Talk:Ipse dixit

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Merger proposal[edit]

Should the article Ipse-dixitism be merged into this? It is little more than a note on a play on the words "ipse dixit" by Bentham - whose wordplay was (to try to be complimentary) strenuous. Though perhaps the temptation to proceed further out, into "Non-ipse-dixitism", should now be resisted. That's what I think, anyhow. But I'm not an authority on logic. --Wikiain (talk) 04:38, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

Also this is a perfect duplicate of Argument by authority. They should be merged. Ceplm (talk) 11:30, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

  • I agree that Ipse-dixitism should probably be merged into this, but it is not the same as an argument from authority (aka appeal to authority). The distinction is the source of the statement, and in fact, they're nearly opposites. An ipse dixit is when the speaker is the source of a statement or assertion with no further attribution (he himself has said it -- ipse dixit), while an appeal to authority is when the speaker makes an assertion based on a statement by a (perceived) authority. cmadler (talk) 13:28, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I also agree that ipse dixit is the opposite of an argument from authority. Acabre (talk) 18:09, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
(I added mergefrom/mergeto tags to the two articles involved and to the last few significant editors of them.) SteveBaker (talk) 16:07, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
While it's been quite a while, the results above clearly support a merge (and I agree); I'm going to complete it now. Qwyrxian (talk) 00:38, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
I've completed the merge. I did not merge any of the unsourced stuff from Ipse-dixitism, except for the one statement about Bentham coining the phrase, as I imagine that's probably correct. No need to bring over unverified stuff and make this article worse. Qwyrxian (talk) 01:19, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

The Heinlein example is nonsensical/irrelevant w/o more context[edit]

"The Martian roundhead Willis announces that he wants to stay with his human friend Jim."

OK...

"Doctor MacRae says, "Ipse dixit - keep him with you."

Says... to whom, Jim?

"Frank asks, "What does ipse dixit mean?" MacRae replies, "It means, 'He sure said a mouthful'."

Who in the hell is Frank, and where did he come from...?

It's probably me, I can't find my login info. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.209.250.147 (talk) 15:42, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Agreed, this makes no sense and is completely irrelevant other than the fact that it happens to include the words "ipse dixit." I vote it should be removed. Acabre (talk) 18:09, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
    • Appears to have been a paraphrase and not the actual text. I have removed it. --Khajidha (talk) 19:03, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Indiana example[edit]

This paragraph was removed from the article because it is unclear. With some re-writing, it could be useful to readers.

For example, a 1997 dispute challenged the constitutionality of Indiana’s system of taxing real property. The Indiana Supreme Court held that the system violated the Indiana Constitution, because: "the only standard that is ascertainable is one of ipse-dixitism: 1) value is whatever the State Board’s regulations declare it to be, and 2) the State Board’s regulations can be modified and interpreted in any manner that the State Board wishes".<:ref>Bath v. State Board of Tax Commissioners, Indiana Tax Court Cause No. 49T10-9701-TA-00086; retrieved 2008-02-26]</ref> Similarly, a dissenting opinion to a 1976 safety-commission report accuses two commissioners (Barnanko and Cleary) of relying on an unsupported assertion: "The same holds true for the Barnako-Cleary ipse-dixitism—repeated again in this case—concerning the status of an unreviewed Judge's decision. Not once have they ever cited any authority for that assertion".<:ref>Hartwell Excavating Company, Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC), Docket No. 3841, May 21, 1976; retrieved 2012-12-11. </ref>

If there is consensus to do it, this example could be restored. --Ansei (talk) 15:17, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

Humpty Dumpty[edit]

There seems to be a cuious disagreement about the usefulness of the highlighted words.

