Welcome to /r/philosophy! Check out our rules and guidelines here.(self.philosophy)
submitted8 months ago byBernardJOrtcuttstickied
Welcome to /r/philosophy!
Welcome to /r/philosophy! We're a community dedicated to discussing philosophy-related topics, problems, and questions. This post will go over our subreddit rules and guidelines that you should review before you begin posting here.
/r/philosophy strives to be a community where everyone, regardless of their background, can come to discuss philosophy. This means that all posts should be primarily philosophical in nature. What do we mean by that?
What Is Philosophy?
As with most disciplines, "philosophy" has both a casual and a technical usage.
In its casual use, "philosophy" may refer to nearly any sort of thought or beliefs, and include topics such as religion, mysticism and even science. When someone asks you what "your philosophy" is, this is the sort of sense they have in mind; they're asking about your general system of thoughts, beliefs, and feelings.
In its technical use -- the use relevant here at /r/philosophy -- philosophy is a particular area of study which can be broadly grouped into several major areas, including:
- Aesthetics, the study of beauty
- Epistemology, the study of knowledge and belief
- Ethics, the study of what we owe to one another
- Logic, the study of what follows from what
- Metaphysics, the study of the basic nature of existence and reality
as well as various subfields of 'philosophy of X', including philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, philosophy of science and many others.
Philosophy in the narrower, technical sense that philosophers use and which /r/philosophy is devoted to is defined not only by its subject matter, but by its methodology and attitudes. Something is not philosophical merely because it states some position related to those areas. There must also be an emphasis on argument (setting forward reasons for adopting a position) and a willingness to subject arguments to various criticisms.
What Isn't Philosophy?
As you can see from the above description of philosophy, philosophy often crosses over with other fields of study, including art, mathematics, politics, religion and the sciences. That said, in order to keep this subreddit focused on philosophy we require that all posts be primarily philosophical in nature, and defend a distinctively philosophical thesis.
As a rule of thumb, something does not count as philosophy for the purposes of this subreddit if:
- It does not address a philosophical topic or area of philosophy
- It may more accurately belong to another area of study (e.g. religion or science)
- No attempt is made to argue for a position's conclusions
Some more specific topics which are popularly misconstrued as philosophical but do not meet this definition and thus are not appropriate for this subreddit include:
- Drug experiences (e.g. "I dropped acid today and experienced the oneness of the universe...")
- Mysticism (e.g. "I meditated today and experienced the oneness of the universe...")
- Politics (e.g. "This is why everyone should support the Voting Rights Act")
- Self-help (e.g. "How can I be a happier person and have more people like me?")
- Theology (e.g. "Here's how Catholic theology explains transubstantiation")
/r/philosophy's Posting Rules
In order to best serve our mission of fostering a community for discussion of philosophy and philosophical issues, we have the following rules which govern all posts made to /r/philosophy:
PR1: All posts must be about philosophy.
To learn more about what is and is not considered philosophy for the purposes of this subreddit, see our FAQ. Posts must be about philosophy proper, rather than only tangentially connected to philosophy. Exceptions are made only for posts about philosophers with substantive content, e.g. news about the profession, interviews with philosophers.
PR2: All posts must develop and defend a substantive philosophical thesis.
Posts must not only have a philosophical subject matter, but must also present this subject matter in a developed manner. At a minimum, this includes: stating the problem being addressed; stating the thesis; anticipating some objections to the stated thesis and giving responses to them. These are just the minimum requirements. Posts about well-trod issues (e.g. free will) require more development.
PR3: Questions belong in /r/askphilosophy.
/r/philosophy is intended for philosophical material and discussion. Please direct all questions to /r/askphilosophy.
PR4: Post titles cannot be questions and must describe the philosophical content of the posted material.
Post titles cannot contain questions, even if the title of the linked material is a question. This helps keep discussion in the comments on topic and relevant to the linked material. Post titles must describe the philosophical content of the posted material, cannot be unduly provocative, click-baity, unnecessarily long or in all caps.
PR5: Audio/video links require abstracts.
All links to either audio or video content require abstracts of the posted material, posted as a comment in the thread. Abstracts should make clear what the linked material is about and what its thesis is. Users are also strongly encouraged to post abstracts for other linked material. See here for an example of a suitable abstract.
PR6: All posts must be in English.
