Talk:Philosophy/Archive 6

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"The postmodernism of Jacques Derrida".

I changed this sentence because Jacques Derrida is not the origniator of postmodernism, and probably not the most important proponent either.

Procedural knowledge

From the article:

The discipline of philosophy once included all forms of knowledge, and all methods for attaining it.

Did philosophy ever really include procedural knowledge - apart, that is, from various attempts to differentiate it from propositional knowledge? Would a philosopher consider, for example, how to make a pot, apart from how to make a good pot? If not, then I suggest that this line is not true. Banno 19:35, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Here are a couple of examples off the top of my head: how to become a moral person, how to construct a good argument. These could be rephrased so that they ask for a set of propositional statements but I think they can be admited as procedural knowledge that (some) philosophers are interested in. J---

Introduction - yet again

Folks, I think that the first two sections - the introduction and Meaning and use - are, roughly speaking, the wrong way around. The introduction says that this article is going to be about academic philosophy, but then in the first section it lists four uses, of which only one is the academic discipline.

There is also some clear repetition - early scientists calling themselves "natural philosophers".

I have filled out the four dot points, and to attempt to re-combine these two sections into a better structure. Banno 19:46, 6 January 2006 (UTC)


(As a matter of style, have you noticed that the first three sections have at their core a series of dot-points? Poor form, no?) Banno 19:50, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

What I have changed makes for along introduction, but I think that, given the difficulty we have had in working through the issues around the intro, that is not a bad thing. i think we could justify a right-justified table of contents - any objections? Banno 20:49, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Section#Table of contents (TOC)#Floating the TOC Banno 21:01, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Banno, I really like the changes you have made, apart from a few quibbles. Obviously those sections had to be combined in some logical way.
There is a way to go on this in terms of the rest though, no? Dbuckner 19:52, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Thanks - although the text remains to a large extent your own.

There are two things I think should be done before submitting this to peer review. Firstly, the history section could be reduced considerably more, in favour of the main article. It is really superfluous here. Secondly, Applied philosophy is clumsy in that it lists again the main fields - epistemology, ethics, Aesthetics, ontology. It needs re-writing. Banno 20:59, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. A few nitpicks that I'll correct. The "portal" tag needs to be moved so that it's flush with the edge of the screen and not beside the table of contents. (Looks ugly.)
The section on philosophy's relation to science is the weakest, and though it is attractive on the face of it, it's not universally accepted, as I noted in the archive, so not cogent. It's not especially accurate, either (does the domain of aesthetics necessarily involve thinking about thinking? What about externalistic metaphysics?); so, is unsound.
In any case, assuming we decide to keep it for the sake of its popular charm, it is still an awkward intro to the subject, and will just confuse people if it stays as second paragraph. As a general rule, first one must positively define the essential features of a subject, and then define it negatively by comparing it to related fields. IE: you don't define the meaning of "bird" by saying, "not a dog"; you say, "here's a robin! and a penguin!", and all that ostensive stuff, and then you engage in borderwork later.
Also would add something like "does not involve ONLY faith", since as I pointed out in the archive, the authentic "representativeness" of qualia are essentially taken on faith.
So I'll fix these things and we can all yell at each other. Lucidish 22:09, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Dog's dinner again

The last sequence of edits has turned this into something awful. It is a mixture of thoughts contributed by a variety of authors into a dog's dinner with no internal coherence.

1. 'The word Philosophy has a variety of meanings'. That was my sentence. The purpose was to follow with some of those possible meanings, in order to eliminate them from the article. This idea has now been lost. Though the following sentences are still there, they are now at the end of the paragraph. Internal logic: gone.

2. The 'love of wisdom' definition I have always hated, as being misleading. At least qualify it in some way. Here it is just plonked in without any connection to goes before or after.

3. 'A few characteristics ...' Are we saying that the meaning of 'philosophy' has certain characteristics? Or the subject itself? Why does 'set out' qualify 'characteristics'? Surely the article or the writer sets out things. Characteristics do not 'set out' meaning. You might say that the meaning of a word may be characterised in some such way.

4. 'its attention to certain regular subject matter'. Why 'regular'? Does this mean 'particular'? In what sense is the subject matter regular? Do it mean that courses in philosophy regularly contain certain subjects? Be clear.

5. 'Certain goals'. What goals? The first paragraph should read like a dictionary definition. If a subject has certain goals, say what they are.

6. The final remark of the paragraph is 'and/or as a synonym for a "worldview". The grammar of the sentence suggests that 'synonym' qualifies 'characteristics'. But it should qualify 'philosophy' if it is to make any sense. Perhaps the writer means that 'philosophy' is synomymous with 'worldview'?

7. Finally, we have got completely away from the idea that the article was not going to be about 'worldview' and stuff like that. Well, not completely, for this is Wikipedia, and everyone's views must be included in the same article, however contradictory. Thus para 1 says that 'philosophy' is synomymous with 'worldview'. Para 5 says that the term ('philosophy'?) can also refer to a worldview or a perspective. So it is not synonymous with 'worldview', but can can sometimes mean that. Finally the last paragraph says that while 'philosophy' can mean things such as a personal outlook or viewpoint, this article in fact is concerned with none of those things. Thus 'philosophy', in the sense the article is concerned with, does not mean 'worldview' at all.


It all comes back to my original remarks about piecemeal editing and an obsession with trivia like punctuation, capital letters, tables and indexes and pictures, and occasionally grammar, without any attention to the semantics and internal coherence of the article.

