Draft Constitution

Recent significant changes to constitution:


To provide a forum for almost everyone to present and discuss philosophy.


Philorum is provided to give everyone an equal opportunity, over several meetings, to present and discuss their ideas. Within that framework you can participate as much or as little as you like. You can give a prepared or impromptu piece. You may prefer just to listen.

Almost everyone is welcome

  1. Everyone is welcome regardless of their philosophical training. It won't matter if you are:
    1. An epoch marking radical;
    2. a professor;
    3. an undergraduate;
    4. a hobbyist;
    5. someone who has little or no idea of what philosophy could be;
    6. someone who rejects the usefulness of any of the above categories.
  2. Everyone is welcome to regardless of public speaking experience. If you a new to public speaking you are especially welcome to a forum with an encouraging, playful, atmosphere.
  3. No one will be denied access on the basis of personal factors irrelevant to participation in or observation of a philosophy forum. Specifically, everyone is welcome regardless of:
    1. age, including those under 18; (excepting where a meeting is held in a licensed venue that prohibits those under 18).
    2. gender;
    3. sexuality.
      This includes, but is not limited to:
      1. The gender of person(s) you choose, or have chosen, to fuck;
      2. Whether you are, or have been, monogynous (in the gender neutral sense), monogamous (in the gender neutral sense), or polyamorous;
      3. Whether you are, or have been, a slut. or celibate.
      4. Whether you are celibate.
      5. Whether you are, or have been, a whore.
    4. transgender status;
    5. status of a disease that is not transmissible through the air;
    6. intellectual or physical ability; (excepting where a meeting is held in a venue without adequate facilities. Eg No wheelchair access).
    7. english language ability. If you are new to english this will be a good place to improve it.
    8. beliefs that are held including:
      1. philosophic
      2. religious
      3. political
      4. moral
      5. scientific
      6. historical (Eg Holocaust Denial)
      7. a belief that Philorum and/or its principles, are partly, mostly, or entirely odious.
    9. Membership of a group, excepting those who directly threaten or act out physical pain, injury, or a restriction of liberty to other participants of philorum and so can classified into the group those- who-directly-threaten-or-act-out-physical-pain-or-injury-to-participants-of-philorum. So mere membership in a Terrorist group, for example, would not exclude you from entry into Philorum.
    10. Race.
    11. Ethnicity, nationality, or cultural identification.
    12. Appearance. , specifically, the clothes someone chooses to wear. The clothes you choose to wear, or not, will not bar entry. You are welcome to be nude. Any body modifications or adornments will not bar entry. That includes the freedom to piercings, tattos, or implants. Your body shape will not bar entry.
    13. Prior criminal conviction.
  4. Those who are not welcome include those who act or threaten to:
    1. cause physical pain, injury, or a restriction of liberty to other participants of philorum; or
    2. sabotage the forum such that some are prevented equal opportunity to participate.

Freedom of speech is cherished


Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

However, we often accept, rightly, many limits to expression without feeling that the principle of freedom of expression is infringed.

We are happy for the restriction on the forms of expression and regardless of content. For example, we might feel the opera house should not be used as a billboard; that during a meeting only one person at a time, more or less, speaks; during a chorus that everybody sings at the same time.

We are happy too for restrictions even on the content when there is a requirement for:

In many forums this last restriction on content, a requirement for relevance, serves the forum well. In many cases having a moderator vet content for relevance ensures that the purpose for which the forum is convened, is met.

Philorum will not be such a forum. There will be no restriction based on content. There will be no vetting of content for its philosophical relevance. You are invited to be free from concern about whether your expression is sufficiently philosophical or not. You may wish to express something that is clearly not philosophical. This is great. You are encouraged to express any issue or idea on any topic, be it political, artistic, personal, dramatic, mundane, or sublime, religious, sport oriented, ...

It will be likely, though, the discussion will degenerate back into something philosophical in virtue of the characters present.

Cherishing freedom of speech, as a general attitude, promotes an atmosphere where the most ardent of disagreements can be had, indeed sought, without them having to be bitter. However, to cherish freedom of speech, is to give opportunity for others to feel and express that too.

General Freedom of Speech Policies

At any philorum meeting:

