What is the core mission or "elevator pitch" of this site? What is a concise statement of what it is about?
Following our site-definition chat discussions, here is one proposed answer:
This site is about asking serious, thought-provoking, philosophically-minded questions that invite answers that are terminologically secure, not shallow or pretentious, that show an understanding of the questioner's level/tradition/culture in order to engage with it on relevant grounds, that can either be part of a particular, widely-studied school of philosophical thought (e.g. Epicureanism) or are such as to be focused on abstract reasoning and widely accepted methods of argumentation and be precise in that they rigorously adhere to the demands of the original question.
Alternate proposed answer based on the four years that have passed since the last one:
This site is for (1) people to ask questions about philosophy understood broadly but generously in line with the academic discipline which traditionally includes metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics, and ethics, (2) people to answer questions from lay persons and experts alike within the scope of philosophy, and (3) people to vote for answers that answer those question about philosophy, (4) people to clarify issues with respect to questions in comments, and (5) to enjoy conversations and debates about areas of substantive disagreement in chat.
- We take an expansive view of what traditions to include in philosophy (Chinese philosophy, Indian philosophy, Native American philosophy, African American philosophy, Greek Philosophy, Medieval Islamic and Christian philosophy, Logical Positivism, etc.) can all fall under the banner -- with the reverse caveat that our concerns here are about the philosophy.
- People do not have to formulate their questions in perfect philosophical lingo, but there needs to be a question that can be objectively answered within philosophy rather than without.
- Comments can be used to clarify what the OP is trying to say but they are not meant to debate. Good comments: "What do you mean by X in your question?" / "Can you account for Q in your answer?" Bad comments: comments are not the place to debate physicalism vs supervenience, whether a god exists, whether global warming is caused by man, whether dogs or cats are the best, whether marxism, Christianity, islam, hinduism is the "one true philosophy."
Thinking about these concerns, many questions that may be objectively answerable in some domain are not well-suited to philosophy:
- "Why is there a statue of a Hindu god outside of CERN?"
- "How can I learn to be motivated?"
- "How did humans come from apes?"
- "What is the ideal way to organize society?"
- "How does gravity move an object"?
Similar questions however might be:
- How does Aristotle think motivation works?
- How does Locke think an ideal society should be organized?
- Does David Lewis think possible worlds exist without gravity?
- How do contemporary philosophies deal with ideas like idols? (possibly too general).