Ipse dixit denies that an issue is debatable. In other words, that's just the way it is.<;ref>Sebranek, Patrick et al. (2011). Write 1, p. 173</ref> In Alice in Wonderland, the problem of ipse dixit is presented in an anecdotal example:
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master — that's all."<;ref>Caroll, Lewis. (2000). The Annotated Alice: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass, p. 213; Filan, Patrick J. "Opinions Must Be Based On Facts: Unlike Humpty Dumpty, witnesses can't make unproven assertion," Connecticut Law Journal, Vol. 37, No. 46 (November 14, 2011) citing Through the Looking Glass; retrieved 2012-12-11.</ref>

If I understand correctly here, Herb-Sewell perceives a false dicotomy

A. Either Humpty Dumpty is an example of something called nominalism
B. Or Humpty Dumpty is useful in helping someone to understand ipse dixit

Using "Humpty Dumpty + Nominalism" as a Google search term here produced a list of cite supports.

Does this require an "either-or" decision? In other words, according to Herb-Sewell, Humpty Dumpty is not on-point in this article despite the cite which shows its usage.

The Humpty Dumpty anecdote is widely known for a reason. Familiarity makes it especially be useful as an anecdotal example. Why can't we use Humpty Dumpty in more than one article? I do not understand why these few words text can not be added to nominalism and also restored to Ipse dixit.

Using "Humpty Dumpty + Ipse dixit" as a Google search term here produced a list. The first two reliable sources on that list are:

Would it make a difference if these two additional cites were added? --Ansei (talk) 15:42, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

