A few people have sent me e-mail recently concerning the spirit of the blog, so let me take a moment to clarify a few issues. The FSPB, like other academic philosophy blogs, is one in which contributors and commentators discuss a variety of important and often controversial issues. A principal purpose of the blog and, hence, of these discussions is for participants to discuss their research interests and to develop their philosophical skills. Thus, participation in the blog entails an implicit commitment by all involved to develop both their intellectual acumen and their professional demeanor. (In this respect, the blog is something like a series of online philosophy mini-conferences.) Now, obviously, there will be times when each member and, hence, the blog itself will not perform optimally in these regards. In fact, that is to be expected, given the implicit commitment of the blog’s participants: to develop their intellectual acumen and professional demeanor. Nonetheless, participants need to continue to strive to perform optimally both with respect to intellectual rigor and with respect to professional civility.
Lest anyone get the wrong impression, I think the FSPB is generally an excellent example not only of what a blog in its genre could be, but what such a blog should be. In fact, a number of people have expressed this very sentiment to me, including (perhaps especially) those who e-mailed recently with their concerns. Thus, the reason that I am taking a moment to make a few clarifications is merely to say to all involved: We are (as a rule) doing quite well, but we should not (in fact, we must not) lose sight of our commitment to do better.