The Philopsychy Society
Overview of this page:
To join the Society:
After reading through this document, simply fill out a PPS Member's Profile Form. Before doing so, you might also want to read some of the Profiles submitted by current PPS members.
The Philopsychy Society is a global, internet-based community of writers who have published their own books (or hope to do so) and of others interested in supporting (or discussing issues relating to) the Society's founding principles. The name "philopsychy" is composed of the two Greek words phileo and psyche, meaning "love" and "soul", respectively. This term provides the fundamental idea around which the Society is established. If, after reading the following description of the founding principles, you would like your name added to the list of members (see below) and/or if you wish to comment on the founding principles in their current form, please contact the Society's initiator, Steve Palmquist. There are no plans to charge a membership fee of any kind. If any financial support is necessary, the Society will depend on donations (e.g., from its sister organization, Philopsychy Press).
All members should be able to affirm (or at least respect those who affirm) each of the following four founding principles (organized here according to the basic fourfold pattern established by the Geometry of Logic):
Taken together, these four principles form the following map:
- Soul. There is more to human life than what meets the eye. This "more", traditionally known as the "soul" (psyche ), can be called by a variety of different names. Agreeing on a specific name is not as important as agreeing that this mental-spiritual side of our nature is what connects us to the essential Mystery that gives life meaning. (--)
- Love. "Love" (phileo ) is a (the most?) powerful force in human nature for putting us in touch with this "more". Learning to understand/implement love (in its broadest sense) is therefore (one of?) the most essential of all human tasks. This does not imply, however, an exclusive emphasis on the immaterial aspects of human nature; soul-loving also requires proper attention to be given to the bodies that give shape to our souls.(++)
- Care. Philopsychy, when applied to book-writing , implies that a certain mood permeates our books. As "lovers of the soul", we write not only to express our own search for the "more" in life, but also to guide our prospective readers along a similar path towards the truth. We therefore examine issues and problems with a careful and open mind, from a variety of perspectives, not only from a single, pre-established dogma or "model answer". We seek creative and scholarly answers/solutions in the conviction that truth is more than mere personal opinion, yet without making unwarranted claims about their absolute validity. In short, Society members write as an expression of their care for the souls of their readers. (+-)
- Community. Philopsychy, when applied to book-publishing , implies that a certain motive governs the way the book is produced and distributed. We seek to avoid, as much as possible, anything that tends to eclipse soul-loving rather than to promote it. Affordability therefore takes precedence over profit-making. We regard trading, or even giving away, our books as an appropriate (though not a compulsory) alternative to selling them. Copyright is interpreted loosely, if it is deemed to be necessary at all. And we help each other make appropriate contacts with prospective readers of books published by Society members. In addition to book exchanges between members, this is done by adding links to each others' web sites, sharing mailing lists and web resources, recommending members' books to local libraries and book stores, etc. In short, Society members assist each other in various publishing concerns as a very concrete expression of their mutual love. (-+)
community human soul
Feel free to comment on these principles or to suggest others you would like to see included.
The Philopsychy Society began in early 1996 with about 15 founding members linked together on a home-made discussion list. Since then it has been seeking out suitable members from around the globe (see the membership list for up-to-date details), mainly by sending notices to scholarly e-mail discussion groups and encouraging book-trading between self-published authors. During the summer two discussion lists (GAP-L and PPS-L) were formed, but remained dormant until a membership drive was launched in October. Nobody interested in joining the Society or the e-lists is turned away; but the membership consists mostly of persons who fit into at least three of the following four categories:
Taken together, this gives us the following map describing the "average members":
- Author-publishers. Most members have written and published their own books, or are planning to do so in the near future. Many are scholars, scholarly-minded nonacademics, or professionals in book-related fields (e.g., publishers, librarians, distributors). All members agree that self-publishing is a distinct and legitimate alternative to commercial forms of publishing (e.g., university, commercial, or "vanity" presses), so that authors may publish and/or market their own writings without thereby sacrificing any academic integrity or artistic value. (--)
- Philopsychers. Most members affirm all four of the Society's founding principles, as stated in section II, above. Many are particularly interested, as the name is intended to suggest, in a psychologically mature approach to philosophy and/or a philosophically sound approach to psychology, though the Society itself is interdisciplinary. All members are at least interested in these principles and agree to respect those who do affirm them. (++)
- Internet users. Most members are active and frequent users of e-mail. Many have their own web sites. All members are computer literate and have access to e-mail. (+-)
- Active supporters. Most members are interested in actively supporting the idea of self-publishing. Many were already doing this on their own before joining the Society. All members are at least willing to keep themselves informed of the Society's activities (see section IV, below) and occasionally do something themselves to participate. (-+)
active supporters author-publishers
The following list is a brief description of some of the activities that are (or are likely to be) sponsored by the Philopsychy Society. Please make your own suggestions if you have other ideas.
- Peer review: The Society is not formally involved in judging the quality of its members' writings. Nevertheless, peer review takes place as part of the natural process of private and/or public interaction between members. Frequent book exchanges between members help to encourage such interaction.
- WWW links/resources: Most members have their own web sites, so one of the key activities of the members will be to provide links for other members, as appropriate, on their web sites, and to notify other members of useful resources on the Internet.
- Marketing assistance/etiquette: Members involved in self-publishing advise each other on good marketing strategies, thus helping to avoid an approach to self-publishing that lacks integrity. In the coming age of "author-publishing", made possible by the WWW, it is very important to have standards for quality publishing. The Society aims to become a leading light in establishing and exemplifying such standards.
- E-mail discussion groups: Two e-mail discussion groups have been set up for the purpose of discussing any and all issues relevant to Society members. The Global Author-Publishers List (GAP-L) is for discussion of practical, publishing-related issues, while the Philopsychy Society List (PPS-L) is for more theoretical discussions of issues relating to the founding principles. Members are invited to use either list to discuss relevant issues--especially issues raised in books written by themselves.
- The Philopsychy Journal: At some stage in the future, if sufficient interest and participation is forthcoming, a journal may be founded, for the purpose of providing a regular means of publishing article-length ideas of interest to "philopsychers" (both within and outside the Society itself). The journal would probably focus not so much on self-publishing as on creative ("soul-loving") approaches to a wide variety of different academic and practical areas.
Send comments to: StevePq@hkbu.edu.hk
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to the self-publishing pages of this web site. This page was last updated on 4 November 1996.