See addition at Nominalism#History here. --Ansei (talk) 15:59, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
I thank you for taking the time to produce these examples and structure your argument so plainly, but I must respectfully disagree with them and it. The authors of these sources either misunderstood the passage or are appealing to ethos by making a fanciful allusion that does not precisely reflect their meaning. Humpty Dumpty clearly states that his words mean whatever he decides they should mean: this implies there is no objective, (or intrinsic), meaning to words when he uses them. While others use words with definite meanings outside of idiosyncratic use, Humpty Dumpty, (reflecting the mirrored Looking-Glass Land), is under no such linguistic restriction and attaches any meaning at all to his words. To quote Carroll from his Symbolic Logic
In opposition to this view[-that logical terms must have fixed definitions across all treatises of the subject-], I maintain that any writer of a book is fully authorised in attaching any meaning he likes to any word or phrase he intends to use. If I find an author saying, at the beginning of his book, “Let it be understood that by the word ‘black’ I shall always mean ‘white’, and that by the word ‘white’ I shall always mean ‘black’,” I meekly accept his ruling, however injudicious I may think it.
If a writer disagrees with the common use of a word and adopts, (or invents), another instead, is he committing an ipse dixit? Humpty Dumpty merely uses the same approach for all of his discourse.
As to the suggestion that I am perceiving a false dichotomy: no. The nominalist, (as least as far as the example in question is concerned), believes that the meanings of all terms are the sheer decision or custom of some human(s). Strictly speaking, the nominalists do not believe that words' definitions can be proved, only accepted by convention. The fallacy of which we are speaking presupposes that the propositions in question cannot be settled by decree. Just as an almighty dictator may by his very word enact laws without committing a fallacy, Humpty Dumpty, by his nominalistic use of words, can give whatever meaning he wishes to the words that he uses.
To summarize my argument: Humpty Dumpty's nominalism cannot be considered dogmatic and thus does not meet the condiciones sine quibus non to be an example of ipsedixitism; He isn't asserting any propositions, only adopting them by his own preference.--Herb-Sewell (talk) 17:36, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Half empty or half full?
The rationale for restoring Humpty Dumpty is clarified in your own words when you explain, "The authors of these sources either misunderstood the passage or are appealing to ethos by making a fanciful allusion that does not precisely reflect their meaning."
The crucial point is that this usage is published in reliable sources. In other words, I would have thought that distinguished Yale history professor Jaroslav Pelikan] citing Yale constitutional law professor Charles Black and an opinion of the California Supreme Court are sufficient to show common usage in a range of published sources -- even if, as you say, they each "misunderstood the passage."
Of course, I do not dispute that your more narrow view is valid, correct, defensible. At the same time, we know that common usage is not always as precise as in a philosophical argument. Common usage is just that -- common. According to WP:Verifiability and WP:Verifiability, not truth, "the threshold for inclusion is verifiability, not truth." In our Ipse dixit, reliable sources present different usages. It makes sense to me for us to restore Humpty Dumpty and
A. Present what the various sources say?
B. Give each side its due weight?
C. Maintain a neutral point of view about the common usage of Humpty Dumpty and ipse dixit?
For me, the marriage of Humpty Dumpty and ipse dixit is likely to be helpful to a wide range of readers; and some of them will have no interest in philiosophy.
In your own words, "[i]f a writer disagrees with the common use of a word", does it mean that we should exclude it from our article about Ipse dixit? --Ansei (talk) 18:59, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Please consider:
Our article about Ipse dixit isn't only about something to do with classical rhetoric or philosophy. --Ansei (talk) 19:38, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Truth and subtle philosophical distinction aside, I do not allow that this "usage is published in reliable sources", at least not in both of the ones that you gave.
For the first example, forgive me if I say that you completely misread it. The sentence is terribly written and required several readings on my part to comprehend it. After consulting the text, it's clear that, (according to the author), the question he poses assumes that the "'freewheeling' and 'capricious' 'Humpty-Dumpty textual manipulation'" substitutes “the ipse dixit of the court for the authority of what Justice Byron Raymond White called ‘textual support in the constitutional language’ itself[.]” Here, he is opposing the example of Humpty Dumpty to the "ipse dixit of the court", and therefore actually supports my position that there are crucial and material differences between the two modes of though
In the second case, the justice clearly references the passage as an instance of ipse dixit, though wrongly. In the case with which he dealt, the Legislature meant one meaning by a term and the department deemed it to be something else entirely; this contrasts to Humpty Dumpty's case, who stated that he's the master of the words he uses, not the ones he interprets from others. Reliable or not, we would be committing an argumentum ad verecundiam to so firmly trust a passage's interpretation that is clearly contrary to our disinterested reasoning, never mind the fact that the allusion was placed there only for rhetorical effect, ("The department's position is as precarious and untenable as Humpty's seat on the wall.")
Unless you can find more than one source, (especially needed now, as your first reference actually undermines your argument), I shall not be convinced.--Herb-Sewell (talk) 20:03, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
I'll respond to your points in the order that they were submitted: 1. I would have to see this text in context. Furthermore, Humpty Dumpty made several arguments and you are just assuming he was referring to Humpty Dumpty's nominalism. 2. That isn't a reliable source. If it is, please include on the article on opinions that they are indeed "like eggshells." Furthermore, he's outright wrong when he suggests that "[expressing] an opinion without practical knowledge" constitutes ipsedixitsm. 3. None of the information in the article supports the classification of the passage as ipsedixitism, (the only other aspect aside from rhetoric or philosophy treated is the legal aspect).--Herb-Sewell (talk) 20:16, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────@Herb-Sewell --I have asked for help at WP:Third Opinion -- see here. Please feel free to re-write my attempt to summarize. As I see it, you are not wrong ... but I'm not wrong either.

We are at least agreed that you are not wrong ..., except for the reasoning which excludes ny marriage of Humpty Dumpty and ipse dixit. --Ansei (talk) 20:41, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

.

We are at least agreed that you are not wrong ..., except for the reasoning which excludes ny marriage of Humpty Dumpty and ipse dixit'

Um, I don't agree at all that I'm wrong about that.--Herb-Sewell (talk) 20:45, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Another point that I might as well make now: even if the example is cited by a sufficient number of reliable sources, it's useless for explaining the fallacy. All Humpty Dumpty is doing is saying that he chooses his own meaning for words and indicating the problem of whether words have inherent meanings or whether people can freely choose them. If this is ipsedixitism, it is so by some standard that isn't even loosely related the rest of the information in the article, (which deals with the rhetorical, philosophical, and legal aspects of the term). Merely giving the passage without any context to explain its relation to the subject is hardly adequate.--Herb-Sewell (talk) 21:00, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Any areas of agreement are a good place to start. The process of consensus-building doesn't have to be about "proving a case" as you suggest here. It appears that I may misunderstand opposition to the use of this well-known anecdote (plus inline cite support). --Ansei (talk) 23:45, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
DISPUTED TEXT

