W. Russ Payne

I am chair of the Philosophy department at Bellevue College where I’ve taught since 2000. This is where I write. On this site you’ll find my OEM Introduction to Philosophy, my critical thinking primer, a few philosophical papers, and many assorted essays.

Early in my career at Bellevue College I taught a course on Philosophical Issues in Technology. One of the topics I took to in that class was intellectual property and, in particular, the Free Software movement’s challenges to copyright. I am not adamantly opposed to intellectual property. I would not dismiss the role that copyright plays in incentivizing lots of useful work. ┬áBut the habit of commodifying everything is not always helpful to engaging thoughts and ideas on their own terms. I am enamored with the idea of copyleft.

I see ideas as the commonwealth of beings with minds. Ideas are there to be discovered, explored and shared, not fenced off or claimed for the glory and profit of those fortunate enough to happen onto a good insight. My own efforts to figure things out have benefited tremendously from the thoughtful efforts of many others who have asked nothing of me in return.

I write first to record for my own progress in exploring ideas. If I can give clear expression to some ideas, first for myself, it comes at no additional cost to then share with others who might find it helpful. For that matter, I only stand to benefit from whoever might offer helpful feedback. So, all of my writing on this site is covered by the Creative Commons license below.

Thanks for visiting. I’m best reached at this email: wpayne@bellevuecollege.edu

Copyright (cc by nc 4.0). 2023 W. Russ Payne. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document with attribution under the terms of Creative Commons: Attribution Noncommercial 4.0 International or any later version of this license. A copy of the license is found at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/