Public Philosophy Network

Encouraging and Supporting Publicly Engaged Philosophical Research and Practices

Introductory Guide

Network Connections

The Public Philosophy Network is an online social network for philosophers, community-based practitioners, policy makers, and other constituents interested in thinking critically about public issues. The network was formed so that a lasting conversation could occur between people who are geographically dispersed. The PPN is focused on the advancement of Public Philosophy through the collaboration of passionate individuals.  In addition, the PPN is able and willing to host virtual collaborative workspaces for existing groups engaging in some facet of publicly engaged philosophical project—including journals, social action, and research projects.  Please contact us at if you are interested in collaborating with us in this way.


In order to connect with colleagues and individuals who are interested and involved in the same projects, it is important to completely fill out your profile, making it as specific as possible.  If you choose to omit who you are and your areas of interest, you will likely miss out on connecting with the people with whom the network is trying to facilitate collaborations.


Having a full and robust profile will help to connect you with a philosopher colleague or public constituent who is also interested in a specific public project. It would be helpful to list why you got involved in your current research or social action project and what you are hoping to accomplish. Having this information in your profile will allow for keyword searches, making it easier for members to find and interact with colleagues. The search box works just like any other website search feature, so it would be wise to try multiple keywords and synonyms when you aren't finding exactly what you are looking for on your initial search.

Personal Blog

The PPN provides free blog space to its members who would like to blog and do not currently have one.  Adding a blog post is a quick and easy way of starting a dialog with others interested in the same topic. Before publishing your blog, make sure to add tags or keywords. Adding keywords will both make categorizing and retrieving your blog posts easier, as well as making your posts more accessible to others. Members who are interested in the topic of your blog post will be able to search the site for the keywords you chose to tag your post with. In addition, you can customize who can see and comment on your blog and you can choose to share your blog post on your Facebook page as well.  PPN members who have blogs are encouraged to provide an RSS feed from their site onto their profile page, as such should help drive additional readers to your site.

Discussion Pages

Forming a discussion page is basically the same as forming a blog post and actually looks fairly similar, with the main difference being the categorizing of your discussion topic. You can choose the most appropriate category from this predetermined list. Attaching an appropriate category to your discussion post will index your topic and help to broaden your question’s reach.


Use the events feature to promote conferences, webinars, and speaker series. This information is highly visible because it appears on the homepage and could potentially reach a large portion of the PPN’s members – clearly a good way of advertising.

Affinity Groups

Affinity Groups are a place for forming and discussing specific topics.  In an AG, you can choose to ask a specific question to the group to get a multitude of perspectives, share information about relevant articles and conferences, mentor colleagues or find a mentor. The affinity groups also serve as a way of winnowing down the PPNs 600+ members into just those with similar interests.

You can browse the 20+ Affinity Groups we currently have to see if there already exists a group that serves your interests. If not, then you can create your own Affinity Group to meet your specific interests.


After you create your Affinity Group, you will then become the group’s “leader.” As leader of the group, you can facilitate participation in a number of ways. Begin growing your group by inviting people who you know are involved in your AG’s topic and ask them to invite others who would help to advance the conversation within the group.


Another starting point would be to develop an outline for your Affinity Group. Perhaps try running your Affinity Group like you would a graduate seminar. You might choose to develop an outline of what you want to discuss, what points should be addressed, and what specific topics you would like to see covered. Also, posing questions to the group is a good way of starting the conversation. You can also try adding a few journal articles that you find intriguing or articles that you would like to discuss because they have influenced your own research.



The Ning network allows for customized personal privacy settings. You can decide how locked down or open you want your information to be. There are different settings for Profile, Photos, Blogs, Events, and for the comments people leave for you.


If you are on the PPN to connect with colleagues, you may have not worked with before or at least open to the possibility of working with new people, then it would be best to allow all PPN members to view your Blog Posts, Events, and profile in order to increase your exposure. 

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