  1. There will be no restriction based on content. There will be no requirement:
    1. To be philosophically relevant. You don't have to express something that is philosophical. At the same time this need not stop criticisms of an expression as being philosophically irrelevant. Irrelevant statements and charges of irrelevancy are both permitted.
    2. To be sincere. You don't have to believe what you say.
    3. To be truthful or produce evidence. You are free to lie. This includes talking on a topic that bears no relationship to your speech title.
    4. To have any value. The expressions don't have to have any philosophic, artistic, literary, educational, medical, legal, scientific, or entertainment value.
  2. There will no restriction based on content. These expressions are specifically permitted:
    1. The vilification of, or generalisation about, any group, on any grounds, whether baseless or not. For example the vilification of, or generalisation about, any race, sexuality, religion, gender, political party, nation, ethnic group.
    2. Urging hatred toward things, ideas, or people.
    3. The vilification, defamation, or slander of individuals, present or not.
    4. Collective or personal disrespect.
    5. Collective or personal insults.
    6. Depicting, advocating, urging, or inciting sexual force violence or rape.
    7. Depicting, advocating, urging, or inciting force violence in general and for any reason. This includes force against the soldiers or citizens of any nation.
    8. Depicting, advocating, urging, or inciting to not use force under any circumstance.
    9. Portraying persons in a demeaning or degrading manner.
    10. Anything that others may find offensive, obscene, or disturbing.
    11. Dangerous ideas.
    12. Political incorrectness.
    13. Non-euphemistic sexual expressions.
    14. Swearing, whether gratuitous or with purpose.
    15. Expressions without any swearing.
    16. Expressing or advocating any moral belief s to which others, present or not, may be opposed. no matter if another or all others, present or not, abhor the belief.
    17. Disagreement.
    18. Dogmatic, ideological, doctrinal, or fundamentalist expression.
    19. Advising or urging another to commit suicide; promoting a method of suicide; or providing instructions on, or information about, a suicide method.
    20. Criticisms of this consitution and any aspect of Philorum. This includes claims that the free speech policies are too wide (or narrow).
  3. There will be no restriction based on content. These are specifically permitted:
    1. Boring expressions or speeches.
    2. Unimportant expressions or speeches.
    3. Expressions or speeches that no one else is interested in.
    4. Speeches and expressions so philosophically specialised that no one will have a hope of understanding it for the next 200 years.
  4. There will be some restrictions based on form:
    1. The length of time for a speaker may be limited in so far as it facilitates the equal opportunity, over several meetings, for all to speak.
    2. Whether interjection (heckling) is permitted is entirely up to each speaker. Unless the speaker specifically says so interjection (heckling) is not encouraged and should occur only exceptionally. Some exceptions might include: points of order; or when requesting clarification.
  5. Apart from these you are encouraged to present in any form that causes neither physical pain nor injury, for example:
    1. Spoken word,
    2. Poetry,
    3. Song,
    4. Music,
    5. Theatre.
    6. Images.
  6. The master of ceremonies for the meeting, as master of ceremonies, can only moderate the form of expression (eg time limits) not content. That is, everybody, including the master of ceremonies, has an equal chance to influence the content of the discussion by expressing themselves during their turn.

Philorum Online Text. Freedom of Speech Policies.

For Philorum Online Text there are the following qualifications to the above:

  1. Real name posting preferred. You are encouraged to post under your real name (or the pseudonym you consistently use at Philorum Real World), but you are not required to do so.
  2. Respect other's anonymity. If someone posts under an online pseudonym, and so is anonymous online, do not post any personally identifying information about them (such as their real name, address, or phone number).
  3. Speakers have the right to post their speech first. Until the Saturday at 23:00 local time after the delivery of a real world speech only the speaker may top post their speech (make the first entry which groups responses). (This rule is specific to the way Philorum Online Text is implemented, using Reddit. This will ensure that a speaker gets all the root responses).
  4. Speech post format: YYYY-MM-DD DDD. Speech Title. (Speaker Name). [Speech]. To make a top post with respect to a real world speech use the same format as on www.philorum.org. E.g. "2004-06-16 Wed. Is there anything wrong with a big ego?. (John Bentley). [Speech]."
  5. No spam. In the Philorum Online Text context this means, in short, irrelevant bulk messages, commercial or non commercial. It can be posted by a robot or human. What counts as spam seems to defy exact definition. However, perhaps it is a post that has two or more of these characteristics:
    1. It has nothing or little to do with the thread;
    2. Its content is identically or substantially repeated elsewhere on the internet;
    3. It contains obvious nonsense;
    4. It solicits the user to another place (often via a link);
    5. Is posted under an account for which the majority of posts have two or more of the previous characteristics or is posted under an account with few posts.
    In Philorum Real World there is a barrier to spam in virtue of the requirement to put the energy into turning up personally. Online there is no such barrier. So your expression flogging Real Estate might count as spam when posted online. However, genuine participants (whatever that means) in an online philorum are permitted to post their expression. If you are genuine participant (whatever that means) you still have the freedom to post that which: is self promotion; endorses a commercial good or service; is tangential or irrelevant; or repeatedly presses others on a topic you think important. If you feel your post has been wrongly flagged as spam contact a moderator. Some posts marked as spam might be irretrievable by the moderator.

Schisms are encouraged

If you disagree with the way philorum is run, or find it lacking, and it proves difficult to change it, you are encouraged to create the compliment or alternative.


Meeting Roles

  1. Each meeting shall have a:
    1. Master of Ceremonies; and optionally
    2. A timer;

Club roles

  1. There shall be the following club roles:
    1. Programmer: arranges and publishes the program; the primary point of contact for anyone to find out information about the club or Philorum in general; publishes information about the club's existence to the general public; looks after club equipment; prepares the space before a meeting; and liaises with the venue.
  2. Club roles are held for a year.
  3. People are elected to the club roles starting at then end of the first year of the clubs foundation.
  4. In the first year the founder(s) either take on the roles themselves or assign them at their own discretion.

Philorum is democratic

  1. All club members have equal entitlement to affect the running of Philorum, and the activities of the club of which they are a member.
  2. Every club meeting shall provide opportunity for members to raise and vote on motions.
  3. Any decision affecting a club may be given force by a majority of those present who are also club members as long the decision is constitutional.
  4. A club member is anyone who:
    1. Registers as a club member; and
    2. has attended at least one previous meeting at that club since the beginning of the calendar year; and
    3. confirmed their details are up-to-date in the register at some time during the current calendar year.
  5. A Philorum member is anyone who is a club member.
  6. If club members wish to give effect to an unconstitutional decision they need to consider changing the constitution or forming a schism.
  7. A change to the constitution can be effected by:
    1. A 2/3rds majority vote of philorum members who convene for the purpose of changing the constitution; and
    2. 1/2 of the registered clubs have one member present at the meeting.
  8. A registered club is a club that has confirmed at some time during the current calendar year its details in the register are up-to-date.

Ratification procedure

  1. Philorum will be deemed to be constituted when
    1. A 2/3rds majority vote of philorum members who convene for the purpose of ratifying this constitution; and
    2. Greater than 1/2 of the registered clubs have one member present at the meeting.


Status: Draft (Extremely rough and volatile)
Version: 1.02
Constitution Last Updated: 2011-07-14 20:21