I won't make any changes, as it would be futile. Dbuckner 12:09, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Now you know why I picked up all my marbles and went home. But I've been keeping an eye on the article, and I may be back. Rick Norwood 15:42, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
I approve of the general structure of the first section. It claims that philosophy has many meanings (which it does), it then immediately enumerates some of them, along the way discussing the etymology of the word, which is required. It then devotes a short paragraph to each of these meanings. Sentences can always be improved upon. But find the structure of this intro to be perfectly straightforward and sensible. I dislike the plugging of Wittgenstein, but I guess that's just me. — goethean 16:32, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
  1. Possible meanings are still there. Read it. Hard to miss.
  2. Tough: it's factual.
  3. Yes, characteristics do set out meaning, in the same analogous way that an intension "sets out" the extensional membership. If this triviality of sentence structure bothers you, then you can fix it, or if that's too trying to your delicate sensibilities, then someone else can.
  4. Regular, because the discussion is of what pops up in philosophical discussion does not presuppose those subjects, given the goals of the intro: see 1.
  5. It does say possible goals. Truth, enlightenment, salvation, etc. Read.
  6. True, but trivial. See 3.
  7. Each of the characteristics is meant to be a possible one, in accordance with 1. Hence, no contradictions. In the intro, all the senses of philosophy in the main are fair game; it's only in the rest of the article that Academic Philosophy is sought.
The irony of your last paragraph is exquisite, given that the only legitimate criticisms you have made in your most recent Lutherian proclamation have been of the grammatical kind. Lucidish 17:07, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Lucidish, thanks for your edits, especially with the portal link. But I must agree with Dbuckner on most of the points made above. the present first paragraph [1] will not do. A reader would expect the line "he word Philosophy has a variety of meanings" to be followed by a list of those meaning, but it is followed by the entomology. The remainder of the paragraph refers obliquely to "certain" features of philosophy, while not, as the reader might reasonably expect, actually saying what they are. I also think that the hiving off of the two paragraphs now in the Philosophy compared to science and religion section is a mistake, one I had hoped to remove [[2]]; it amounts to a sort of sub-section to the description of philosophy, and should be contained inthe introduction. Banno 23:01, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
I'll be happy to take care of the stylistic and grammatical problems noted. Now, the features referenced in the opening paragraph are presented throughout the rest of introduction. But if you think that they need to be re-emphasized to start, then that can be done, at risk of redundancy.
I'm really not comfortable with this length of introduction, since it doesn't conform to Wikipedia standards. Because these are negative features, I don't believe that they are crucial enough to be included in an introduction. However, perhaps in tandem with your intuition, they do seem to be "defining features" in some sense, so if the rest of the narrative on definition were shuffled out of the introduction, and into an "overview" section, then that would be alright with me. Lucidish 23:23, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Rational inquiry

Philosophy can be seen as a method of rational inquiry, with the approaches used varying considerably

Nietzsche himself said that his philosophy is not based on reason. And there are many other so-called philosophers whose thinking couldn't ba labeled as rational inquiry.--Arado 11:34, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Very true. This is something to be considered. But I think, ultimately, that even Neitzsche was engaged in a process of reasoning. You can find arguments in his works. Lucidish 17:15, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
The line Philosophy can be seen as a method of rational inquiry should be placed in context; it was used [[3]] to differentiate philosophy from religion. Banno 22:41, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't think that the context was especially relevant or accurate. It's not relevant since we can discuss the positive emphasis upon "rationality" as a key feature of Philosophy without requiring a discussion of religion; religion is not necessary to explaining the point about reason. And it's not accurate because there is such a thing as religious philosophy. Lucidish 23:30, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
the proponents of Nietzsche should take great care here. Do they really wish to claim him as an irrational philosopher? Isn't it rather the case that he used irrationality as a rhetorical tool, and that his arguments themselves are profoundly rational? Banno 22:41, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Even if Nietzsche's writings are not "rational inquiry" (I would argue that they are), they certainly fall under "literature in a certain tradition". — goethean 22:47, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Why a certain sort of introduction will not work in some articles

Time to get up on the soap box, I'm afraid.

I think that there are now sufficient philosophically literate folk here for us to stop beating around the bush and make explicit the real problem. There is a tendency in an encyclopedia to go for an introduction of which Aristotle would have been proud. Such an introduction to a topic would lay down the necessary and sufficient conditions in which something would fall under the topic. This is a noble and admirable thing to do, when it is possible.

But since Wittgenstein philosophers have known that there are numerous cases where such definitions are not possible. These are cases where the topic is a family rather than a class.

This is the case with a large number of the philosophical articles and it is the case with this present article.

The way in which one undermines a definition of a class is by offering counterexamples. If you care to look at eh talk pages and edit history of Truth, Scientific method and so on, you will see recurrent cases where a definition is offered, only to be scuppered by a counterexample. The debates here are of exactly the same sort.

The solution is to drop entirely the idea of setting out the necessary and sufficient conditions for the class, and instead to look to the use of the term. This was successful in both Truth and Scientific method. The same thing will work here. Banno 23:24, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

I was never impressed by Wittgenstein's examples. But anyway, this is a non-problem, since the present introduction deals in possible necessary-and-sufficient conditions. That is to say, any activity must meet one of the conditions listed, or all of them, or some variety of them, in order to be considered "philosophy". Lucidish 23:30, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
It is a problem and will remain so unless this issue is discussed explicitly in the intro. The discussion above with Arado is a case in point. Nor is it sufficient to attempt to justify the class by using a disjunction of conjunctions - (A and B) or (C and D) - for reasons that you are no doubt familiar with from your reading of Investigations I:75 and thereabouts. (and what the devil is a "possible necessary-and-sufficient condition"? ;-) Banno 23:44, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Ok, so we'll provide a note.
What is a possible set of necessary-and-sufficient conditions, in this sense? Open a dictionary, look up a word. You will find a number of entries listed for a single word. Each entry will provide a number of possible necessary-and-sufficient conditions for the meaningful usage of the word. I say "possible" because entries may not be complimentary to one another.
Perhaps my use of modal terms is not very happy. Accept my apologies. In any case, what I'm saying amounts to what you're refuting with your suggestion of eliminating anything to do with the disjunction of conjunctions. We're going to have to use disjunctive definitions, I think. Also, I don't see how talking about the possible "uses" of terms is anything besides an exercize in producing disjunctive 'definitions'. Lucidish 00:06, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Take a look at the intro to truth - it describes the use, not the necessary and sufficient conditions. But perhaps such a direct solution will not work here. Banno 00:18, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
I would say "alternate" rather than "Possible", and so avoid the confusion of "Possibly necessary". My apologies for excessive pedantry. Banno 00:21, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
"Alternate" works far better than "different possible", thanks. Lucidish 00:26, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

It may well be impossible to state necessary and sufficient conditions for something to fall under philosophy. However, I find "describe the use" unhelpful advice: How is one to describe the use of a term without giving nec & suff conditions for applying it? Note that Wittgenstein's concept of 'family resemblances' is often taken to motivate a "cluster-of-description" view of meanings--in this view, rather than a set of individually nec. & jointly suff. conditions, you have a collection of different conditions each of which counts towards classifying something in the category. If something has enough of the characteristics, it counts. This might be what the intro is gesturing at.

