Here some answers to frequently asked questions, as well as corrections to the occasional misconeption. Please check here before contacting me regarding anything.
1. What is PhilosophyOnline? Do you run courses?
Some people seem to think that PhilosophyOnline is some sort of organisation - it isn't. It is the sole responsibility of me, Gareth Southwell. I am a philosopher, writer, and artist/illustrator. Apart from occasional work and past qualifications, I am not associated with any university or official educational body, and do not provide courses or accreditation.
2. How do I contact you?
Please use the contact form.
3. How do I commission you to write something?
If you are interested in discussing a possible commission for a book, please contact my agent, Caroline Hardman, at Hardman & Swainson Literary Agency (see the contact page for details). If it's an article, or something else, contact me directly using the form.
4. Where can I buy your books? Can I order in bulk for my school/college?
All my books are (at time of writing) in print, and available from all good bookshops and a great many online ones (see my page on Amazon). Some are even on Kindle. If you have trouble getting hold of anything, please contact me. If you want bulk orders for your school or college, then I can probably arrange a slight discount.
5. Can you help me with X? I need to know about X.
6. Do you know any good books, websites to do with X?
As time goes by, there will be a growing list of relevant books and websites that I come across. So, firstly, check the links and book reviews sections. However, if, for whatever reason, you still can't find anything, then you are welcome to contact me.
7. Can I contribute a link? Can we do a link exchange? Can you publicise my site?
If you've come across a site that you think is good and appropriate to the visitors to PhilosophyOnline, then by all means let me know about it. I'll have a look and add it to the links page if it looks useful. As for link exchanges, I only do this if I would link to your site anyway - I'm not so easily bribed! The same goes for publicising your site - only if it looks useful.
8. Can you promote my event/conference/etc?
Again, if it looks interesting and appropriate to the site's visitors, then I'm happy to tweet or blog about it.
9. Will you review my unpublished/self-published book?
Generally, no. This is not to say that your book isn't very good, or interesting, or useful - it might very well be - but the fact that a book is traditionally published usually means that it has been through a process of evaluation, feedback and revision (usually involving knowledgeable people), and has come out the other side the better for it. I do occasionally bend this rule, but please don't be offended if I don't.
10. How do I submit a book for review?
Simply contact me. However, I usually have a large backlog of unreviewed books, so don't expect a quick turnaround. You can see my current to-be-read list on the book reviews page, which will also state whether the list is currently open or not (I close it when I'm particularly overwhelmed).
11. How do I reference the material on PhilosophyOnline?
If you are writing a book, article, essay, or anything that requries you to back up your opinions with quotations and references, or simply say where you got the material from, then you will of course need to provide certain information. If you are quoting from PhilosophyOnline, this is what you will need: Website title - PhilosophyOnline; Website author - Gareth Southwell (unless stated otherwise); Title of section - e.g. "The Trademark Argument"; Url - the exact web address where you found the information (e.g. http://www.philosophyonline.co.uk/philosophy-study-resources/descartes-m...); and the date on which you accessed the material (e.g. accessed 10th October 2012). Students should bear in mind that referencing styles do differ, and you need to check what one you are supposed to use (ask your teacher/lecturer), but this information is all you should need. If you are quoting from one of the downloadable essays in the philosophical themes sections, then instead of a section heading simply put the title of the piece (e.g. "Talking Clocks and Deranged Springs; or, Did Descartes Really Nail Cats to Trees?"), and - if quoting or citing a particular opinion - put the page number (e.g. p.5).
12. Can I advertise on the site?
Yes. I try to keep ads to a minimum and to those that are purely philosophy related. However, times being what they are, I've relaxed this rule slightly of late. So, if your ad is non-philosophical but unobtrusive and of a respectable nature, then I may consider it. For more information, please contact me.
13. Can I help with, support, or contribute to the site?
It depends. All the written material on here is my own (with one or two occasional exceptions), so I am not looking for other people's material, or for someone to help me design the site. However, there are possible ways you can help. As regards supporting the site, there are a number of things you can do: (a) Support me via Patreon; (b) To help increase the site's popularity, you can post links to it - in your blog, on forums, philosophy links pages, etc.; (c) You can buy books directly through me (I get a bigger percentage of sales that way); (d) If you have enjoyed one of my books, you can write a review of it on Amazon, Goodreads, etc.; (e) You can purchase advertising; (f) You can hire me to tutor you; (g) You can purchase t-shirts, prints, artwork, etc. (h) Any time you are looking to buy books through Amazon, you can go there by clicking on a link from this site - such as the "Buy this Book" link (this also applies to my own books). Generally, then, anything you do to spread the word, or lessen the burden of hosting, design, and other costs, the more likely it is that the site will continue, grow and improve. Finally, in the process of writing books, I sometimes need people to read work in draft and give me their opinion (students and teachers). However, if I need anyone, I will put out a call on the site.
14. Can I buy your artwork/prints?
Yes. You can buy prints, t-shirts, and even - occasionally - originals. Please check out the links in the Art and illustration section. If you still haven't found the answer you are looking for, then you can contact me.
15. Do you undertake art commissions?
Yes. As long as I have time, and I'm comfortable with the subject matter, then I'm happy to consider it. Contact me for more information.
16. Didn't there used to be a forum?
Yes, but I'm afraid that it just wasn't viable for me to run it. Firstly, I didn't have time to moderate, organise or contribute to it. Secondly, it was never really busy enough. I know those may sound like contradictory reasons, but if the forum was busier then perhaps I could have appointed more moderators, etc. However, if you have a burning need to express an opinion, then there are a number of good philosophy forums out there.