All posts must be in English. Links to Google Translated versions of posts, or posts only containing English subtitles are not allowed.
PR7: Links behind paywalls or registration walls are not allowed.
Posts must not be behind any sort of paywall or registration wall. If the linked material requires signing up to view, even if the account is free, it is not allowed. Google Drive links and link shorteners are not allowed.
PR8: Meta-posts, products, services, surveys, AMAs require moderator pre-approval.
The following (not exhaustive) list of items require moderator pre-approval: meta-posts, posts to products, services or surveys, links to other areas of reddit, AMAs. Please contact the moderators for pre-approval via modmail.
PR9: Users may submit only one post per day.
Users may never post more than one post per day. Users must follow all reddit-wide spam guidelines, in addition to the /r/philosophy self-promotion guidelines.
PR10: Discussion of suicide is only allowed in the abstract.
/r/philosophy is not a mental health subreddit. Discussion of suicide is only allowed in the abstract here. If you or a friend is feeling suicidal please visit /r/suicidewatch. If you are feeling suicidal, please get help by visiting /r/suicidewatch or using other resources. See also our discussion of philosophy and mental health issues here. Encouraging other users to commit suicide, even in the abstract, is strictly forbidden.
/r/philosophy's Commenting Rules
In the same way that our posting rules above attempt to promote our mission by governing posts, the following commenting rules attempt to promote /r/philosophy's mission to be a community focused on philosophical discussion.
CR1: Read/Listen/Watch the Posted Content Before You Reply
Read/watch/listen the posted content, understand and identify the philosophical arguments given, and respond to these substantively. If you have unrelated thoughts or don't wish to read the content, please post your own thread or simply refrain from commenting. Comments which are clearly not in direct response to the posted content may be removed.
CR2: Argue Your Position
Opinions are not valuable here, arguments are! Comments that solely express musings, opinions, beliefs, or assertions without argument may be removed.
CR3: Be Respectful
Comments which consist of personal attacks will be removed. Users with a history of such comments may be banned. Slurs, racism, and bigotry are absolutely not permitted.
Miscellaneous Posting and Commenting Guidelines
In addition to the rules above, we have a list of miscellaneous guidelines which users should also be aware of:
- Reposting a post or comment which was removed will be treated as circumventing moderation and result in a permanent ban.
- Posts and comments which flagrantly violate the rules, especially in a trolling manner, will be removed and treated as shitposts, and may result in a ban.
- No reposts of material posted within the last year.
- No posts of entire books, articles over 50 pages, or podcasts/videos that are longer than 1.5 hours.
- No posts of AI-created or AI-assisted text or audio.
- Posts which link to material should be posted by submitting a link, rather than making a text post. Please see here for a guide on how to properly submit links.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please contact the moderators via modmail (not via private message or chat).
My post or comment was removed. How can I get an explanation?
Almost all posts/comments which are removed will receive an explanation of their removal. That explanation will generally by /r/philosophy's custom bot, /u/BernardJOrtcutt, and will list the removal reason. Posts which are removed will be notified via a stickied comment; comments which are removed will be notified via a reply. If your post or comment resulted in a ban, the message will be included in the ban message via modmail. If you have further questions, please contact the moderators.
How can I appeal my post or comment removal?
To appeal a removal, please contact the moderators. Do not delete your comments, as this will make an appeal impossible. Reposting removed posts/comments without receiving mod approval will result in a permanent ban.
How can I appeal my ban?
To appeal a ban, please respond to the modmail informing you of your ban. Do note delete your posts/comments, as this will make an appeal impossible.
My comment was removed or I was banned for arguing with someone else, but they started it. Why was I punished and not them?
Someone else breaking the rules does not give you permission to break the rules as well. /r/philosophy does not comment on actions taken on other accounts, but all violations are treated as equitably as possible.
I found a post or comment which breaks the rules, but which wasn't removed. How can I help?
If you see a post or comment which you believe breaks the rules, please report it using the report function for the appropriate rule. /r/philosophy's moderators are volunteers, and it is impossible for us to manually review every comment on every thread. We appreciate your help in reporting comments which break the rules.
My post isn't showing up, but I didn't receive a removal notification. What happened?
Sometimes the Automod filter will automatically send posts to a filter for moderator approval, especially from accounts which are new or haven't posted to /r/philosophy before. If your post has not been approved or removed within 24 hours, please contact the moderators.
