Opening Epistle

This archive has been established to create a network of correspondence upon a wide variety of philosophy related subjects. Correspondence means you read epistles then you reply to epistles! If you read them and fervently agree say so! If you vitriolically oppose any arguments you read say so! (and hopefully argue for your position, so we can start some decent ongoing debates). This website is archived and organized by us; Julien Tempone and Florence Matthews. While many of the Epistles will be written by us, we invite you to submit your own letters and or responses. The purpose of this group and this page is to facilitate lively and rigorous debate and so we hope you will join us in the discussion and  production of these epistles.

This archive of letters is an enterprise intended to allow us to share and critique philosophical ideas within a formal structure. In this way we endeavour to make some organized headway into the difficult ground of epistemology and all branches of philosophy.

Epistemology is the study of knowledge, its nature and scope. This is not a particularly useful definition for explaining what our purpose is here. These epistles are not about trivia. We don’t care what you know. What we wish to determine is how is knowledge possible? What if any is the extent of knowledge? What should you do?  This will inevitably involve tangents and forays into all areas of philosophy. So don’t be alarmed if you find yourself in a digression through ontology or discover entire epistles dedicated to ethical knowledge claims, aesthetics or continental thought. While we believe that epistemology is the most fundamental area of philosophy, it is necessarily interlinked with all philosophical fields and disciplines; has important ramifications for and is affected by discoveries within these disciplines. Thus while work on nearly any subject matter may be found in this archive it is the epistemic approach that all epistles will share.

While we encourage you to join us in our endeavour we must in the interest of keeping some kind of order impose two rules. First, these epistles are intended as individual formal didactic letters; as such any submission to the archive should be of this form. Secondly each epistle necessarily deals with highly contentious subject matter. We don’t want to curtail debate, quite the opposite. Picking holes and chipping away at arguments serves the clarificatory, interrogatory role essential to philosophy and critical evaluation in general. As such we encourage people to become invested fully in the debate; however we ask that no matter how fierce disagreements become that any submission maintain at least a polite façade of civility and that you respect other contributors regardless of your opinion of any individual epistle’s content.

Saying all this, we wish you good reading. We think you will find Epistemic Epistles thought provoking and engaging. And please do not hesitate to contact us with feedback. The purpose of establishing this discussion is after all based on critique and correspondence. We hope that you join us in exploring ideas in all realms of epistemology and philosophy.

Julien Tempone  – u4681058(at)anu.edu.au

Florence Matthews

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