SUPPORT Philosophy Matters : The Next Frontier !
$970 raised
5% of $18k goal
48 contributors
26 Days left Ends Dec 15, 2017
Help Us Grow ! We're building an online magazine to highlight how philosophy matters in the public square and private life in ways large and small, to make philosophy accessible to a large non-academic global audience, and to promote philosophy's value.

SUPPORT OUR GROWTH AND HELP MAKE PHILOSOPHY MATTER MORE THAN EVER!

We are Philosophy Matters.  We've been around on social media for almost five years, and have built an outstanding and energetic community of nearly half a million engaged fans.  We've livened up newsfeeds with stories, articles, memes, and other material  about philosophy--from the serious to the frivolous--from other mainstream and speciality sources, and injected a healthy dose of philosophy into your daily news consumption.

And what we've discovered is there is a real appetite for thoughtful, engaged, accessible matters of philosophy.  We never thought a little facebook page would be so successful when we started it, and the success--as measured by our fans' continued enthusiasm and engagement--has motivated us to take things to the next level.   For this, we need your help.  

You want more philosophy content.  We want to give it to you.  But we need your support !

In this day when philosophy matters more than ever, it's time to stop relying on other sources, and become one ourselves.  Indeed, our goal is to become the go-to source for philosophical matters for a global audience.  Science has "I @#$% Love Science" and "Nautil.us".   Psychology and Political Science have tons of online properties.   There is good, well-written content on a wide variety of subjects in "Open Culture" and "Aeon".  Occasionally there's some good philosophy blogging in "Quartz" or "Big Think".   Podcasters and YouTubers aside, to our knowledge, the only website dedicated entirely to philosophy is "Philosophy Now," but they are on online version of a print magazine and have a paywall that limits access.  We find inspiration of different kinds in each of these sites, and based on this inspiration, we want to launch our own endeavor.  We think we can fill a void, meet a need, satisfy a desire, and make a difference. 

We are therefore holding this fundraiser to make that happen.  Will you support us?

We will necessarily start slow, as a general blog, but within the first quarter of 2018, we will launch what we hope will become a quarterly online magazine, each quarter organized around a theme focusing on the impact philosophy has had to make the world better.  And all the while, we'll be developing open-source philosophy materials that will benefit teachers, students, and lifelong learners.   We wish we were Zeus and that Athena would just pop out of our head fully formed, but alas, we are not, and she will not.  This will take time and effort.  And some money.

And that's why we are asking for your support !

  • QUESTION : Why do you need to raise money for this?

  • ANSWER : We need to raise money because (a) we want to do this correctly, and that means, among other things, incorporating as a non-profit, which ironically costs money; (b) we're committing to this project for at least three years, so our proposed budget covers the operational and material costs for that time period--it's the most economical arrangement, and it's sufficient time for it to succeed and become self-sustaining, or fail; (c) we have some skills, but not all the necessary ones, and so will want to be able to offer people who help us execute this project something, even if it's just enough for a nice dinner, to thank them for their work, because we value their work; and (d) most importantly, or most pathetically, we are poor adjuncts who have literally no disposable income whatsoever, not even enough for the start-up costs.   If we were going to be just another blog, we wouldn't need to raise funds ... but we're hoping to be more than that, and we're taking it seriously enough to commit to it for three years. 
  • So this is seed money to grow this project over a long term.  Your contribution will help us cultivate a garden of philosophical delights over a three year period.  But the start-up costs for such a commitment are difficult for us to meet alone.

And those start-up costs are what we are trying to fundraise.  Will you be part of our team?

  • QUESTION :  What will you do with the money?  what's the budget?

  • ANSWER : Our goal is to raise 18,000 dollars to guarantee the material and operational costs for a three-year commitment to this project.  One third of that is already ear-marked for the legal fees incurred for incorporating as a non-profit (we have already priced this out and that seems to be the going rate).  Another sixth is for the most basic operational costs of building and hosting a site over a three year period (because we're not going to have some cheaply made, half-assed, free wordpress blog site, we're going to do this right).   One quarter is materials--which includes subscriptions to online tools, applications, etc.  And one quarter is fuck up fees--because we probably forgot something when we were doing our due diligence, and because something always goes wrong.  All funds raised will go into the project, and anything we raise beyond the goal will be folded back into the project, which we hope will become self-sustaining in the near future. 