Also, btw, I find the def. of "truth" in the article of that name controversial and not good. It seems to be biased towards the endorsement theory of truth (according to which "true" just functions to endorse a statement without having to repeat the whole statement), as against more traditional views (the correspondence theory in particular) on which truth is a substantial property that some propositions have. --owl232 05:45, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Truth is certainly not perfect, but that intro did bring about the end of a protracted edit war. Any suggestions for change are welcome.
the intro should be about what philosophers do, rather than what philosophy is - use rather than definition. The present intro attempts to be too brief, and as a result it simply equivocates. DBuckenr's suggestion (below) attempts to categorise philosophy. My suggestion would be to use the material now in Philosophy#Overview of possible uses of the term as the introduction. This has the disadvantage of being unusual long for a Wiki article, but the advantage of actual giving an account of the usage. Banno 21:52, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Style

A parenthetic comment and a list in the first paragraph. Yuck. Banno 23:51, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

I also would like the first paragraph better as a paragraph than as a list. The parenthetic comment (which I just realized contains another set of parenthses) took the place of the sentence on etymology, which was off-subject. If you don't like the first sentence containing a parenthetical comment, then you don't like very many wikipedia articles. — goethean 23:58, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
OK, we'll make it a paragraph. I don't think that etymology is off-subject at all, though. It's the first thing to look at in a semantic analysis. Parenthesis may be a necessary evil. Lucidish 00:06, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

What, exactly, is the overview and overview of? Banno 23:53, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Possible uses. That should be clarified, naturally. Lucidish 00:06, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
What Banno might be implying is that he doesn't like having a section header over the "overview" section. In the preceding version, the intro paragraph did lead more easily into the rest of the intro (which has now become the "overview" section, if you follow me). — goethean 00:12, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Sounds good. I'll leave you to edit it as you see fit, and comment later, as too many editors working at the same time will prove too confusing. I agree that the entomology should be included, the only question being where and how. And yes, I do think parenthetic comments should be avoided, especially in introductions. Banno 00:16, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
I put etymology in the overview-of-uses section, which scraps the parentheses. Also de-listed the thing. Hope that works. Lucidish 00:28, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Yet Another Introduction

Most of the points in my previous comment were concerned with style, not grammar. It is easy enough to write a list of true sentences, not so easy to connect them in the right sort of way. Also, many of the mistakes involved using words in the wrong way. An article about philosophy has to come across in an authoritative way, philosophy is about precise and accurate verbal expression of ideas, therefore an author who patently misuses words is unlikely to come across as an authoritative philosopher.

And now we have yet another poorly written introduction. The word 'alternate' qualifies a list of just two (usually contrasting things). 'Art' is not of itself a subject matter of philosophy. Nor is the achievement of salvation &c &c

In order to write the introduction of 29 December, which has now disappeared, I looked at about 10 different definitions of philosophy that were given by real philosophers. They were surprisingly similar. Most mentioned the 'second order' aspect of philosophy, i.e. thinking about the concepts we ordinarily use, most mentioned the logic/metaphysics/epistemology/ethics subject matter, all said that philosophy was about systematic explanation (i.e. classified in a way that minimises the number of different explanations), and all were emphatic about the dependence on reason, rather than reliance on faith or intuition. Indeed, one of the 'banned propositions' of 1267 was the idea that reason is more important than taking things on faith.

In summary, most philosophers agree on how to define their subject, even though it is difficult to define precisely, as with any subject which is constantly evolving (the 'thinking about thinking' criterion is a modern one, not found in 19th century definitions, for example).

So why do we persist in writing introductions to philosophy that don't look anything like what one would expect to see in a standard encyclopedia or dictionary? You might say we shouldn't be copying what's in other encyclopedias, why not be original? But to be original, you have to be an expert on the subject in question, or at least come across as an expert, neither of which is the case here.

Another point. I suggest we spend as little time on the different meanings of 'philosophy'. An encyclopedia is not a dictionary, which does list different meanings under one entry. In an encyclopedia, one entry per meaning. This article says it is about 'academic' philosophy, so let's spend as much time as possible on that.

You may argue that the article I propose should be called 'Philosophy (academic)'. But then we would have to alter all the stuff and all the links under that. There are now a considerable number of articles under the category 'philosophy'. These are all about what we would call 'academic' philosophy. Therefore this article should be about that as well. I have no objection to other articles like 'Philosophy (mysticism)' or 'Philosophy (alchemy)' and so forth, but just keep them well away from William of Sherwood, Philosophical logic and the rest.

And a final point. The real real real problem is that real academic philosophers are staying away from Wikipedia in droves. For a good analysis of this, see User_talk:Owl, by Michael Huemer, who is a real philosopher, and a very good one. I (Banno also) would like to give as much encouragement to them as possible. Your efforts are not helping – a real philosopher will take one look at this amateurish mess and will stay away, instantly seeing the futility of his or her involvement.

See Michael's excellent guide on how to write philosophy here. [4]. Note especially his admonitions about not talking about things you are ignorant of. "When you discuss things you are ignorant of, more knowledgeable readers are apt to find your remarks ignorant, whereupon they will mistrust the rest of what you have to say." (See also my remarks above about bad grammar and misuse of words and general illiteracy). Dbuckner 09:26, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

