Open Source Philosophy is an ongoing experiment with the windows open. The language of "Open Source" emerged from the Free Software movement and has been applied primarily to code generated in artificial machine languages. There is a fine introduction to the phenomenon of Open Source at Wikipedia.
Research into projects such as the Open Source Initiative, the Free Software Foundation, the Creative Commons, and MIT's OpenCourseware are just a few projects that any who are unfamiliar with the Open Source movement might want to examine in order to gain an understanding of the culture of openness that is exhibited in this movement. In addition, numerous books and online articles have been devoted to studying the anthropology, engineering efficacy, sociology, organizational dynamics, and economic issues involving Open Source media of various forms. This project is in the spirit of that tradition but with a significantly different scope.
We most often witness only the finished work of thinkers and writers. In this, we lose much of the process that is so informative and enriching to the understanding of an individual's work. Wikis are excellent tools for rapidly capturing ideas modeled in text (and associated media) and developing them over time with the ability to track that development historically. While the development of conceptual work is the initial motivation of much of my work, often I find myself returning to my process to discover that the evidence doesn't support the justifications. In short, reasons for decisions look more like excuses than documentation. That is interesting enough to study and reflect upon in order to gain a better understanding and facility for the crafting process itself.
In this development process, there are times when a turn occurs in my thinking, and sometimes, it is fruitful to return to that shift in order to think other directions or to be reminded of the spur that lead to a decisive cut in a new direction. Sometimes these are wrong turns and dead ends. Part of the strength of Open Source developmental models is that dangerous or sloppy work is often caught and corrected by many eyes reviewing an individual's work and touching it with their own work. Sometimes what seems slight or unimportant can spark vision of possibility. In this, there is always a sort of code conversation occurring that is then moderated through the directors of the project. This project is an experiment in opening the source of a philosophical study for review, addition, editing, alteration, and redistribution that seeks to follow the model of Open Source software production. This is my particular code base and repository, but it is open to hacking by anyone with an interest. The details of licensing for use are here. I hope that I might attract a few folks who might serve as eyes and minds that might catch some of my bugs or detect feature creep in a discipline that so easily generates baroque structures and garishly ordained edifices. Some of them may take pieces and run off to go in different directions, some may find that I've built castles on softer sand than I had intended.
Communicating with fellow travelers is one of my life's great pleasures. If your own interests or work is pertinent to anything you find here, email is always welcome and appreciated. I strongly believe in the open source faith that open practices lead to better product. That line is itself loaded and in need of unpacking, but that goes on elsewhere in these pages.
I hope that the project will overcome the limitations of its originator while gaining the thoroughness that comes with a myriad of eyes reviewing a text and a plurality of minds engaging its content. That is not to say that single philosophers do not produce great works, nor that a philosophy engaging the phenomenon of Open Source should exhibit this openness in its own development. It is simply to open this philosophical practice, this philosophy in this way.
Thanks for visiting.