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Comments Policy

Before you comment, imagine the following…

You are seated in a comfortable chair at a table with all of the other commentators. You have gathered to discuss an issue of mutual concern, and you are aiming to learn something from the conversation. Take off your shoes if you’d like. Wriggle your toes. Appreciate the wonders of everyday life in the twenty-first century. On the table in front of you is your favorite beverage. Through the window is your favorite view. And seated next to you is a child, who you brought with you for a lesson on how to discuss controversial issues with strangers. Are you imagining all of that? Okay, now you may be in the right mindset to comment.

But please read the rest of this before you do.

Daily Nous is an online space for philosophers, academics, students, and other interested parties to discuss news and issues related to philosophy and the philosophy profession. People disagree about these things, and the discussions can get heated at times. Those participating should be able to distinguish between criticisms of ideas and arguments, on the one hand, and personally insulting rhetoric, on the other. Sometimes the latter can be disguised in the words used for the former, so please choose your words carefully. If you’re making a criticism, please do it kindly. And if your ideas and arguments are on the receiving end of criticism, please don’t take it personally.

More generally, let’s aim for more thoughtfulness and less obnoxiousness. Humor and lightheartedness are welcome. Just don’t act like a jerk.

It is strongly preferred that commenters use their real names (first and last) when commenting. If you choose to use a pseudonym, you must still submit a working email address. Email addresses are not made public. Pseudonyms may not contain the words “anonymous”, “anon”, or the like. Do not switch pseudonyms. Those found sockpuppeting will be banned. (If there are exceptional circumstances which require you to use a temporary handle, email me about it.)

Note that comments may take a while to appear, especially if you are a first-time commenter or haven’t commented in a while, or if the commenting system detects your comment may need moderation. If it has been a few hours and your comment hasn’t been published, feel free to email me about it. It may have been mistakenly routed directly to the spam folder, which I do not regularly check.

Related: “On Moderation“; “Commenting Here: Some Advice“; “A Note On Making Discussions Here Better


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Janice Dowell
Janice Dowell
10 years ago

I love your comments policy. I wonder whether it would be more uniformly complied with if you required comments to be signed with the name of their author.

Reply to  Janice Dowell
10 years ago

Thanks, Janice. Are there particular comments (or a particular thread) you have in mind?

Janice Dowell
Janice Dowell
10 years ago

No; it was just a general thought.

Reply to  Janice Dowell
10 years ago

There are benefits to allowing anonymous comments. Some people have their reasons for not wanting to be identified with the expression of certain views or the revealing of particular facts, and I do not care to discourage such people from commenting here. Of course there are risks when people cannot be held accountable for their remarks, but those are absorbed by me as I am moderating comments. I am pleased to report that so far I’ve been lucky enough not to have to reject any comments for noncompliance with the policy.

6 years ago

I honestly don’t think I’ve seen a more tone deaf claim made about our profession.

5 years ago

Good policy

Philip Robbins
2 years ago

A good policy.

Last edited 2 years ago by Philip Robbins
Viktor Kravchuk
2 years ago

I apologize for the intromission in this honoured space. I just want to make a humble invite to fellow readers to get to know a little of my story and my profile. My name is Viktor, I live in Ukraine and as could be expected, things are quite complicated these days. I am also develping some writing skills and at this site below, there’s a sketch of a journal. Please, be my guest!

twitter: @vikvkravchuk


Joe Nalven
1 year ago

Better yet, become a cultural anthropologist — understand knowledge in a comparative context. Leave the office and go out and talk and live with others in another country.

Gary Comstock
10 days ago

Does anyone know of a 3 credit intro ethics course that is designed to be taken simultaneously with a 3 credit intro biology course? I’m working with a bio prof. to design same and looking for ideas, models, advice. We plan to pair, for example, discussion of abortion in ethics with differences in fetal development across animal species in bio; discussion of obligations to future generations in ethics with bio/chemical causes of climate change in bio; and so on. Thanks.

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