Ipse dixit is the kind of argument that Lewis Caroll put on the tongue of Humpty Dumpty.[1] In Alice in Wonderland, the problem of ipse dixit is presented in an anecdotal example:[2]

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master — that's all."[3]
________
  1. ^ Tompkins,E. Berkeley Tompkins. (1972). The United Nations in perspective, p. 90; excerpt, "It is the argument of ipse dixit, a kind that Lewis Carroll put on the tongue of Humpty Dumpty. I know of no way of refuting it"; Steward, Michael R.H. "Four Success Lessons from Humpty-Dumpty" at JerichoTechnology.com, 2011; retrieved 2013-2-6.
  2. ^ Lewis Carroll used Humpty Dumpty to make a point about nominalism -- see Young, Laurence Chisholm. (1980). Lecture on the Calculus of Variations and Optimal Control Theory, p. 160.
  3. ^ Caroll, Lewis. (2000). The Annotated Alice: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass, p. 213; Jaroslav Pelikan. (2004). Interpreting the Bible & the Constitution, p. 49; excerpt, "...in Charles Black's delightful epithet, 'Humpty-Dumpty textual manipulation,' a substitution of the ipse dixit of the court for the authority of what Justice Byron Raymond White called 'textual support in the constitutional language itself'"; Cooper v. Swoap , 11 Cal.3d 856 [Sac. No. 7985. Supreme Court of California. July 2, 1974]; excerpt, "An analysis of the complexities of the department's novel determination of 'income' is reminiscent of a journey into the fictional realms visited by Alice through the looking glass. In the fanciful world of Lewis Carroll, the inhabitants could turn fact into fiction and fiction into fact by mere ipse dixit. As Humpty Dumpty scornfully informed Alice ...."; Filan, Patrick J. "Opinions Must Be Based On Facts: Unlike Humpty Dumpty, witnesses can't make unproven assertion," Connecticut Law Journal, Vol. 37, No. 46 (November 14, 2011) citing Through the Looking Glass; retrieved 2012-12-11.
The first source doesn't specify that it's referring to this particular argument or passage, the second source isn't reliable and gives a wrong indicator of ipsedixitism, the third source doesn't mention ipse dixit, the fourth source fails to do so as well, I already explained how you have entirely misunderstood the fifth source, (and that it actually supports my position), the six source refers to the passage, (by misunderstanding it), and the seventh source gives a definition of ipse dixit contrary to not only truth, but the entire content of this entry.
I would ask that you plainly state which of these sources, (if any), you are willing to defend.--Herb-Sewell (talk) 01:22, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
@ Herb-Sewell -- Does this kind of analysis help us?
As a whole, this list of quibbles seems to be a kind of argument for the sake of argument, not consensus-building. The blanket rejection of each and every cite is a telling strategy. It is too much. It shifts focus from the individual cites to the whole.

The cumulative weight of the array of cites, including scholarly and non-scholarly or popular culture uses, supports the inclusion of the Humpty Dumpty anecdote in our article about Ipse dixit.

As an example conventional English usage, the number and range of "hits" here and here are not unimportantmeaningful and persuasive in our consensus-driven project. As a group, the hits show that the marriage of "Humpty Dumpty + ipse dixit" is not an unusual or strained pairing. In our article context, isn't there is a kind of added value precisely because the example is ordinary or commonly used? --Ansei (talk) 15:55, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

A review of the article's history shows that a link to Humpty Dumpty was first added by Wragge in 2005 here. A quote excerpt was first added here by an anonymous Australian contributor in 2007. --Ansei (talk)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────It appears to me that the quoted example by Humpty Dumpty has nothing to do with the notion of ipse dixit. An ipse dixit situation (or ipse dixitism) is the assertion that a statement is true because the speaker has said it is true ("he, himself, said it"). It's an argument from authority, when the authority is the speaker doing the arguing. I continue to think that one of the best examples of this term in use was Stephen Douglas's rejoinder to to Abraham Lincoln at Ottawa:

