The Independent Philosopher is a start-up journal aimed at giving content on philosophy to the general public, and to offer philosophers and commentators an opportunity to provide in-depth analysis of topics in their chosen areas of expertise.
The Independent Philosopher is currently managed by a team of editorial staff from a diverse range of schools including philosophy, science, comparative religion, law, gender theory, environmental ethics, and the media. All submissions are reviewed by our editorial staff, and it generally takes two weeks before a decision is made where or not to publish an article.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Do I need a university qualification to to be published?
A1. Generally speaking, we only accept submissions from Honours or Masters level graduates and above, however, this is not a hard and fast rule and if your article demonstrates sufficient merit, it will be published.
Q2. Do I need to be a current university student to be published?
A2. Not at all. Leibnitz’s best work came from when he left university, ditto Descartes, Nietzsche, Aristotle and Foucault. If you’ve got something interesting to say about a topic, we’d like to hear from you.
Q3. What does your editorial team look for when deciding whether or not to publish my submission?
A3. We look for a range of things. There’s no hard and fast rule. We tend not to publish any articles submitted in Windings format, primarily because it hurts the eyes of the reader. However, if you have provided the following in your submission, you are likely to hear back from us regarding publication rights:
a) a clear thesis (eg ‘in this paper I will discuss the reason why XY and Z are incorrect);
b) original thought (eg. If you wanted to write an article on ‘the history of Seneca’s moral essays’ it would not be accepted as Seneca’s moral essays have been covered extensively elsewhere; however if you were to pitch us an article on ‘the usefulness of seneca’s essays in video game ethics’ we’d like to hear from you;
c) article’s that are written in an easy-read format that can be understood by an ordinary person (eg. rather than saying: ‘Hancock (11:12:2000) criticises Foucalt’s commentary on the hegemonic discourse of the neo-classical phallo-centric; euro-centric; hetro-normative principles of the military industrial complex and its discourse with the trans national corporations demonstrates a rigorous critique regarding the power disparity of the bourgeois’ instead say: ‘Hancock criticises Foucault’s commentary on contemporary conservative western norms;’
d) word count must be reasonable in length for the topic you’re covering, but generally speaking no more than 5000 words in length (eg. if you write an article on why you think that epistemology in corporate culture is useful, you might only need 500 words; however, if you write an article on why epistemology is great for corporate culture, and ways to apply it, you might need 1000-2000 words. The word count will really depend on what you’re writing about and what you’re attempting to do within it).
Q4. What sort of articles do you look for?
A4. Philosophy quite literally means: ’the love of wisdom.’ Taking that principle to its heart, we accept all articles that are related to improving the overall understanding of a topic. If you pitch us an article on the philosophy of cooking, we’ll consider it. If you pitch us an article on the philosophy of management, and ways to reduce office politics, we’ll consider it. If you pitch us an article on propositional logic and certain fallacies that are not properly considered by the current material, we’ll consider it. If you pitch us an article on an obscure commentary by Descartes that may assist game developers in improving online forums we will consider it.
Q5. Can I submit one of my university assignments as an article?
A5. We understand that you have put a fair amount of effort into your university work; and how much you’d like to get your work published. Notwithstanding that fact, academic integrity prohibits you from submitting a former marked essay for our review, and where we reasonably suspect that the submitted work is a university essay, we will not publish it. Having said that, if you want to expand on some of the points you raised in your original essay, and transform them into a new article, that is separate from your original essay, we would like to hear from you.
Q6. My comment has been deleted from your website. What gives?!
A6. We understand that debates occasionally get heated, however you have broken a term of service.
Q7. My comment has been deleted from your website, you said it was due to your terms of service, but I can’t find any terms of service. What gives?
A7. Terms of service can be located on the wordpress website for your review. In addition, legislative provisions apply for certain types of conduct. Common reasons for us deleting your comments involve where your comments have legal prohibition attached to them; eg. ‘using a carriage service to menace or harass’, defaming the good fame and character of a fellow contributor, or, inciting violence.
Q8. I am not an Australian or a New Zealander, can I still publish on your website?
A8. Of course! We are based in Australia, but we take submission from anywhere.
Q9. I have noticed that some online journals require me to pay them to publish my articles… Do I have to pay you to publish my submission?
A9. No. We will never ask you to give us money to publish an article you worked hard to write. This is not a predatory internet journal. We’re here to promote the work of academics and independent scholars who want to contribute to the wide and evolving field of philosophy.
Q10. Will you pay me for my contribution?
A10. One day, when we are bigger than the Huffington Post, funnier than McSweeny’s and more prominent in academic circles than The Conversation, we will pay our contributors. But we’re currently an unpaid volunteer force who run this site in our spare time. We will be happy to vouch for you as referees, and more than happy to provide you with full citation for your articles. If we end up making an absurd amount of money off advertising revenue, we will be happy to discuss retroactively paying you for your contribution. For the moment, however, the best we can offer you is publication and a firm handshake.
Q11. I sent my submission to you longer than two weeks ago and I still haven’t heard back from your editorial team. What gives?
A11. Your article has become lost in time and space. Please check your sent folder to determine whether it left your mailbox correctly, or alternatively, please send it again.
Q12. I know very little about philosophy, can I still publish here?
A12. Publication will depend on the strength of your article. Some of the best philosophers were not formally trained in the discipline. Have a look at some of the articles we’ve already published to determine whether your article is suitable and don’t be afraid to send it through for our review. We’re a rather nice bunch of editors once you get beyond the odour of stale tea that all philosophers are contractually obliged to give off.
Q13. I’m an American and your spelling looks funny. Why don’t you spell properly?
A13. Forgive us. Australians use British English spelling rules, with a few minor differences. The result is that we like to stick a ‘u’ into various words such as colour, humour, odour, flavour, honour et cetera. We also like to shake things up once in awhile and spell certain words with an ‘s’ rather than a ‘c’ such as advice, licence, defence et cetera.
The moment England increases the tax on Tea to our colony, we’ll switch to the American form of spelling while we fetch our muskets and head for the hills.
Until then, however, try to think of it as a humorous quirk.
Q14. I’m an American and I want to submit an article. Do I have to re-write my submission to include your stupid spelling rules?
A14. Good heavens no. This is a burden that is ours to carry. We would never force that upon you.
Q15. Are you people Australian?
A15. Yes. Yes we are. G’day mate.