Everyone is welcome at the London Aesthetics Forum. Here, we present some guidelines on the methods that we use to maintain respectful philosophical discussion, which may be familiar from other philosophy events. In general, we use the “hand-finger” rule:
- For the first hour, the Speaker will present their work. Please do not interrupt during this time.
- For the second hour, the Speaker will engage in Q&A with the Audience, facilitated by the Chair. Please raise your hand if you have an original question, or raise your finger if you have a follow-up question. Some rules:
- We ask that audience members pose questions, not just comments. Please ensure that you have a question that is based on the Speaker’s presented work.
- Please raise your hand if you have a question. You may ask only one question per hand raised.
- Please raise your hand again if you have another question. You will enter back into the queue.
- Please raise your finger if you have a question that is based on someone else’s question. All fingers raised will be acknowledged before we move to the next hand, time permitting. Please ensure that your point does not move the discussion to a new topic; if it does, please raise your hand instead of your finger.
- The Chair will form a queue of hands and fingers, and will indicate when it is your turn to speak. Please note that they may not ask audience members precisely in the order that hands or fingers were raised, to ensure that a diversity of voices and viewpoints are heard. If you have already spoken, the Chair may prioritise those who have not spoken yet. Please do not interrupt or speak until the Chair indicates that it is your turn.
- Please do not reply to the Speaker’s response without first confirming with the Chair that it is OK to do so. Of course, you may reply to the Speaker if they ask you a question directly.
- Please be brief, respectful, and kind. And, of course, please remember that it is always OK to ask a question that you think might be uninformed, imperfectly formed, or imperfectly understood — these are often some of the most interesting ones!
- For more on these and similar guidelines, please see the NYU webpage here.
Many thanks for your cooperation and discussion at our events.