Mr. Lincoln has not character enough for integrity and truth, merely on his own ipse dixit, to arraign President Buchanan, President Pierce, and nine Judges of the Supreme Court, not one of whom would be complimented by being put on an equality with him. There is an unpardonable presumption in a man putting himself up before thousands of people, and pretending that his ipse dixit, without proof, without fact, and without truth, is enough to bring down and destroy the purest and best of living men.

In other words, Lincoln made an assertion, with (according to Douglas) no supporting evidence or proof, and expected his listeners to accept the statement simply because he (Lincoln) said it. I think this is the proper use of the term. As for Humpty Dumpty, that quote seems to have more to do with relativism (Humpty Dumpty implies that words have no fixed or even generally-agreed-upon meaning, but can be used to mean whatever the speaker wants). cmadler (talk) 11:22, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

Cite support for this quote is: Abraham Lincoln. (1920). Abraham Lincoln; Complete Works, Vol. 1, p. 303. --Ansei (talk) 15:55, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
"Does this kind of analysis help us?"
Not in any remotely meaningful way. I wasn't making my complaints in order to produce some unnecessarily well-organized laundry list, I wanted you to actually respond to them, (which, assuming you followed my request-"plainly state which of these sources, (if any), you are willing to defend."- means you can defend only one of your sources).
"Quibbles about cites"
Labeling my complaints as "quibbles" is completely loaded and shows you aren't willing, (and possibly not even able), to respond to my criticisms. You may imply my complaints, (wrongly), are trivial and minor, (linking a definition for "quibble" completely without need), so you won't have to answer them, but such a dismissal won't bluff me.
"The cite acknowledges exact words of sentence which is paraphrased as an introduction to the example."
I already told you that I need to see this in order to agree that it is a valid citation-"I would have to see this text in context."-Now, you're saying the cite clearly refers to that particular text? If you were able to confirm it, I want to see the reference verbatim.
"As mentioned earlier, I used a Google Books search for "Humpty Dumpty + ipse dixit" here to help me find words which which were succinct and on-point."
A "Google Books search" does not qualify as a source. You can find sources-in theory, mind you-via Google Books and produce them for consideration, but merely making the search and indicating, (by linking), that results were found means nothing. If you have sources that will withstand scrutiny, show me them, not your Google Books searches.
"As a whole, this list of quibbles seems to be a kind of argument for the sake of argument, not consensus-building."
What seems to be may not be so. Case in point, you're completely wrong.
"The blanket rejection of each and every cite is a telling strategy. It is too much."
An even more perverse strategy, (one that's actually being used here unlike my supposed "blanket rejection"), is to produce bogus references, (references that you won't reproduce for scrutiny[1a], sources that aren't reliable and/or contain material falsities[1b][3d], sources that don't mention ipse dixit at all[2][3a], sources that you have blatantly misread and that you apparently insist on misunderstanding[3b], and reliable sources that wrongly cite the passage and have used it for rhetorical effect[3c]), admit and simultaneously dismiss the fact that the authors of these sources are improperly citing this passage to explain their argument, literally ignore my valid objections to your sources, and claim that because you have such an abundance of sources, (the validity of which you take for granted in spite of my objections), I must be the one who's arguing for the sake of argument.
"It shifts focus from the individual cites to the whole."
This is your most ridiculous bluff. I have actually taken every "source" you have offered, made my objections, and you have ignored virtually all of them, saying, "The cumulative weight of the array of cites, including scholarly and non-scholarly or popular culture uses, supports the inclusion of the Humpty Dumpty anecdote in our article about Ipse dixit . . .As an example conventional English usage, the number and range of "hits" here and here are meaningful and persuasive in our consensus-driven project." Instead of methodically defending from my protestations every source that you have proffered, you have ignored them and claimed that the abundance of valid sources, (none of which I have both accepted and seen), justify the inclusion of the passage.
In response to cmadler: Ansei has already cited several sources that clearly and intendedly identify Humpty Dumpty's argument as a particular form of epistemological relativism: nominalism. At this point in the debate, however, the dispute as to the propriety of the sources' reference to the passage as ipsedixitism is irrelevant, (according to Ansei), and you seem to be ignorant of Ansei's line of reasoning. He or she has already conceded, (or dismissed as irrelevant), the fact that Humpty Dumpty's passage can not be truthfully and properly cited as an instance of ipsedixitism,
The crucial point is that this usage is published in reliable sources. In other words, I would have thought that distinguished Yale history professor Jaroslav Pelikan] citing Yale constitutional law professor Charles Black and an opinion of the California Supreme Court are sufficient to show common usage in a range of published sources -- even if, as you say, they each "misunderstood the passage . . .The cumulative weight of the array of cites, including scholarly and non-scholarly or popular culture uses, supports the inclusion of the Humpty Dumpty anecdote in our article about Ipse dixit.-Ansei.
Indeed, we are expected to accept that the multitude of references, (reliable and unreliable, scholarly and non-scholarly), that improperly cite the passage validate its inclusion, ipso facto. Ergo, contrary to your faultless reasoning, cmadler, "Humpty Dumpty's anecdote" is an instance of the fallacy of ipse dixit because ipsi dixerunt.--Herb-Sewell (talk) 22:14, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