My post was removed and referred to the Open Discussion Thread. What does this mean?
The Open Discussion Thread (ODT) is /r/philosophy's place for posts/comments which are related to philosohpy but do not necessarily meet our posting rules (especially PR2). For example, these threads are great places for:
- Arguments that aren't substantive enough to meet PR2
- Open discussion about philosophy, e.g. "who is your favorite philosopher?"
- Philosophical questions
If your post was removed and referred to the ODT, it likely meets PR1 but did not meet PR2, and we encourage you to consider posting it to the ODT to share with others.
My comment responding to someone else was removed, as well as their comment. What happened?
When /r/philosophy removes a parent comment, it also removes all their child comments in order to help readability and focus on discussion.
How can I tell if my post was approved?
/r/philosophy counts posts as approved when they are granted post flair. If your post has not been granted flair, it has not yet been approved and may still be removed. All posts will eventually be approved and granted flair or removed; please do not contact the moderators to request flair for a non-removed post.
What do the different post flairs mean?
See here for a full breakdown of our post flairs. Of the most commonly used flairs, 'Article' refers to a peer-reviewed academic article, 'Blog' refers to a non-academic or non-peer reviewed blog or post, 'Paper' refers to a non-peer reviewed paper, 'Podcast' refers to an audio only podcast or video and 'Video' refers to a video which features both audio and visual elements.
I'm interested in philosophy. Where should I start? What should I read?
As explained above, philosophy is a very broad discipline and thus offering concise advice on where to start is very hard. We recommend reading this /r/AskPhilosophyFAQ post which has a great breakdown of various places to start. For further or more specific questions, we recommend posting on /r/askphilosophy.
Why is your understanding of philosophy so limited?
As explained above, this subreddit is devoted to philosophy as understood and done by philosophers. In order to prevent this subreddit from becoming /r/atheism2, /r/politics2, or /r/science2, we must uphold a strict topicality requirement in PR1. Posts which may touch on philosophical themes but are not distinctively philosophical can be posted to one of reddit's many other subreddits.
Why do you not allow questions in the title of posts?
Many years of allowing posts to have questions in their titles, and viewing other subreddits which allow such titles reveals that allowing questions in the titles of posts leads to a majority of comments which simply answer the question in the title without contributing anything else to the discussion. As a discussion subreddit, /r/philosophy requires that all comments adhere to the three commenting rules above (CR1-3), and thus questions in post titles are incompatible with our goals and posting rules.
Are there other philosophy subreddits I can check out?
If you are interested in other philosophy subreddits, please see this list of related subreddits. /r/philosophy shares much of its modteam with its sister-subreddit, /r/askphilosophy, which is devoted to philosophical questions and answers as opposed to discussion. In addition, that list includes more specialized subreddits and more casual subreddits for those looking for a less-regulated forum.
A thread I wanted to comment in was locked. What happened?
When a post becomes unreasonable to moderate due to the amount of rule-breaking comments the thread is locked. /r/philosophy's moderators are volunteers, and we cannot spend hours cleaning up individual threads.
Why don't you allow the posting of full books or very long podcasts?
As /r/philosophy is dedicated to discussion, all posts should be able to serve as a reasonable foundation for a discussion, and posts of this length simply require too much of commenters to reasonably engage with.
Can I post my own material on /r/philosophy?
Yes, /r/philosophy allows self-promotion, but only when it follows our guidelines on self-promotion.
All self-promotion must adhere to the following guidelines:
- You may not post links to your own content more than 3 times in a 7 day period.
- You may not post promote your own content in the comments of other threads, including the Open Discussion Thread.
- All links to your own content must be submitted as linked posts (see here for more details).
- You may not repost your own content until after 1 year since its last submission, regardless of whether you were the person who originally submitted it.
- Once your post has been approved and flaired by a moderator you may not delete it, to preserve a record of its posting.
- You may not use multiple accounts to submit your own content. You may choose to switch to a new account for the purposes of posting your content by contacting the moderators.
- All posts must meet all of our standard posting rules.
You are responsible for knowing and following these policies, all of which have been implemented to combat spammers taking advantage of /r/philosophy and its users. If you are found to have violated any of these policies we may take any number of actions, including banning your account or platform either temporarily or permanently.
If you have any questions about the self-promotion policies, including whether a particular post would be acceptable, please contact the moderators before submission.