level .

With the pretext that he cares for the high level of this Philpapers, he acts as a censor, killing by it the freedom of speech in Philosophy.

I am a professional philosopher and if David Gourmet considers that my writings for Philpapers are not good enough , he considers by the same principle that what I was taught at the University as a student of Philosophy was bad too, a thought that sends to oblivion thousands of philosophers that studied the same I did and that leaves as the only authorized philosopher MR. David Gourmet alone and himself.

It is very dangerous to leave at the hands of some philosopher the power to decide what writings of other philosophers are good enough, as he will always choose those that suit his interests and fancies.

 By the way, there are a lot of writings in Philpapers that I wouldn´t had approved for publication here, for me they are bad, without interest and bringing nothing new to the subject dealed with.

2010-07-11
Suggestion about the pro/non-pro system
Enrique, I'm not sure if the reference to a "Gourmet" was intentional or not, but I think you mean to refer to David Bourget.  You're also probably forgetting about David Chalmers, who is presumably part of the decision-making process when it comes to evaluating submissions--though maybe in your case only one David was involved.  I have no idea.  In any case, you're probably right that there are some biases when it comes to decisions like this, but this may be more because of the fact that no single philosopher (or no pair of philosophers, in this case) is qualified to make informed decisions about work in all areas of philosophy.  Sometimes they have to rely on reputation or publication history.  And since the field of philosophy is so variegated and without a unifying focus or definition, it's practically impossible for any focused decision-making process to satisfy all professional philosophers.  Still, I would be surprised if Professors Bourget and Chalmers were unwilling to listen to reason.  If you made a case for the value of your work, you might find sympathetic ears.  Or, you could draw all of our attention to some of your online work which you think is deserving of being published here, and ask for feedback.  Perhaps a number of professionals will make the case for (or against) your work.

That said, I have to take issue with some of your comments.  Any venue for philosophical work has to maintain some standards, and that means that you simply have to "leave at the hands of some [philosophers] the power to decide what writings of other philosophers are good enough" to be published in any particular venue.  Furthermore, the fact that your work has not been considered good enough does not mean that Professors Bourget and Chalmers would also reject what you were taught at your university.  Perhaps what you were taught was good enough, but your own work just doesn't measure up. 

Without anything more to go on, I don't see how any of us could make an informed judgment about your case.

Regards,
Jason
July 11, 2010

2010-07-15
Suggestion about the pro/non-pro system
Mr. Streitfeld, perhaps I was excessive in my complain, I was angry because they had rejected my writing "Aristotle and the magnanimous".

2010-08-25
Suggestion about the pro/non-pro system
Reply to Kris Rhodes
Enrique, when I first started posting here I had a couple of posts rejected simply because they were too long. This is legitimate--I had misunderstood the purpose of the forum. It shouldn't be used to present anything approaching even a short paper draft.

Was your post very long?

2010-08-25
Suggestion about the pro/non-pro system
Reply to Kris Rhodes
I consider myself a pro, and my writing was short, it happened that my style is not of the taste of the editor, that´s all.
You can read now my whole writing as "Aristotle and the magnanimous" here in Philpapers.

2010-08-25
Suggestion about the pro/non-pro system
Having seen the work in question, I'd say it definitely is far too long for a forum post (compressed to paragraph form it would still be 60 pages or so if my quick mental math didn't drop a zero somewhere...).

Not sure whether you were actually _told_ the style was not to Bourget's or Chalmers' "taste," but aside from matters of taste, the style of the piece can be objectively characterized as not appropriate to this forum as well. This has nothing to do with its quality. It would also be inappropriate for someone simply to post an image of a great work of art. Nothing wrong with the art, it's just that such a post is not in the style appropriate to the forum. (/speaking for editors)

2011-04-11
Suggestion about the pro/non-pro system
Reply to Kris Rhodes

As an amateur I was slightly suprised to be allowed to join and to have an essay archived, and I'm most grateful. I can see why nobody would want too many amateurs here, regardless of the quality of their philosophy. It is a site for the pros to chat to each other. Fair enough. 

I would be completely happy if there could be just one change. When a post is moderated it is slotted back into the disussion where it was posted, which may have been a few days ealier, by which time the discussion has moved on. The delay is not the problem, it's the posting out of order that makes the system unusable for an amateur. If moderated posts appeared on the date they were approved and not the day they were submitted this would solve all my problems.