Template talk:History of Western philosophy

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comment[edit]

Someone needs to discuss something someplace, and I suppose here is as good a place to do it. The current division, not very strangely, reflects the theories in private life of the authors who came up with it, including one of the wiki founders. I am going to hope, but not with much hope, that this can be done on principled grounds rather than on personal ones.

First no original work, second NPOV and third internal consistency of arbitrary namespace divisions. The division of "early modern" and the like is a rather recent academicism of the US. It isn't universally adhered to, many important works published this century adhere to others - whether better or worse is not for me to say - and finally, was neither finished nor consistenly adhered to. "early modern" was labelled "17th century in the side bar - and Kant was in that bucket. This, is patently ridiculous, Kant did not live or work in this period. Clearly there is controversy, or at least confusion. Finally most of the articles were stubs, meaning that the original authors had set their stakes in the ground, without being good enough to actually provide material, nor did they describe the other possible periodizations. Internally one article refers to "the enlightenment" in its long form, which includes 17th century philosophy, and points to an article labelled 18th century philosophy. In short, the framework was at odds with itself.

Finally many of the articles contian clear POV violations - Kant's openning paragraph has a speculation on what he "would" have approved of. Who knows, Kant might have disapproved of anything, or been amenable to being convinced by anything. He's dead, and no one here has personal knowledge of him.

Finally there is the incredibly arrogant, POV and inaccurate assertion that 21st century philosophy is "post-modern". This strains credulability (the willingess of people to be deceived) beyond the breaking point. Post-modernity, as a period, is pretty well defined to have begun in the 1960's with Derrida, Lacan and Foucault, one can even, and I have, argue that it goes back to the 1950's. Be that as it may, the normal usage does not equate the 21st century with post-modern, and ipso facto, Wiki requires we document current usage. Current usage should be "Contemporary" philosophy, and be far less, how shall we say it to be delicate... Nah, I will just be outright: judgemental about what contemporary philosophy is as period, because we don't know how it is going to shake out.

Hence, based on local usage I am doing the following, to some extent with the precedent of the music section:

Dividing more by periods of time than names, while noting the various names used.

Dividing the 17th from 18th centuries - which had already been done, I'm just dumping "early modern" which is not a standard label, the old label, still current, is "The Age of Reason". While a good argument can be made for "the long Enlightenment" - which some people who use "Early Modern" basically use as synonymous for "Enlightenment", often internally inconsistently - There is no good argument for dividing "Early Modern Philosophy" into "Early Modern Philosophy" and "The Enlightenment", which also is the long Enlightenment. It makes no sense, and doens't reflect anyones usage anywhere.

Finally nothing other than these articles links here - clearly what happened is a few people came along, wrote up their outline, imposed their terms, and did it unwiki and incorrectly. This may not be the best periodization, it certainly doesn't reflect my thinking - but that is original work and not the issue here - it does however have the virtues of:

  1. . Being close to the original outline.
  2. . Being a great deal easier to match to different practice.
  3. . Being based on wiki precedent.
  4. . Being internally consistent.
  5. . Being NPOV friendlier. Particularly if it is internally documented as a conventionality.
  6. . Being easily explainable - the periods roughly correspond to centuries, and these roughly to most common usages.

Does anyone object to this change making the series a 'history of Western philosophy' and its daughter articles? It essentially was one before, with the Western philosophy survery (summarizing the other aritcles in the series box) stuck on the top of the list and Eastern philosophy stuck randomly at the bottom. Go ahead and revert if there are objections. 172 10:57, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Huh?[edit]

Can someone explain to me why we have a bunch of Eastern philosophy links in our History of Western Philosophy box? KSchutte 02:20, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Why Postmodernism if not also Analytic Phil, Rationalism, Empiricism, etc.[edit]

Usually the modern era is characterized by two broad movements, Rationalism and Empiricism. Usually contemporary philosophy is also characterized by two broad movements, Analytic Philosophy and Continental/Postmodern Philosophy. Why then is Postmodern philosophy listed but not all these other broad movements? I suggest we remove postmodern philosophy from the template. - Atfyfe (talk) 22:06, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