Your support will be invaluable in making this project a reality !

  • QUESTION : Why are you crowdsourcing fundraising?  Why not get an institutional grant instead?

  • ANSWER : One thing we do NOT want to do is be another organ for professional academic philosophy.  Much of the problem with professional philosophy is that it talks only to itself in a language that only it understands: it is often rightly criticized for being disengaged, abstract, insular, and specialized.  Nor do we want to be a marketing tool for some institute or another.  We've looked into to institutional grants and university support, but that always comes with strings attached.  So academic or institutional sponsorship won't work, because they will insist that we be something that we do not wish to be.  We really hate asking for money, it makes us feel gross and cheap. But we also think that we really have a good idea here, and we think that we can "make a splash".  And we need independence to do it.  We're a little embarrassed to ask for help, but asking we are ... 

And that's why we're turning to you, our fans.   Would you consider supporting us?

  • QUESTION :  What are you going to do? What is the content going to be?  What exactly are we supporting?

  • ANSWER :  This is a journalistic endeavor, not a personal blog.  We want to make difficult ideas accessible to a broad audience, without "dumbing it down" but while avoiding the insular jargon of professional academic philosophy.  As teachers, we have always found that no matter how high the bar is held, students will rise to meet it, and we know our readership is intelligent. 

We know we have a meaningful impact on students when we teach, but we also know we have the potential, here, to reach far beyond the classroom. We want to move out of the the ivory tower and into the public square! 

It's not unfair to say that we want to be the HuffPo of Philosophy ... but better, much better.  So here are some specifics :

(1) We'll be addressing our writing to a smart but non-specialized audience, about issues and ideas that matter (and some that are fun, too).  We will recruit writers from among the ranks of our associates (some of whom have had their work shared by us in the past), and entertain pitches from our fans.  Anybody who can write in an intelligent and engaging manner about ways that Philosophy Matters will be welcome to pitch ideas and publish articles regardless of academic degree, rank or affiliation.  But it will not be an "anything goes" forum : posts will be curated by an editorial committee.

(2) Our blog posts will have a variety of formats that might include, among others:  (a) informative and educational quizzes ("Which Ancient Materialist Are You?"); (b) smart listicles ("Ten Underrated Women Philosophers");  (c) pedagogical posts with clickbaity titles ("A Guy Escapes from a Cave and You'll Never Believe What Happens Next"); (d)  longer posts using pop culture to explain philosophical concepts, or using philosophy to make pop culture more interesting--we've found as teachers that these kinds of posts have a great pedagogical value; (e) long-form essays about serious matters including the political, the social, the ecological, etc., explored in a philosophical optic; (f)  interviews with both philosophers and especially with other "ordinary people" who studied philosophy but now do something altogether different professionally for which their philosophy degree has been an asset; and (g) eventually, when we master the technology, we might produce video content.  We'll try to post new content two or three times per week at first.   

(3) The Magazine format will be thematized around an issue such as "Philosophy for Kids" or "Philosophy in Prisons" or "Philosophy and Diversity," and will contain about twenty articles per edition.  The Magazine format will be a way to draw broader attention to the subject, which will be explored in depth.

(4) In both the blog and the magazine, the goal is to celebrate the ways that Philosophy Matters, and to promote the value of philosophy broadly.  And remember, this is three-year project at minimum--time to grow, learn, and improve.

So, would you please consider making a donation of 10 or 20 or even 50 dollars (or more!) to help us launch this project?  We need your support !

We sometimes have a little fantasy late at night : if every single one of our fans on facebook gave 10 dollars, we would be able to establish a permanent foundation that would guarantee the publication of PM in perpetuity, would be able to pay contributors properly, and would be able to support other philosophy initiatives.  We know that that is a crazy, crazy fever dream ... but what if ?   okay it's a fantasy ... but ... we've got to get started somewhere ... so let's get started now ...

Support our project with a contribution !  Make philosophy matter on a bigger scale !

Thank you for your indulgence.

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