I keep hoping that one day I will return to this article and find that it has been turned into something Wikipedia can be proud of. The bone of contention, however, still seems to be stuck in everyone's throat. And that bone is logic.
I am a professional logician. I love logic. However, in the philosophy I read, philosophy is not above or prior to logic, but within philosophy. That being the case, we cannot define philosophy as the logical study of ideas, since that definition would be circular. Rather, we need to define philosophy as (something like) the study of ideas, and then address the philosophical question of whether logic is the best way to think. If we assume that philosophy is, by its very nature, logical, then it becomes impossible to even ask that important philosophical question. An analogy would be asking, within Euclidean geometry, whether two points determine a unique line. That's an axiom of Euclidean geometry, therefore the question can only be asked outside Euclidean geometry. Do you want to move logic outside philosophy?
As I have said before, I agree that rational discourse is important. But I recognize that the question of whether rational discourse is of value is a question within philosophy, rather than something that must be accepted before we can begin to talk about philosophy. You continue to equate the irrationalisim with nutty ideas, such as astrology. But there are serious questions that need to be addressed. Is man capable of truly rational thought, or only of rationalization of pre-existing ideas? Does rational thought deprive man of the joys of living by his instincts? Does rational thought increase suffering? Are there truths that cannot be arrived at by rational thought? (Gödel says, "Yes.") If you agree that these questions deserve to be considered within philosophy, then you cannot take rational thought as the sine qua non of philosophy. Rick Norwood 15:17, 11 January 2006 (UTC)


I'm not clear about the point you are making. One point seems to be that logic is not a part of philosophy. But traditionally, logic is a part of philosophy, and if you look at specific philosophers such as Ockham, logic forms a large part of their work. Some philosophers have argued as you do, as part of their original research. But we are not doing original research. This article should reflect the consensus of practising philosophers about what their discipline is. What you are saying might be a footnote, or a separate article. But not here.
Whether rational discourse is of value is an interesting question that has formed part of the original research of some philosophers. But we are not doing original research here, we are trying to write an internet encyclopedia. This article should not be a long way from what you would find in any standard reference work on the subject of 'philosophy'.
The problem, as I have said, is the lack of practising philosophers who are prepared to help with this project. That, and the fact that most of the contributors seem to lack even the most elementary writing ability. Dbuckner 17:09, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Surely you must realize that, if it is true that the position he has given represents a respectable minority opinion, then it disproves the notion that your counter-claim is a "consensus".
In any event, you speak as if you had authority upon popularity; but that is not enough. What is required, if you are truly serious in your claims, is a statistical survey of the opinions of academic philosophers on these matters. If you have access to such data, then it would go a long way toward making your case. But on the face of it, right now, there are good reasons for doubt. Lucidish 20:55, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
One more thing:
"Whether rational discourse is of value is an interesting question that has formed part of the original research of some philosophers. But we are not doing original research here, we are trying to write an internet encyclopedia. This article should not be a long way from what you would find in any standard reference work on the subject of 'philosophy'." -- Dbuckner
"Michael Huemer... is a real philosopher, and a very good one." -- Dbuckner
"Philosophy in the Western tradition relies on logical arguments & common experience." -- Michael Huemer, "Introduction, knowledge, and truth" lecture notes
Lucidish 02:29, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
Yesterday, there was a paragraph on philosophy as 'literature in a particular tradition'. (This seems to have been replaced by "a goal directed process".) I would think that that text should mollify your concern over logic. Some see philosophy as necessarily rational discourse — this is true, some do. Others do not. They see it as literature in a particular tradition, which can include debate over the centrality of logic to that discourse. — goethean 16:01, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Oh...it's still in the opening paragraph, there's just no follow-up paragraph in the "overview". — goethean 16:03, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
It's hidden within the "worldview" paragraph. Lucidish 23:42, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

To Dbuckner:

  1. Comment regarding grammar was not about the volume of your comments, but upon the illegitimacy of the bulk of them.
  2. Points were connected; you ignored the connection.
  3. Alternate: "occurring or succeeding by turns". Merriam-Webster. Says nothing about only pairs.
  4. Art, salvation, etc tend to be only of importance if the examination is into the nature of them. I couldn't think of a way to phrase that properly. Certainly something to look at.
  5. "Second order" definition has its problems. Already gave examples. This is why it does not take center stage in the definition. However, you will surely have noted that it is still mentioned. Nothing "dissapeared". More added.
  6. "Reason" still there. Role of faith corrected, for reasons already established; again, see archive.
  7. Do you see something arguable in the definition(s)? Something that a consensus among academic philosophers would truly and genuinely in all good faith dismiss as unphilosophical? Then argue it.
  8. Wikipedia and its editors do aim to be faithful to the subject, with a weight towards consensus. The problem in this case is precisely that you are not: i.e., in your empty assumptions against naturalism, vague dismissals of (it turns out) nothing. The record is available for perusal in the archive, should any truly serious philosopher, including Mr. Huemer, care to examine it. As always, intelligible critiques are welcome.
  9. In saying we should not be "like a dictionary" you are essentially contradicting your earlier observation that philosophy is many-faceted, constantly evolving. Unless you expect a new article for every (related) definition of philosophy, these sentiments are not ones that any editor can act upon. Lucidish 20:47, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure how Dbuckner so misunderstood what I was saying, but I'll try to be clearer. Logic is a part of philosophy. But logic is not the whole of philosophy. At one point, at least, you wanted an article that excluded Confucius, Lao Tze, and Buddha. My reaction was, such an article is not worth spending time on, because it will not last. Rick Norwood 00:35, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm confused. Is the indentation of this supposed to be addressed to me? I don't recall at any time where I wanted to exclude Eastern philosophers from mention. And I pretty much agree with you up and down. Lucidish 02:22, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Rick's objection may depend on an equivocation--there is the adjective "logical", which refers to a character trait or a property of certain ways of thinking; then there is "logic" the branch of philosophy. That branch of philosophy is not really the same as the study of what is logical in the common sense of the word. Also, even if it were, this wouldn't preclude philosophy's being defined as the logical study of ideas (or defined in some other way using "logic" or "logical"). This is because philosophy might have a self-referential branch--a branch in which one studies the methods of philosophy itself. That being said, there's a better reason why "logical" shouldn't be built into the def.: as much as I hate to call it "philosophy", Continental philosophy is one of the things that the word is commonly applied to, and it is not logical (nor would its practitioners likely say it is). --owl232 06:00, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

I am not sure you've been clear enough in discussing the ambiguity in order for me to respond.
I'll just address the last part of this comment, re: Continential philosophy. Even a Jacques Derrida is engaged in the production of argument and reasoning. The question is, what is the connection between reasoning and logic? The answer: not enough for it to be an essential condition to philosophy. Logic analyses the processes by which arguments are made, but does not itself make garden variety arguments. Philosophers, however, necessarily make use of arguments, but don't necessarily make use of logic. In any case, your lecture notes, quoted above, don't seem to match up with your comments here.
So let's say that philosophy is about reasoning. That sounds attractive enough. The biggest problem, for this view, is non-argumentative philosophy -- philosophy by aphorism. These instances still seem like a kind of philosophy, but perhaps they're not "academic philosophy". Lucidish

Further comment: I don't have the time to edit this article. Here's what I would suggest, if someone else wants to try: The sections should be

(1) An introduction/overview saying what philosophy is. Describe its subject matter (metaphysics, ethics, epist., &c.), its methods, and its aim.

