Author Topic: Frequently Asked Questions (Read Here Before Contacting Me)  (Read 9366 times)

Offline Gareth Southwell

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Here is a list of questions which I frequently get asked. Please check here before contacting me regarding anything:

What is PhilosophyOnline?
PhilosophyOnline is the sole responsibility of me: Gareth Southwell. I am a writer, philosophy teacher, and freelance illustrator. Web design is by Alex.

How do I contact you?
Please use the contact form - you can find it here.

Can you help me with X? I need to know about X.
I am, more or less, a freelance philosopher (if there is such a thing). However, this does not mean that I provide 'free' advice and support. I don't mind answering the odd general question, but really, if you want help with anything, then consider hiring me to tutor you. Another good idea of course is to post specific questions in the forum, where I will be happy to contribute to them in the spirit of general discussion. Otherwise, please visit your local library (or the internet).

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.; and the date on which you accessed the material (e.g. 10th October 2008). 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).

Can you tutor me?
Yes - probably. Please see the tutoring page. However, please bear in mind that I am quite busy, and I may not be able to fit you in - but you can always ask.

Can I advertise on the site?
Yes - as long as your ad is philosophy related. For more information, go here.

How do I submit a book for review?
If you are a publisher or author, then you are welcome to send me a complimentary copy of your book for review (please contact me to arrange delivery).

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 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. It also means that your book is freely available from book shops, etc. - which is quite important if I am to recommend that people buy it! :)  The one exception to this might be when you are in the process of putting a book proposal together and you want my opinion (for what it's worth), but even then you will find that (a) commissioning editors will have their own opinion, and (b) publishers generally have their own in-house reviewers that they use to evaluate manuscripts. Nonetheless, I wish you the best of luck with it!

Do you know any good books, websites to do with X?
As time goes by, I will list (and hopefully review) all good relevant books and websites that I come across. So, firstly, check the section you are interested in. If there is nothing there, then - as regards books - have a look on Amazon (the odds are that, if I haven't listed it on the site, then I'm as much in the dark as you are). However, if, for whatever reason, you still can't find anything, then you are welcome to try emailing me.

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 (I have someone who does that). However, there are possible ways you can help. If you are a teacher, then you can (a) volunteer to moderate a section of the forum, (b) encourage your students to use the forum, and (c) contribute to the Teachers' section of the forum (swap lesson plans, ideas, etc.). You can also volunteer to become a moderator if you are a student.

As regards supporting the site, there are a number of things you can do: (a) To help increase the site's popularity, you can post links to it - in your blog, on forums, philosophy links pages, etc.; (b) You can buy books directly through the site (I get a bigger percentage of sales that way); (c) If you have enjoyed one of my books, you can write a review of it on Amazon, and other online book shops; (d) You can purchase advertising; (e) You can hire me to tutor you; (f) You can purchase t-shirts, prints, artwork, etc. (g) 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 in a book review, or here (I get a small percentage even if you don't buy that particular book). Generally, then, anything you do to spread the word, or lessen the burden of hosting, design, and other costs, then 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 things and give me their opinion (students and teachers). However, if I need anyone, I will send out a call using this forum.

How do I join the Teachers' Section of the forum?
This is really only for teachers, so I need some sort of proof that you are who you say you are. Usually, good spelling and grammar is enough  ;D, but - to be extra rigorous - perhaps an email from your school or college account.

Can I buy your artwork?
Yes. You can buy prints, t-shirts, and even - occasionally - originals. Keep an eye on the Buy Art page.

If you still haven't found the answer you are looking for, then you can contact me.

« Last Edit: 16/09/09 @ 15:02 by Gareth Southwell »
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