Third Opinion[edit]

Hi, I'm a WP editor, and I noticed this topic at WP:Third opinion. I'll be happy to help out in any way I can. Give me some time to read the article & the discussion above, then I'll provide some input. I'm pretty busy in real life, so if at any time I look like I've bailed out, that just means I've gott busy: just ping me on my talk page. --Noleander (talk) 22:53, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

  1. Okay, so it looks like the question is whether the quote from Alice in Wonderland can be used in this article as an example. We have some sources that call that passage a nominalism, and other sources that purportedly call it an example of ipse dixit. The phrase is already quoted in the nominalism article, and the question is whether the sources for ipse dixit are legitimate (specifically: do the sources explicitly state that that passage from AiW is an example of ipse dixit ... or are they merely using the passage in conjunction with the term ipse dixit). Let me read those sources and I'll make another post.
  2. I see in the talk page discussion above that there are a couple of places where an editor says something like "a source is calling passage A ipse dixit, but the source is wrong". That sort of reasoning is not consistent with WP policies: editors are not permitted to use their own judgement about what sources say. Once a source is provided, the editor's role is to merely assess the reliability of the source (see WP:RS). Editors certainly can ask if the source wrong? ... in the minority? But to exclude a source B, an editor must find another source C that says "Source B's position is wrong because ...". Editors are not permitted to use their own experiences or knowledge to disregard a source.
  3. It looks like there are a couple of sources that do plainly claim that Humpty-Dumpty's expression is an example of ipse dixit. The sources that are clear are Filan, Patrick J, and the Cooper v. Swoap case (details above in this talk page). However, those sources are not from dictionaries nor are they authored by etymologists or other language experts, so they are rather marginal.
  4. Because this article, ipse dixit, is essentially a dictionary entry, the sourcing should be limited to top-quality sources that are dictionaries or are authored by etymologists or other language experts.
  5. I would recommend that example quotes for this article be limited to examples form dictionaries or similar language-history or language-usage sources. If editors cannot find a single dictionary or language-oriented book that uses the Humpty Dumpty quote as an example of ipse dixit, that is pretty revealing.
  6. I agree that adding interesting and even humorous quotes into this article would be a good thing. I recommend that editors spend their time looking at the Oxford English Dictionary and similar sources to find illustrative quotes for this article.