(2) Branches of philosophy: say a little more about the branches. The branches are metaphysics, ethics, etc.; mention some main problems in these branches. Eastern & western are not branches (see 4).

(3) History. The current section, btw, doesn't give an adequate picture of modern analytic philosophy, which has not been focused mainly on linguistic analysis for a while. It's not just applied ethicists who gave that up; check out some of the weird-ass analytic metaphysics going on today (possible worlds, 4-dimensionalism, etc.)

(4) Philosophical traditions. Analytic phil., Continental, Eastern, maybe some more.

(5) Bibliography, and (6) External Links. As it is, these are much too long; they overwhelm the reader rather than being helpful. I'd include just a few big, general introductions (maybe Coppleston and Russell, and then look for some web resource). --owl232 06:13, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for these comments. I did not have time for a rant about the links, but you are right. Also, I you follow some of them, they are to crank sites. Thank you. Dbuckner 08:03, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Sounds good Lucidish 21:14, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Linguistic analysis bias

With all respect, the view of analytic philosophy presented here has a strong bias to the tradition of linguistic/conceptual analysis, and to such fields as epistemology. It doesn't reflect the reaction against a lot of this that happened in the late 20th century, and is still happening. On the one hand, many philosophers want to have a far more practical discipline. Many philosophers (sometimes the same ones) want to be much more informed by (and involved with) science. See current applied ethics, moral psychology, and philosophy of biology, and the work of Peter Singer, Daniel Dennett, Michael Ruse, Elliott Sober, Philip Kitcher, and many others. I've made some small changes to soften this bias. Metamagician3000 14:59, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

With the exception of some work on metaphysics from Nagel I must confess ignorance in this area, any contribution you may give is absolutely appreciated. (Though perhaps this may not be the article for anything more than the punchlines, since it's a generic philosophy article, not specialized to analytic philosophy.) Lucidish 02:39, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Reply

OED says 'alternate: (of things of two kinds) occurring each after one of the other (a. lines of red and blue)'. Note also that only one of the alternate conditions can apply at at any time, which goes right back to the Latin roots of the word. Thus runway alternation at Heathrow means that they use one runway in the morning, but not the other, then the second runway in the afternoon, but not the first. If they abolish runway alternation, they will use both runways at the same time. Thus 'philosophy may be characterized by a number of alternate criteria' reads very strangely, if read correctly. It suggets the (implicitly two) criteria alternate: first one criterion characterises philosophy, then the other, and so on. What is so painful is to be explaining this at all. A team of professional writers would not have to waste time explaining the use of English to each other (actually they do, I work as one, but not at this painful level). Dbuckner 08:03, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

I've just seen that 'alternate' has been changed to 'alternative'. This removes the old problem, but creates a new one. And there remains the problem that this introduction fails to resemble anything you would see in a standard introduction to the subject. Do they have bookshops where you people live? Dbuckner 08:20, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
The very next entry in OED uses a far more relaxed criterion. :. your complaint, insofar as it is asserting a negative claim about quantity, is not sound. "Alternative", indeed, sounds like rubbish. "Alternate" doesn't. Lucidish

Lucidus: 'Do you see something arguable in the definition(s)? Something that a consensus among academic philosophers would truly and genuinely in all good faith dismiss as unphilosophical?'

I said that this article should contain only those views which a consensus of practising philosophers would include' This should be distinguished from, though it implies 'This article should not contain views which a consensus of practising philosophers would reject', for 'There is a consensus to include X' and 'There is a consensus to exclude X' can both be false. There will clearly be some views about which there is no consensus whether to include or to reject, which unfortunately we have to exclude, however good, interesting or true. This means excluding all interesting but potentially controversial views about what philosophy is, as well as all uninteresting, false, or patently cranky or uninformed views on what philosophy is.

We are not here to write our own views on what philosophy is, however interesting or challenging. We are here to write an internet encyclopedia. Whatever we write, must reflect current received opinion, not original research which, however interesting or important, may generate controversy among experts. Dbuckner 08:03, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

1. NPOV means presenting the dispute on face value. Pretending that there is a consensus where none exists, as you have done, is a violation of that. 2. That aside, in your comments, "here will clearly be some views about which there is no consensus whether to include or to reject, which unfortunately we have to exclude, however good, interesting or true", you are effectively agreeing that your views about the contrast between philosophy and science are inadmissible, because of the existence of the naturalist view (whose popularity or unpopularity has not been shown). You are arguing against your own position. Lucidish 21:36, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

L - "Wikipedia and its editors do aim to be faithful to the subject, with a weight towards consensus". This implies a consensus of Wikipedia editors, which I am not interested in. Wikipedia is not a democracy. A consensus of cranky, ill-informed and uneducated and opinionated editors, of whom there is ample supply in Wikepedia, does not count. The "consensus" should be of those who are experts or authorities in their chosen field. In the absence of those, we must use a consensus of peer-reviewed reference works on the subject, as I have proposed.

L - 'Surely you must realize that, if it is true that the position he [Norwood?] has given represents a respectable minority opinion, then it disproves the notion that your counter-claim is a "consensus".' Again, the confusion between lack of consensus that X, and consensus that not-X. If neither Rick's claims nor my counter-claim can achieve consensus, exclude both.

L - 'What is required, if you are truly serious in your claims, is a statistical survey of the opinions of academic philosophers on these matters.' No such thing is required. All that is required is a survey of what practising philosophers have written about their subject in encyclopedias, articles, dictionaries and so on. The process of selecting the philosophers ( by reputation, authority, by reference from other established or authoritative philosophers) ensures there will be a consensus of the kind required. In arriving at the definition I gave in December, I surveyed of about a dozen encyclopedias or dictionaries, and noted down points of agreement. These were as follows:

(1) The precise definition of philosophy is controversial. (2) Nonetheless, there are some uncontroversial definitions. These are (3) its second order nature (4) its systematic nature (5) its critical nature (6) its rational nature (7) its subject matter (no complete agreement, but all include metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics, most include logic and aesthetics).

