By Harisan Nasir & Shalom Chalson
In the “going online” story, one trope we have seen time and again is that of introductory articles ending off with the long-term goal of the organisation. With gusto, and the appropriate quote, they illustrate where it is that they are headed (well, after a reader performs a two whole scrolls of a page). But we want to begin where others end. Our aim is to promote a sharing of philosophical ideas, of the broadest sort. By appealing to a wider audience, we believe we are doing two things: first, we pay closer attention to the persons we think about when we think about morality, political theory, or issues of the mind. And second, we better position ourselves to shift into more inclusive ways of thinking about the world.
Another “going online” trope is that of the failed website. Some websites start with promise, but end up suffering from bouts of procrastination. In some cases, the bright eyes and bushy tails of blog posters grow dull and thin. We do not want this to happen. And so, we have structured a publication system that is, hopefully, sustainable and robust. We have thought about the kinds of roles required and the sorts of duties each individual should have. We have also thought about how best to organise the website. Expanding on this, we have outlined three main sections – western philosophy, eastern philosophy, and current affairs. The website is structured with the purpose of occluding the analytic-continental divide.
And the last trope – well, this is not exactly a trope, let alone an online one, but for symmetry’s sake, let’s go with it – is that of the student essay buried in a hard-drive. Students in NTU have great ideas. We know that because we have all been dumbfounded by comments traded in class. Sometimes, we are pushed into considering ideas that never would have occurred to us otherwise. And that is a great, wonderful thing. Each person is distinct and has a unique perspective to share. But some of these perspectives are captured only in essays written for modules. If a tree falls in the woods, and a student prints his or her essay, then buries the soft copy in a hard-drive, does the essay make a sound? Of course it does, but not as loud a one as if it were posted on a website. Okay, we are getting ahead of ourselves. All we have is a website design and three sections. But, with your submissions, we can hopefully develop a great, inclusive environment for discourse.
Ultimately, what we want is for the material curated here to align with your interests. And we want each person who contributes to feel as if his or her ideas develop through the editing process and online debate. We also want readers to feel that they have learned something substantial. Hopefully, as this website grows, we grow along with it. It is definitely a huge undertaking. But it is, without a doubt, worth our while.
Alright… We did end off with a long-term goal. Did it take you two scrolls?
Photo Credits: WallpaperSafari