I disagree postmodern is not continental philosophy and it should be included. And as for the two broad movements, those are what is known as a fiction or metanarrative that tells a story that isn't quite true in order to disenfranchise the truth that would be should different stories be told. but really i think postmodern philosophy is it's own thing. and should be included in the template unless the argument is made that it does not rise to the level of the rest or like the rest. --Buridan (talk) 14:56, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Template:Sidebar subsection with simpler markup but the same look[edit]

Template (B) ("before") uses the original & still-current formatting of Template:Sidebar subsection to implement subsection headings in two ways:

1. Use of italics rather than bolding.
2. Additional horizontal space before the subheading (in the Western philosophy section of (B)), apparently to distinguish the subsection (further) from the heading that precedes it and the subsection that follows it, IMO wisely.

A recent Edit at template (A) ("after") breaks down (1) & (2) into parts by, which together give the same look as (B) but with markup simpler to implement:

1a. coding italics directly in the usual way without having to go through Template:Sidebar subsection.
2a. Making optional (2) by putting {{Sidebar subsection |style = padding-bottom:0.1em;--> }} before subsection headings, instead of a somewhat more complicated-looking

statement that does the same thing:

{{Sidebar subsection
|heading = By era
|content =
* Pre-Socratic
* Ancient
* Medieval
* Renaissance
* Modern
* Contemporary
}}

The WP:Markup formatting of (A) may not be as elegantly intricate as (B). Still, in its own Template:Sidebar subsection, it may be less complex (1 line: {{Sidebar subsection |style = padding-bottom:0.1em;--> }}, rather than 3) to implement. Comments welcome. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 22:42, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

I, personally, don't see why we need {{sidebar subsection}} at all. Frietjes (talk) 18:14, 14 April 2013 (UTC)
1T. A different point for sure, F., &, for the benefit of others, with a significant discussion on that same question, through the above link (via "Please discuss this matter at this template's entry [link] to discussion on deleting it" ).
2T. I don't believe that this is the right place to extend that discussion, except to express doubt that most sidebar editors would have easily have come up with the look of the above Template. (I'm not defending its current form here. Indeed Its creator solicited alternatives.)
3T. May I here express appreciation to F. for replacing coding of * Subsection heading with :Subsection heading in template (A), which looks the same in the sidebar but as coding correctly suggests that it is a subheading, rather than part of the list that follows.
4T. May I here ask if anyone would suggest a more concise statement could have replaced the coding in (A) of, for example:
{{Sidebar subsection |style = padding-bottom:0.1em;<!--gap before content1 resumed--> }}
before the subheading By era to produce the added 0.1em horizontal line spacing of (2) above? Thank you. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 20:22, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Can someone explain precisely what is wrong with {{History of Western philosophy/sandbox}}, which uses {{sidebar subsection}} consistently but does away with all the hackish extra markup? Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 09:00, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

5T. Focusing on one problem, such as indicated in the heading of this section (rather than introducing differences in templates irrelevant to this section) surely is more conducive to progress in discussion in a given Talk section.§ Conversely, introducing issues [irrelevant to this section as defined by heading above] discourages others from following the discussion further — not a good thing.
§ For example, another section might introduce side-by-side comparisons on the 22em default width versus (as above for both templates) 18em illustrated here, IMO to the disadvantage of 22em in "See also" section and as the edit-mode-only of the 18em version suggests ("(|style = width:18.0em;<!--no greater than 18.0em, please, for sake of smaller screens/windows-->"). --Thomasmeeks (talk) 18:53, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
The problem with this template is that it uses all sorts of additional markup which is nonstandard and either pointless or actively harmful. What I am asking is why any of this is necessary. Having removed the lot of it, the result appears perfectly fine to me (see the test cases page for a side-by-side comparison). I'm only interested in the 18-versus-22em discussion if for once someone can give me a compelling argument as to why it still applies (this piece of cargo-cult code stems from the embryonic sidebar designs of 2007, and has largely been abandoned outside of philosophy templates). Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 08:30, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
I don't understand why we need {{sidebar subsection}} at all in this context, see sandbox2. Frietjes (talk) 16:30, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
May I express doubt that more than 4 persons on the planet have anything like a detailed knowledge of what's involved in the last 2 Edits.# I take seriously the comments above but would need perhaps a day to respond further, what with other daily commitments (such as sleeping). Thanks.
P.S. I've amended (5T), 2nd sentence above (in [ ]) for clarity and bolded 2 words of the § footnote there — both relevant to the last 2 Edits above.
# ... though I'd be pleased if anyone else volunteered otherwise and explained in detail what's involved, and though the absence of such does not prove that I'm right. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 00:03, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

