About the blog and its bloggers

Policy of Truth (as a whole) is my website (i.e., Irfan Khawaja), but its blog is a group blog.  Right now, the blog technically has thirteen bloggers, but Riesbeck, Khawaja, Long, and Young tend to do most of the talking.

Derrick Abdul-Hakim (“derrickabdulhakim83”), is in the final semester of the MA program in philosophy at San Francisco State University, and planning to attend the doctoral program in philosophy at the University of London, Birkbeck.

Gordon Barnes (“gbarnes14”)is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at SUNY Brockport, and was for several years the Director of its Center for Philosophic Exchange.

Derek Bowman is Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Providence College, Providence, Rhode Island. In addition to blogging here, he also runs the site Free Range Philosophers, which “hosts interviews of people with advanced training in philosophy who are either working outside of traditional academic jobs or engaged in philosophical outreach or other philosophical activities outside of the academic classroom.”

Stephen Boydstun (“guyau”) is an independent scholar (and former engineer) with interests in metaphysics, epistemology, the philosophy of science, and meta-ethics.  He blogs from northern Virginia.

Carrie-Ann Biondi is an Associate Professor of Philosophy, and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Marymount Manhattan College. She is the Book Review editor of Reason Papers, which she edited (or co-edited) for seven years.

Matt Faherty is our resident travel blogger, at least when he’s around. He’s a recent graduate of the University of Chicago (2014), where he majored in history and wrote a senior thesis on the Treasury Secretaries of the Gilded Age, supervised by Jane Dailey.

Roderick T. Long teaches philosophy at Auburn University; edits the Molinari Review; co-edits the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies; and blogs at Austro-Athenian Empire, Center for a Stateless Society, and Bleeding Heart Libertarians.

David Potts teaches philosophy at the City College of San Francisco.

David J. Riesbeck (“djr”) teaches literature, philosophy, history, and classical languages to bright high school students in the bright state of Arizona. He has also taught at Rice University, Dartmouth College, and the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned a PhD in Classics. He is the author of Aristotle on Political Community (Cambridge 2016).

Gregory (“Greg”) Sadler is an independent scholar trained in philosophy. He is the President and Founder of ReasonIO, “a platform for putting philosophy into practice.” He’s taught at Ball State University, Fayetteville State University, and Marist College. He is the editor of Stoicism Today, and author of Reason Fulfilled by Revelation: The 1930s Christian Philosophy Debates in France.

Hendrik Van Den Berg is an Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He’s currently a Lecturer in Economics in the Department of Economics at Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. He serves on the Editorial Board of Reason Papers.

Michael Young (“mlyoung57”) has interests in meta-ethics and moral psychology, and has done graduate work in philosophy at Brown University. He blogs from Providence, Rhode Island. (PoT’s Michael Young is not the American journalist of the same name who writes for The Daily Star in Beirut.)

As I’ve said elsewhere, the blog involves no overarching doctrinal, ideological, or political commitment beyond a commitment to truth. (Not does it require a commitment to any particular conception or theory of truth.) I’ve just invited a diverse group of co-bloggers with various interests, from various disciplines, etc. whom I expected to have interesting things to say about whatever interested them.

Yes, I’m aware of the fact that our blogging crew is heavily male. If you’re interested in blogging for us, and think you can fix that, contact me at khawajaenator at gmail.

Comment policy:

You’ll need to register and get my approval to post your first comment. After that, I’ve set the site up so that you can comment at will. But it could take some time before I take a look at your first comment, or comment on anything you write. I generally try to respond to comments directed at stuff I’ve written, but there are no absolutes about it. I have a heavy teaching and editing schedule, so it’s sometimes tough for me to do all the blogging I’d like to do.

I generally find official “comment policies” uninformative and/or misleading. There’s no algorithmic set of rules that, if followed, makes for a good comment, or provides the sufficient conditions for the sort of post/comment that gets deleted. Here’s the best I can do in that respect (omitting some tacit, common sense qualifications to each):

1. Keep your comment on topic. Respond to what the person posting has actually written, not whatever you’d like to be discussing right now, regardless of the content of what you’re commenting on.

2. Avoid fallacies, including ad hominem fallacies.

3. While we’re on ad hominem fallacies, distinguish between an ad hominem fallacy and an accusation of wrongdoing. The first is a fallacy, the second is not. While I don’t want Policy of Truth to be a forum for the litigation of personal vendettas, I don’t have a blanket policy on Authors’ or commenters’  making accusations of moral wrongdoing, or engaging in some form of moral condemnation. When people act immorally, it makes perfect sense to call them on it. If you’re going to make an accusation, however, make it in a straightforward way, rather than by means of sarcasm or innuendo. (Obviously, I don’t mean that as a blanket ban on satire, either.)

4.  Take responsibility for any assertions you make, especially controversial assertions of fact and/or accusations of wrongdoing. I’d like the blog to live up to its name rather than becoming a rumor mill. When in doubt, check your facts before commenting.

5. You may be familiar with slow food, or slow cooking. Slow food is good food cooked slowly, by contrast with fast food, which is bad food (often very bad food) cooked at high velocity. Slow food tends to be better for you than fast food, but it takes awhile to prepare. Policy of Truth is a slow blog. I’m not after high traffic, high volume blogging speed, or the chance to become a celebrity. To give you an idea: I hate Facebook, I hate Twitter, and I hate Instagram.* I hate sound bites. I don’t own a TV and don’t miss having one. ** I intend for Policy of Truth to be an alternative to sound-bite modes of discourse. So things happen slowly here, at a speed conducive to thought. I won’t speak for my co-bloggers, but I write (and comment) slowly and at length, without worrying how many hits or Facebook likes I’ll get (or we’ll get). The key is quality, the aim is truth, and the method is to reach it by thinking out loud, and in public. I’m hoping to encourage that attitude in commenters. (I’m pretty confident that I have it already in the blog’s Authors.) There’s no reason to write reflexively or “from the gut,” unless that’s how you do your best thinking–and most people don’t.

Sometimes WordPress filters out comments without discernible reason. If your comment doesn’t go through, it’s much more likely that there’s some technical glitch than that I’m deliberately filtering you out.  If you’re in this predicament, contact me at khawajaenator at gmail. I reserve the right to delete comments that are abusive, obscene, desperately off-topic, spam-like, or just plain crazy. I tend to be reluctant about doing that, but I will if need be.

(Addendum, April 2020: if you block me from your platform, I may or may not block you from mine, but I certainly reserve the right to do so. I have in the past have allowed this sort of double standard to prevail, permitting the likes of Jason Brennan, Phillip Magness, and Rabbi Bernhard Rosenberg to come and attack me at Policy of Truth while tolerating the fact that they’ve blocked me, or blocked commenters altogether, from responding to them on their sites. A double standard of that kind only prevails for as long as I put up with it. Eventually, I will get sick of it and block such people. So don’t be surprised when it happens to you “without warning.” Just be aware that it will.)

Irfan Khawaja

*July 2016: The hatreds in question expired after June 2016, when I got on Facebook and began to appreciate Instagram. The hatred for Twitter remains in force.

*December 2018: I’m back to hating Facebook.

**April 2020: I got married in 2018, and thereby acquired a TV. I watch it sometimes.

August 2020: Back to hating Facebook. Am divorcing again, so lost the TV again.

Last revised: August 25, 2020.

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