Talk:Jean Gebser

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Online sources for Jean Gebser photos[edit]

I am including a list of links to the photograph I uploaded today, and to other Jean Gebser photographs. I was unable to locate copyright information but I believe the one I uploaded is public domain or fair use.

copies of the same photograph I have uploaded: [1], [2], [3]
other suitable and semi-suitable photographs: [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14]

FJ | hello 11:00, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

Leaving Germany[edit]

He left Germany in 1929 " to avoid the fascists" and went to Italy (!). In 1929 the Nazi party was a rather small movement without large influence and Germany was a democracy with a Social democrat Government ( Chancellor Hermann Müller). Italy had a fascist Government under Moussolini, so how did he "avoid the fascists" by leaving Germany and going to ITALY? (217.184.130.163 (talk) 07:53, 31 May 2008 (UTC))

I have removed the phrase "to avoid the fascists". I'm interested in which source asserted this statement and why. — goethean 14:39, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Linguist[edit]

The reference for the claim in the first sentence that Gebser was a linguist simply states, without evidence, that he was "A linguist and poet." There is nothing in the (very long) article to suggest that he was a linguist, which (to state the obvious) is a specialist in linguistics. Examples of linguists would be, for example, Karl Verner, Leonard Bloomfield, and George Lakoff; their articles show degrees and academic positions that make it clear they are in fact linguists. There is nothing in Gebser's to suggest such a thing; he was a philosopher, which is a very different thing. In my opinion, the first sentence of a Wikipedia entry should present the essential facts about the subject; the fact that he wrote poetry is probably not important enough to be mentioned there, but calling him a linguist is simply false. I deleted it but was reverted, and I have no desire to get into an edit war over it, so I will mention it here for the record and let others decide. Languagehat (talk) 22:31, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

Languagehat provides no evidence, other than his own undoubtedly eminent opinion, for his claim that, contrary to reliable sources, Gebser was not a linguist. His claim goes against every available biographical document of Gebser's life. Again, Languagehat provides no evidence for this highly revisionary claim. Wikipedia is not a venue for the publication of original research, even that of experts. The article should abide by the standard biography, not claims made up on the fly. — goethean 03:16, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
It is not a "claim made up on the fly" that he was not a linguist, it is an obvious deduction from the facts presented by the article. If a "reliable source" (i.e., anything published anywhere about him) mentioned, without evidence, that he was a nuclear physicist, should that also go in the Wikipedia account, let alone in the first sentence? I am baffled by the insistence on retaining this clearly inaccurate statement in such a prominent place, and I think it makes Wikipedia a less trustworthy resource. Languagehat (talk) 14:36, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
If a "reliable source" (i.e., anything published anywhere about him) mentioned, without evidence, that he was a nuclear physicist, should that also go in the Wikipedia account, let alone in the first sentence?
Hold up. You denigrate my sources as "anything published anywhere about him" and my content as a "clearly inaccurate statement". But you offer nothing in response except "it is an obvious deduction from the facts presented by the article". First of all, it is not at all obvious. Second, it is expected that when your proposed content contradicts reliable sources, that you offer sources of your own. Third, please familiarize yourself with Wikipedia policies such as WP:OR and WP:RS. Thanks! — goethean 14:59, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Pace Languagehat, it is not at all obvious that a linguist is a specialist in linguistics. That is in fact a very recent usage. From the seventeenth century onwards a linguist was person who knew many languages. In my Concise Oxford Dictionary dated 1954 a linguist is said to be a 'Person skilled in foreign languages', with no reference to linguistics. That usage is still current.

Unfortunately, when academics started the study of linguistics they foolishly neglected to create a proper name for their profession. The result was that the word 'linguist' was co-opted and the current confusion was created. (They had plenty of opportunity to choose a sensible alternative. I myself prefer 'linguistician' on analogy with 'mathematician', though 'linguisticist' on analogy with 'geneticist' would also be possible.)

Unless it is absolutely clear in the quoted sources that "authority on linguistics" is meant, I would assume that when they describe Gebser as a linguist they mean simply that he knew many languages. That is particularly so in the case of Gebser himself, given the date of his writing. Either way, the first sentence of the article is ambiguous. Brumel (talk) 15:57, 30 November 2014 (UTC)