The list's motto is 'Anarchy Tempered by Despotism'! A missive from Stephen Clark in August 1989 set the early tone:
For those of you who haven't previously used a[n email list]: the success of such a thing depends entirely on the willingness of subscribers to make a spectacle of themselves, without losing their tempers and without going on at quite inordinate length. Think of it as a common-room conversation, with slightly more time-out for reflection, and no problems about getting a word in edgeways. Try out half-baked ideas if you like, or make pithy comments on such half-baked ideas as have been posted already. But the hotline isn't only for philosophical conversation: use it to convey information - both administrative and academic - and to ask straightforward questions ("where can I find a machine-readable text of Philo De Somniis?" "who said that this life is a dream and a delirium?").
Since the mid-noughties, facebook and twitter have provided alternative forums for half-baked ideas, and the Liverpool List is now mostly a place for philosophers worldwide to share information and ask questions. You can track the changing use of the list through the message archive at http://listserv.liv.ac.uk/archives/philos-l.html.
How to Join the List
- To subscribe simply email as follows to firstname.lastname@example.org: 'Subscribe philos-l yourname'. Read the welcome message carefully.
How to Post a Message
- To send to the list email to email@example.com
- Once you click 'send message' your post will go to the moderator and should be posted to the list, usually within 24h.
How to Sign-off the List
- Send a blank message to the list email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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