Clearly I will have to go back to these sources and document them – perhaps I will start a new article.

I see that Michael Huemer has chipped in. I agree with his proposed division of the article. Dbuckner 08:03, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

1. You misread the statement. I meant professional consensus. Which, again, you have not demonstrated on the issue of naturalism. Indeed, I have shown reasons to think there isn't one.
2. No confusion about the nature of a negative claim versus a non-claim. Simply making a point that your claims about a consensus view on non-naturalism (in the sense discussed) is inadmissible, since the notion that there's a consensus on the issue has been falsified.
3. Your proposed methods are unsound, only barely empirical. Wikipedia aims for better scholarship than that which you propose, which is, at best, a quick-fix solution which gives no serious regard to the notion of a "consensus". Nevertheless, as to whether it even meets up to its own terms, I don't know, and will investigate two sections down. Lucidish 21:36, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
Since Professor Huemer doesn't have time to edit the article, and is "not interested" in working towards consensus with other editors, I'm not sure what he is doing here or how his contribution should be evaluated. He seems uncomfortable with the very idea of Wikipedia, and I must admit that I am uncomfortable taking orders from someone who blithely dismisses Wikipedia guidelines. Goethean 21:12, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
I didn't say anything involving "not interested"; I didn't write the comments above beginning with "L -". What I'm doing here is trying to give a little help without taking up an inordinate amount of time (sorry, but I am busy at the moment). My advice isn't orders. However, I do have some expertise in philosophy which might make my advice of interest. --owl232 01:12, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

bits and bobs

Just altered a few sentences here and there. Probably a bit piecemeal (reading the article I felt it could do with an overhaul) but hopefully improvements (albeit slight) Fabulist 15:54, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Authority and equivocation

A few comments on recent comments...

Firstly, I noticed that Owl's preferred structure is much the structure of the present article. It could be achieved by promoting the section on Philosophical traditions. I agree that the present section on history of philosophy is lacking in its description of analytic philosophy, I think this is a result of having been written by those with a delight in continental philosophy. But remember that this section needs to be brief, a lead-in to the main article, so we need to keep any re-writing short.

And yes, the end of the article is a link-fest. Not sure what to do about that.

In any case, thanks for your input, Owl.

Thanks also to DBuckner. Actually, it was I who suggested "alternate" as a way of capturing the notion of a disjunction of conjuncts. That is, the definition and usage does indeed alternate between the rivals, depending on time, place and company. Perhaps this is an aberration of my particular native tongue?

I am going to have to write a piece on the role of authority in the Wiki. DBuckner, if what you want is a place in which only real-world authorities may edit, then the Wiki is not the place for you. Appeals to authority simply do not work here.

Not at all. Just that we might profit from the advice from authorities, just as in writing an article on brain surgery and quantum mechanics. See my 'consensus' list of points below. I keep saying this: none of this should be a million miles from any standard reference work on the subject. By no means blindly follow them, but do not be radically different either. Dbuckner 09:16, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

The Wiki introduces a novel discipline; one cannot just set out one's words and leave them for the edification of future generations, but must interact with the reader directly - other editors simply are the readers of the article. The wiki is a dialogue, not a monologue. Since a dialogue only finishes when no-one has more to say, seeking a finished Wiki article is on a par with the search for the Grail.

On the other hand, I've noticed of the articles I've written (and I have written many completely from scratch) have very little changes made to them. Once an article gets to a state where it looks coherent and well rounded &c, people are surprisingly reluctant to change things).Dbuckner 09:18, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

From my user page: Never work with children or animals. The Wiki contains plenty of both. Increasingly, one is obliged to clean up after the animals and write for the children. Is it worth it? I'm still here a year after writing that, so I guess for me it is. You will decide for yourself.

But I do think DBuckner's introduction better than the present one.

May I compliment all who are working here. It surprises me that a revert war has not broken out on this page, as people's frustrations boil over. The level of cooperation is very high. Stay cool. Banno 21:40, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Banno, your comments would be far more helpful if you gave reasons for supporting these measures. I find this novel introduction deeply flawed. Lucidish 21:51, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

How reference works define Philosophy =

I have argued that Wikipedia should not be defining philosophy in a way that is materially different from anything we would find in a standard reference work on the subject. To help with this I have taken some reference works, and compiled a list of the common points.

The works were Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy (PDP), The Penguin Encyclopedia (PE), The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (OCP), Modern Thomistic Philosophy (MTP), Collins English Dictionary (CED), Modern Thomistic Philosophy (MTP).


1. Method. PDP says method of p. is rational enquiry, or enquiry guided by the canons of rationality. OCP says it is explicitly rationally critical thinking 'of a more or less systematic kind'. CED says rational argument. MTP says 'natural light of reason'.

2. Characteristics. (a) Distinction from empirical science, religion &c. PE says that p. differs from science in that its questions cannot be answered empirically, by observation or experiment, and from religion, in that its purpose is entirely intellectual, and allows no place for faith or revelation. MTP says p. does not try to answer questions by appeal to revelation, myth or religious knowledge of any kind, but uses reason, 'without reference to sensible observation and experiments'. (b) Second order nature. PDP says it is a 'common view' that p. enquiry is second order, having concepts, theories and presupposition as its subject matter. OCP says it is 'thinking about thinking', and that p. has a 'generally second order character', being reflective thought about particular kinds of thinking. (c) Only PE gives 'Love of wisdom' as a possible meaning. CED gives it as etymology (not to be confused with meaning). The other works do not appear to mention this at all.

3. Subject Matter. PDP says 'the most fundamental and general concepts and principles involved in thought, action and reality'. PE says 'the most general questions about our universe and our place in it'. MTP: The 'absolutely fundamental reason of everything it investigates' or 'the fundamental reasons or causes of all things'. CED simply list the branches of p (see below).

