The Ancient Greek symposia were gatherings of men of intelligence and good family to recline in comfort, eat, drink, and converse, on all manner of subjects. And though we no longer conceive of this sort of combination of socializing and intellectualizing as something only men or aristocrats do, the activity itself remains a pleasurable and valuable one, and we count ourselves fortunate when we find a circle of good, thoughtful people with whom to engage in it.
In the 21st century, the internet makes it possible to create such gatherings in cyberspace and to draw participants from around the globe. The Electric Agora seeks to capitalize on this remarkable technology and the opportunity that it presents for socializing around matters of common interest, both intellectual and aesthetic.
Our subject matter will be broad, but not arbitrary. We seek to engage in thoughtful and entertaining conversation on philosophy and its many points of intersection with the humanities, the physical and social sciences, and the arts, including — but not limited to — their distinctive histories, methodologies, epistemologies, and the myriad roles they play in human society.
We will publish original essays and videos, as well as several other kinds of pieces that give the Electric Agora its unique flavor. Some Wednesdays, we publish a “This Week’s Special,” which consists of a short piece on a classic article and idea, intended to spur discussion.
Along the same lines, we feature what we call “Course Notes.” Since many of our contributors are teachers, we wanted to give them a platform to relay a lot of interesting things going on in the classroom — interesting material, interesting lectures, interesting exchanges and discussions with students — and Course Notes is just that.
Our last kind of publication is what we call “Provocations.” The aim of Provocations is to offer a number of short bursts on one or several issues, about which the author feels strongly, but on which his or her views may yet not be fully formed. They are meant to be the beginning of a conversation, not the end of one, and are chosen especially for their provocative and discussion-inducing content. Our hope is that they will engender intelligent and impassioned exchanges among our readers. Provocations may come from any of our contributors and consequently, will reflect a number of different personal, social, and ideological orientations, which strikes us as a good thing.
Our stable of contributors covers a wide spectrum of expertise and interest, and they and we look forward to seeing you in the Agora.