The above 3 edits of CC/tw and Frietjes are copied under the new next section per (5T) footnote § above, WP:REFACTORing, and WP:TALK#New topics and headings on talk pages: Make heading clear & specific per topic discussed. [--Thomasmeeks (talk) 01:30, 18 April 2013 (UTC)]

I'm happy to do away with {{sidebar subsection}} here entirely, for the same reason I took it to TfD. If that's the only sticking point them I'm fine with going with sandbox2. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 09:09, 18 April 2013 (UTC)────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

I have a more immediate question I'd like to pose before attempting to address Frietjes' sandbox 2 alternative at the bottom of Template:History of Western philosophy/testcases:

Q1T. Is there any simple method by which Template:History of Western philosophy/sandbox2 could achieve the same 20% increase in line space before and between subsections as the current Template:History of Western philosophy does?

If the answer is "Yes" (& with specifics as to how), that would provide a comprehensive alternative to Template:Sidebar subsection. Then the issue comes down to which is simpler to implement (say, as measured by the number of . If the answer is "No", that might at least bound discussion to the range of feasible alternatives.

WP:HTML seems to index which HTML elements can certainly be considered in answering (Q1T). The Lead there suggests as much:

The MediaWiki software allows use of a subset of HTML5 markup elements or tags and their attributes for presentation formatting.[fn:Allowable elements and attributes are defined in the Sanitizer.php module.] Many HTML tags may also be included by equivalent wiki markup or templates which are simpler for most editors and less intrusive in the editing window. In normal practice, wiki markup or templates are preferred within articles, but HTML is quite useful for formatting within templates. (Italics added.)

Thank you. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 20:14, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

yes, this adds more spacing. note that the specific amount of spacing will be browser dependent for all of these solutions. Frietjes (talk) 20:51, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
A very interesting, simple, and quick answer to (Q1T), may I say.
On the line spacing between the first subsection following a section heading and between subsections, the above link has the same look as the creator of Template:Sidebar subsection effected here but is more simply formatted. Let me make a case tomorrow in the next section for the current version of Template:History of Western philosophy but with the line-space formatting of the previous Edit. Thank you. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 22:11, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
once the sections are properly sectioned, you can adjust the spacing between any sections using something like |content2style = padding-bottom:0.1em; or |content2style = padding-top:0.1em;.
Thank you, F. You might be ahead of me on "properly sectioned". One such general content statement might work to that end for the present template (with what I take to be 2 sections, each with 2 subsections), but the above statement seems the more flexible alternative. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 18:58, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Disputed WP:Markup in this template[edit]

1C. Can someone explain precisely what is wrong with {{History of Western philosophy/sandbox}}, which uses {{sidebar subsection}} consistently but does away with all the hackish extra markup? Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 09:00, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

2C. The problem with this template is that it uses all sorts of additional markup which is nonstandard and either pointless or actively harmful. What I am asking is why any of this is necessary. Having removed the lot of it, the result appears perfectly fine to me (see the test cases page for a side-by-side comparison). I'm only interested in the 18-versus-22em discussion if for once someone can give me a compelling argument as to why it still applies (this piece of cargo-cult code stems from the embryonic sidebar designs of 2007, and has largely been abandoned outside of philosophy templates). Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 08:30, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