4 Branches. PE says that that 'major' branches are metaphysics, epistemology ethics and logic or theory of meaning, adding 'formal logic now being regarded more as part of mathematics'. OCP says 'metaphysics, epistemology, ethics or theory of value' thus omitting logic. MTP, being a neo-scholastic work, uses the division of Aristotle into Cosmology, Psychology, Metaphysics, Ethics. CED lists metaphysics, epistemology ethics and 'semantics'.

5 Goals. PDP says 'the disinterested pursuit of knowledge for its own sake'. MTP 'to discover the absolutely fundamental reason of everything it investigates'. CED 'making explicit the nature and significance of ordinary and scientific beliefs'. Dbuckner 09:02, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Interesting.
It is interesting that the PDP lists method, subject matter and purpose in its definition - not too dissimilar to our method, subject matter, process and attitude. Perhaps we have not strayed so far form the norm as you suggest. The note at the end of the definition is interesting as well, in that it distinguishes between philosophy as a certain kind of inquiry and philosophy as an academic discipline.
The Pan Dictionary of Philosophy simply lists the sub-disciplines, but says in the preface that its chief concern is with the academic discipline, as this article did previously.
But my favourite is from John Hopsers in introduction to philosophical analysis. He does not get around to discussing the definition of philosophy until page 47; and then starts by saying it is "another of those terms whose denotation is more agreed upon than its definition".
So in what way do you suggest we change the introduction from its present state? Banno 09:36, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
I have now rearranged this as an article Definition of philosophy. I had some problem with the sub-bullet points a), b) &c, grateful if you could help! Also grateful if you could add any further points of your own, so long as there is a reference cited (e.g. Hospers). On whether it resembles the current definition, I don't think so. Dbuckner 14:22, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
Looking at the 'current intro' this is a Heraclitan task, as 'it' is constantly changing. Someone has already reverted to an older version. I would suggest, agree on what of the Definition of philosophy points should be included, get a nice crisp introduction, which most importantly means agreeing on the order of points, then engage in guerilla warfare for the next 6 months or longer against the barbarians. Dbuckner 14:28, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
I've written, but not posted, another introduction. This was on the lines I suggested. However, I'm loath to post it because of previous experience. I may begin work on pruning and moving things around Dbuckner 15:37, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
Against my better judgment, I've tackled the whole article. There are now obvious inconsistencies. The branches of philosophy section has now two bits on Aristotle. These need to be carefully joined. The 'traditions' section needs tidying. But PLEASE if you are considering a major revert, please discuss here. All is negotiable. And PLEASE avoid needless spelling corrections or small given that this is likely to change again very soon. My name is Dean. Dbuckner 15:56, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
Dean: never before have I had the misfortune to be in an encounter where the words of encyclopediae are prized over and above those of actual, respectable researchers within a field. Can you see how frustrating, and outright anti-intellectual, that may seem? Lucidish 21:56, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
More concerns:
  • Why is Penguin publishing company consulted twice?
  • Why is the Thomist dictionary consulted twice?
  • Why is a dictionary consulted at all? They're doomed to inaccuracy because they have limited space, lack of detail.
  • Why is a resource dedicated to Thomism relevant to our purposes? Lucidish 22:51, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
As I promised two sections up, I will stave off a cracking-out-the-books for a moment and actually look at pure reference work (encyclopediae and dictionaries), under the assumption that such a method is in some way optimal in finding out a consensus view. I will also assume, in alignment with your standards, that dictionaries are fair game, at least for approximate definitions.
The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy: Oxford Paperback Reference by Blackburn, Simon. "Philosophy (Gk., love of knowledge or wisdom). The study of the most general and abstract features of the world and categories with which we think: mind, matter, reason, proof, truth, etc. In philosophy, the concepts with which we approach the world themselves become the topic of enquiry. A philosophy of a discipline such as history, physics, or law seeks not so much to solve historical, physical, or legal questions, as to study the concepts that structure such thinking, and to lay bare their foundations and presuppositions. In this sense philosophy is what happens when a practice becomes self-conscious. The borderline between such 'second-order' reflection, and ways of practising the first-order discipline itself, is not always clear: philosophical problems may be tamed by the advance of a discipline, and the conduct of a discipline may be swayed by philosophical reflection (see also owl of Minerva). At different times there has been more or less optimism about the possibility of a pure or 'first' philosophy, taking an *a priori standpoint from which other intellectual practices can be impartially assessed and subjected to logical evaluation and correction (see methodology). The late 20th-century spirit of the subject is hostile to any such possibility, and prefers to see philosophical reflection as continuous with the best practice of any field of intellectual enquiry."
Take note of two things: a) metaphilosophical naturalism is not ignored or marginalized, but to the contrary, presented itself as if it were the modern consensus view; b) though "second-order" reflections are treated as distinctive of philosophy "in [a] sense", they are still counterbalanced by "first-order" ones of the actual thought-work involved. Lucidish 01:41, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Lucidish: my point about encyclopedias and dictionaries was only that: anything we write should not be a million miles away from what you find in other dictionaries. Wikipedia is not about original and interesting research, it is about making that kind of received opinion accessible to all. In any case there is no point continuing this project. The latest introduction now reads
'In the modern context, it [philosophy] is used both formally and informally to refer to concepts in knowledge, reason, logic, and belief in their most elemental and abstracted terms (ie. meta-knowlege, meta-logic, meta-belief), allowing divergent and distant concepts to be interchanged with facility. Hence, like science, philosophy is both a foundation and structure which holds reason, rather than belief or evidence to be its essential method.'
This is just babble. (I know you didn't write it). Dbuckner 09:34, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Dean, did you even read my post? Your position is demonstrably wrong from both the standpoint of consensus AND dictionary.
I'm not happy with that introduction, either: I'd like philosophy to be intelligible and precise, and that one doesn't quite reach either. But I must deal with one thing at a time. And what I begin with are your claims (rather, assumptions) about metaphilosophical naturalism and "second-order" nature, which, as I have shown, are very far off base. Lucidish 23:09, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Analytic Philosophy

Analytic phil doesn't reject the Cartesian & empiricist tradition. The great majority of analytic philosophers, who have had a view on the question, have been hardcore empiricists, including famous analytics like Ayer, Carnap, Quine. Some analytics are rationalists (which I guess is what the author meant by "the Cartesian tradition"?). Analytic & Continental phil don't have any common root I can discern.

