Arisbe is the public site of an open communicational community -- not a club or organization with a special agenda -- and the telecommunity includes everyone on-line who has an interest in any matter to which Pierce's thought is especially relevant and who wishes to make use of or contribute to the resources and communicational facilities available here. Its members are thus self-selecting and there is no membership list, though some members can be readily identified through their participation in this or that special activity in connection with the use of Arisbe or its maintenance and development.
We are apt to expect too much of people as members of communities, not recognizing that co-existence within a shared public space already entails communicational relationships and interests in common that are sufficient to constitute a community as such. This is because of what is implicit in the idea of sharing in a public space, which supposes something in common to be shared. The vitality of a community as such is thus importantly dependent on the quality of the goods to be shared, and every member of such a community has thereby a direct and personal motive for doing something to increase the quality of the commonly available goods.
It also depends on the equity of the principles of participation in use of those goods, which is at the root of the conception of justice: Arisbe's goods are available on a presumptively egalitarian basis, and its policies of controlling effective access to whatever and whomever is there should be continually reviewed and modified to insure that the presumption accords with the facts, as far as possible.
Since there are no conditions of membership other than use or support of the website, and thus no "official" membership, there are no formal obligations either other than commonly recognized principles of civility and respect for others as persons. This is the initial policy at Arisbe and any subsequent modifications of that which might be required should be justified explicitly and thoroughly and be understood to have the status of hypotheses, i.e. accepted as subject to test to see if the actual consequences correspond to those predicted in arguing for their acceptance.
The original members of Arisbe are largely those who have been participating in the list-based discussion forum PEIRCE-L which was formed in August of 1993 by Joseph Ransdell of the Department of Philosophy at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. There are some 370 subscribers on the list at present. Subscription to PEIRCE-L is not required to use Arisbe, but if you do want to participate in this consistently well-tempered and informative public forum, whether as active contributor or as observer, [go to the PEIRCE-L PAGE —B.U.]
If you have problems send a message to [the second message link, which is for both co-managers:
The list-based forum PEIRCE-L will be integrated into Arisbe as one among a number of communicational facilities, retaining its original broadcast function, which is essential to it as a public forum, but also functioning as a discussion center at Arisbe, where the simultaneous availability of messages and archives (and related on-line resources) and the location of messages within the communicational context that occasions them -- their availability in threaded sequences or in other sort orders, e.g. by person or by date or by subjectmatter -- should add intelligence in both breadth and depth to what are already some of the most informative discussions to be found in the listserver genre in philosophy.
|This page contributed by: Joseph Ransdell