1F. I don't understand why we need {{sidebar subsection}} at all in this context, see sandbox2. Frietjes (talk) 16:30, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
For brevity of reference, I've labelled the above 3 Edits (I hope without objection).
Per (1C), I do agree that using {{sidebar subsection}} consistently is appropriate. So, apparently does CsDix per his Edit summary & who IMO was trying a different, but self-consistent, visual paradigm. He didn't try to undo all the "hackish" editing that I put in as a test case and that can be removed easily enough.
Since CC was 1st above, would someone be willing to change the current Template to his History of Western philosophy/sandbox version but with 18em width to compare with his 20% wider version at the top of Template:History of Western philosophy/testcases? Thank you. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 21:03, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
1T. On the last point, I concluded that it wasn't esp. reasonable to ask someone else to do what I could. So, I did the Edit changes here, which looks like this, to allow side-by-side comparisons of a modified sandbox 18em-wide version with respectively the 20% wider:
sandbox version
sandbox2 version
both pairs of which may now be viewed from top to bottom at Template:History of Western philosophy/testcases.
2T. The slimmer 18em version is modified from the sandbox version, per (1C) not only as to width to allow but to allow for non-default sorting, especially noticeable in the "See also" section with:
Christian (dot) Jewish (dot) Islamic
on one line, and
Hindu (dot) Buddhist
on the next, rather than grouping them all on one line as though they are equally related. This is more consistent with the WP:SIDEBAR guidelines, paragraphs 4-6 from bottom on clustering more closely related links together, in this case on different respective lines. Similarly for the next subsection on Eastern philosophy. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 01:30, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
Is the difference between Christian, Jewish and Islamic philosophy and Hindu and Buddhist philsophy really so great as to warrant them being in separate lists? And is there really a strong objection to using the default width, which makes the template considerably more vertically compact? Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 09:09, 18 April 2013 (UTC)────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

3T. The different sidebar lines referred in (2T) correspond to different initial geographic/cultural clusters (called "separate lists" in the preceding Edit) that together comprise a larger list under the common "Religious philosophy" subheading. By implicature the 1st question above seems to dismiss the argument of (2T) above. IMO most general readers or specialists in philosophy would agree with (2T).

The sidebar is a compressed way of linking different articles. Grouping more similar links on shorter, thus simpler, text lines (as in 2T above) makes their connection more evident (which seems to be the point of the WP:SIDEBAR guidelines cited above). That may encourage navigation of successive links on a line, like shorter sentences making text more readable.

4T. On the 2nd question above as to the 18em-wide vs. default 22em-wide sidebars, shorter text lines, as at (2T) above (again displayed at Template:History of Western philosophy/testcases), make the narrower sidebar more advantageous by reducing unused space on the left and right sides of the lines. The narrower the sidebar of a given length, the more minimalist (less obtrusive) the sidebar is — a good thing.

P.S. I intend to address the point of (1F) at the top in turn after any further exchanges on the above. Thank you. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 21:09, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

I have a more immediate question I'd like to pose before attempting to address Frietjes' sandbox 2 alternative at the bottom of Template:History of Western philosophy/testcases:

Q1T. Is there any simple method by which Template:History of Western philosophy/sandbox2 [as of my time stamp below -- TM] could achieve the same 20% increase in line space before and between subsections as the current Template:History of Western philosophy does?

If the answer is "Yes" (& with specifics as to how), that would provide a comprehensive alternative to Template:Sidebar subsection. Then the issue comes down to which is simpler to implement... If the answer is "No", that might at least bound discussion to the range of feasible alternatives.

--Thomasmeeks (talk) 20:14, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

yes, this adds more spacing. note that the specific amount of spacing will be browser dependent for all of these solutions. Frietjes (talk) 20:51, 30 April 2013 (UTC)


Above in block-quote form, I have copied from the previous section an applicable 30 April 2013 exchange (condensed for relevance here).

Let me make a case here for the look of template (A) (to the near side), the current version of Template:History of Western philosophy, argued for at (2T-4T) above but with the simpler line-space and other formatting of Frietjes' current sandbox 2 (= template (B), to the far side), which F. generously provided.

As to points not yet covered above:

5T. An advantage of the added 20% of a full line space between subsections (for example before By century) for both (A) and (B) (accomplished by a | contentX = line) is that it more clearly distinguishes the subsection heading from the last line of the preceding subsection. (A) and (B) also drop the 20% line-space between the section heading and subsection heading compared to the current edit. That's arguably OK, since the bold font of the section heading is enough of a contrast with the milder italics of subsection heading.

6T. F's simpler formatting results in the embedded the {{Sidebar subsection}} template dropping out, which is responsive to (1F) above but also provides a method for revising that same template for simplicity. (Its creator, CsDix, has welcomed such amendment.) --Thomasmeeks (talk) 23:19, 2 May 2013 (UTC)