Very few analytics today think that philosophical error arises from linguistic misunderstanding. Wittgenstein's view, and the study of Wittgenstein himself, is very out of favor with most analytics.

The description of continental phil doesn't say anything that distinguishes it from analytic phil.

The claim that mental states have intentionality is not an attack on Cartesian dualism. (No idea what the author had in mind there.)--owl232 09:51, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

It's a common view, and it has a lot going for it, that the analytic and continental traditions have common roots. Rising star Jason Stanley argues that both traditions are at least looking at the same questions. See here e.g., search for 'Analytic and Continental'. Dbuckner 09:34, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/guest_bloggers_marcus_and_jason_stanley/index.html

By the Cartesian and empiricist tradition I meant that sceptical tradition that begins with Descartes, which leads to the extreme scepticism of Hume, which depends on assumptions that most nineteenth century philosophy takes for granted, but which analytic philosophy rejects. Perhaps it should read 'Cartesian sceptical tradition'? Dbuckner 09:34, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
I thought the idea of logical form was fundamental to analytic philosophy, no? If you buy that, you buy the idea that the actual form is different, and can therefore be misleading. Dbuckner 09:34, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
You say ' The claim that mental states have intentionality is not an attack on Cartesian dualism' – I have a quote somewhere that says precisely that it is. I'll look it up. In any case (see below) it is pointless to spend any time on this article.

Still at it, I see.

I hope you're having fun. I just dropped by to let you know I haven't forgotten this article. Rick Norwood 00:03, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Ah, another expert. Dbuckner 10:07, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Reply

L: "Dean, did you even read my post? Your position is demonstrably wrong from both the standpoint of consensus AND dictionary."

It is difficult to follow a thread in this format, as you know. I read the one that begins "Dean: never before have I had the misfortune to be in an encounter where the words of encyclopediae are prized over and above those of actual, respectable researchers within a field. Can you see how frustrating, and outright anti-intellectual, that may seem?" Dbuckner 10:07, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
In reply to that point, the articles in encyclopedias and all technical definitions in dictionaries are written and checked by contributors or consultants who are authorities in the field. The article in OCP was written by Anthony Quinton, who is probably the most distinguished living English (well, perhaps Strawson). You are an undergraduate philosopher, who has no such authority. When it comes to a choice between your view of the subject & Lord Quinton's, forgive me if I choose Quinton's. And it is your position that is demonstrably false. Four sources (PDP, OCP, ODP, TYP use the expression "second order".Dbuckner 10:07, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

L: "And what I begin with are your claims (rather, assumptions) about metaphilosophical naturalism and "second-order" nature, which, as I have shown, are very far off base."

The point about the "second order" nature is not an assumption, but is supported by nearly all the authorities, including Quinton, who gives it as THE definition of philosophy. Again, forgive me for taking Quinton, and not you, as a leading authority on the subject. On the "metaphilosophical naturalism" point, notice I concede, in the article " Most (though not all) philosophers believe that philosophy is not experimental. It does not employ the methods of empirical science, and its questions are not to be answered by observation or experiment". Dbuckner 10:07, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
On why Penguin was used twice, the Penguin encyclopedia and the Penguin encyclopedia *of philosophy* are not to be confused. On why I used a Thomistic source, why not? The book was lying around. Also, the neo-scholastics are sometimes better at this sort of thing, because their study of Latin philosophy and Aristotle gives them a much wider view of the subject. Forgive me for saying this, but I suspect you have not read Aristotle in the original Greek, nor Cicero or Aquinas (or indeed Leibniz or Descartes) in the original Latin. Dbuckner 10:07, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
None of this has to do with my word. Everything to do with professional opinions. Citations abound. If you had read the post, you will note that there is no consensus about naturalism in the way you think there is: so, use of word "most" is unjustified. Same point, though weaker, has been made wrt second-order nature. Shown reasons why.
You may be proficient in reading in dead tongues; it remains to be seen if you can read English. Lucidish 16:48, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

The Game

1. You are playing The Game.

2. Whenever you remember you are playing The Game, you lose.

3. Loss of The Game must be announced.

I added a link to The Game (game) but it was deleted. This game is obviously of philosophical interest. The first rule questions whether people can be players of a game against their will. The second rule becomes increasingly difficult to understand the more you think about, depending on where during the thought process of remembering The Game constitutes loss. The Game also has powerful memetic properties, and could almost be considered the ultimate meme.

Please go to LoseTheGame.com for more details.

Jonty Haywood

While this may be of philosophical interest, due to the conflicting (and seemingly contradictory) sentiments involved in the rules, it is not a direct text on Philosophy itself. It might do better in a Philosophy category or somesuch. Lucidish 18:34, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
The rules can be interpretted in a number of different ways. The most common interpretations do not conflict in anyway: whenever you think about The Game you have to tell everyone. The few interpretations that due conflict provide interesting ideas about the nature of thought.
Okay, and it might be of philosophical interest, but it has nothing to do with the discipline or traditions of philosophy. Lucidish 18:32, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Clean-up template

Good grief, what's happened to this article? It wasn't brilliant before, but it's now a mess. I mean: "Formally, philosophy can be regarded as a broad discipline wherein all knowlege is abstracted for the purpose of being communicated accross divergent fields"? The whole article is full of that sort of stuff. I told my undergraduates some time ago to be very cautious about Wikipedia on philosophical matters, but I'm beginning to think that I should just warn them off it altogether. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 19:53, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Look at the history page and you will find far more adequate edits. People are simply reverting and revising at whim. This is an example of the weaknesses of the Wikipedia system when the urge to cooperate has broken down. You should probably advise your students in light of that. Lucidish 19:05, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Well Mel, I'm glad you're back here. Why don't you set the tone, and agenda? I will assume good faith on your part. And I hope you'll do the same with me. Not only that, but I will do everything in my power to support you. The differences shall be intellectual, subject to civil ways of resolution. I cetainly hope your digestion has improved. First time I met you here you were nauseated. I'm amazed your feeling so good under these circumstances here.

My sincere best wishes, Ludvikus 20:22, 22 January 2007 (UTC)