That's all I have. If I can be of any further help, please ping me on my talk page. --Noleander (talk) 23:42, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

In that case, I'll counter with this source, which contrasts Humpty Dumpty's "textual manipulation" to the "ipse dixit" of the court.--Herb-Sewell (talk) 23:37, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) .. made some mods to text above. Hope it doesnt make your reply illogical. --Noleander (talk) 23:42, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
As to your sixth point, I've already stated in a previous point why it would be a poor example if added by itself without explanatory context, (as it was before I removed it from the article).--Herb-Sewell (talk) 23:46, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
That's fine, but there are some comments above (such as "the seventh source gives a definition of ipse dixit contrary to not only truth, but the entire content of this entry") which are not consistent with WP policy. For instance, if two reliable sources give contradictory definitions of ipse dixit, the article can and should include them both. It is better to just focus on the sources (e.g. a good example is where you found a source that perhaps suggests that HD's passage is not ipse dixit). The key point is: editors cannot use their own personal knowledge or judgements. --Noleander (talk) 23:51, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
"For instance, if two reliable sources give contradictory definitions of [ipse dixit], the article can and should include them both." The article would either have to be rewritten, or provide a new section incorporating an understanding of ipse dixit that is not consistent with article's information, (e.g., "Ipse dixit means ‘‘an assertion made but not proved."). This would mean that the example of Humpty Dumpty would only apply to one of understandings of the term expostulated within the article. You would then have to include the reasoning why this particular understanding of the term applies to this particular example.--Herb-Sewell (talk) 00:01, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, that is correct. WP articles are routinely expanded as new sources are found which define new viewpoints or new definitions. Even if they are contradictory. Editors cannot exclude a source because its content contradicts other sources already present in the article. My point, again, is that editors are not permitted to use their own personal knowledge or experience to reject a source X (absent another source which declares source X bogus). --Noleander (talk) 00:17, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough, but, (correct me if I'm wrong), discretion does factor into eliminating references whose inclusion requires more context than is justified by the explanatory power of said reference. You would have to explain that Humpty Dumpty's bare assertions are the meanings of the words he uses. You would also have to include the reference, (I thank Ansei for pointing this one out by the way), that specifically contrasts Humpty Dumpty's "textual manipulation" with an instance of ipse dixit. At that point, is the insertion really worth the labor necessary to make it intelligible?--Herb-Sewell (talk) 01:08, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
As I said above, I do not think that the HD material should be included in this article (absent a lexicographic source). That "manipuluation" source you are referring to is poorly worded and very difficult to parse, so it should not be used for the article in any case. My point immediately above (about including contradictory material in an article) was contemplating a hypothetical source that is clearly worded, reliable, and from a lexicographic source - but there is no such source in this situation. --Noleander (talk)
You can not argue uno flatu that "editors are not permitted to use their own judgement about what sources say" and that the aforementioned source is "poorly worded and very difficult to parse, so it should not be used for the article in any case." (The latter policy would eviscerate numerous articles on the writings of several German philosophers).--Herb-Sewell (talk) 01:32, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
The point is moot now, but if the article is expanded and if some source is found from the backwaters of academia that "justifies", (I mean to use the term loosely), the passage's inclusion, this source should be referenced. If we can accept sources that are downright fallacious, we can accept those that are downright convoluted.--Herb-Sewell (talk) 02:18, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Fact vs. Opinion[edit]

The article states:

Before the early 17th century, scholars applied the ipse dixit term to justify their subject-matter arguments if the arguments previously had been used by the Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle (384–322 BC)

I think this is a rhetorical opinion made by the referenced author. My hunch is that I don't think any scholar in the middle ages actually used "Ipse dixit" as their argument, although it may have seemed to a reviewer that it essentially amounted to "ipse dixit" due to the deference given to Aristotle. The way the article is currently worded, it makes it seem as if middle age scholars actually did.

Now, I could be wrong, but if I am, then we must have some primary source that shows a medieval scholar doing just that. We certainly have enough medieval literature that it would have cropped up.

63.152.11.226 (talk) 21:28, 13 January 2014 (UTC)