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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Notability:

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  • Expand : *Describe what confers notability
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I have added some context to "worthy" in the section on the Wikipedia to avoid circularity. patsw (talk) 00:37, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

What you wrote is correct, and can expanded even further, since worthiness at Wikipedia seems to be determined by secondary sources only. Do you have a source for what you added? PPdd (talk) 01:12, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
The source for my addition is already referenced by the {{See}} template at the start of this section pointing to Notability in Wikipedia. It is an oversimplification to say "only" about secondary sources applied to determining if a topic can be a standalone article in Wikipedia. It would be better to informally call it the "starting point". patsw (talk) 17:37, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
I deleted it. See WP:SELF. Wikipedia essays or even policies are not reliable sources for Wikipedia articles. Never mind that what you added was your own personal interpretation thereof. FuFoFuEd (talk) 07:34, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Can someone remove the notability tag away from this notable article[edit]

This has got to be an utter joke. Someone writes about notability and it's philosophy, and bang they say it's not notable. This is pure irony. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:34, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

It taken quite a while for anybody to notice this. In fact the notability tag was placed by the original author to illustrate the paradoxical nature of the notion of notability. There are in fact no notable sources on notability. There are extensive sources of information about "notability in Wikipedia" in the Wikipedia discussion pages. However, the Wikipedia discussion pages do not count as a notable source.
The article was re-invented following a discussion that I started at Wikiproject Philosophy. This has since been archived so I shall copy it here.--Logicalgregory (talk) 02:48, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
I put it in when I wrote the article. Yes, it took "quite a while" for the diff on its removal to qualify for WP:BJAODN. Can I consider myself nominated for an "utter joke" barnstar? There are a couple of more "utter"s in the Absurdity and Ridiculous articles, too. :) PPdd (talk) 03:17, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't think you get the star PPdd, because its not really your joke. Its the notion of notability, as a criterion for deletion, that is the real joke.--Logicalgregory (talk) 03:27, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
LOL. Its really your joke, since you started the whole idea of the article. My original joke was to take what you wrote and WP:Bold an nonRS article about it. Life has no meaning but it has a purpose... to win the joke. He who laughs last is not necessarily the one who told the last joke. And he who dies with the the most toys... loses... the most toys. And... maybe I should shut up while I'm still behind. In any case, its unlikely anyone failed to notice the notabiity tag. Evidence is this talk page section, since apparently no one dares to be so WP:GRUMPY as to remove it, and hence a call for someone else to do so in this section header. :) PPdd (talk) 09:59, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Notability (Philosophy) copied from Wikiproject philosophy[edit]

There is no Wikipedia article on notability, just a disambiguation page. There is, of course, a page on Notability in Wikipedia, and we all know what an important and controversial issue that is.

It occurs to me that notability is a concept suitable for philosophical examination. Here are just a few issues:

1) Is notability absolute or relative?

2) What, if any, are the logical or epistemological connections between notability and truth?

3) Does notability fall foul of the Argument from Authority fallacy?

4) Is notability transitive?

5) Does notable mean anything more than famous; and if so, what?

6) Does it make sense to say that the Cretan was a notable liar?

Given the importance of notability in Wikipedia it seems that an article on notability per se would be very useful. The problem is that there do not seem to be any notable sources on the “concept of notability”. --Logicalgregory (talk) 03:14, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

The worst that can happen to it[2] is a speedy deletion. (note: I'm the editor who put the "Just do it!" at the top of the WP:Bold page.) PPdd (talk) 04:00, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

I just put a "Notability tag" on it, so now the worst that can happen to it[3] is becoming an entry in one of the WP:BJAODN lists, like what happened when "logical positivism vanished in a puff of logic" vanished from logical positivism in a puff of WikiLogic, but made BJAODN. PPdd (talk) 04:28, 18 February 2011 (UTC) Putting a a notability tag on the notability article makes me feel that I have just walked into a Franz Kafka novel.--Logicalgregory (talk) 06:02, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

And just like in philosophy, where there is nothing new under the sun, i.e., an existing philosophy of anything, there is also nothing new under the sun in law, i.e., an existing lawsuit about anything - "notability" is a civil tort in Chinese entertainment law. PPdd (talk) 04:44, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

When I started this section I said “There is no Wikipedia article on notability", and I think that was a notable thing to say. However, when I said it, it was true. Since then PPdd has started a nobability article, so now my statement is false and, I think, no longer notable. We might want to say that a statement is not notable if it is false, or, the equivalent, a notable statement is not false. Would we be correct in thinking that where a statement X is judged to be notable there is a tacit judgement that X is not false?--Logicalgregory (talk) 03:20, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

I agree with your decree, as it makes things more easy to resolve. For example, since "this sentence is false" is notable and even famous, it must be "not false", by application of our consensus degree "a notable statement is not false". But is not being false the same as true? Another decree on notability may help with that question. :) PPdd (talk)

Nice one PPdd. But if we try to list all the paradoxes of notability will we end up with article creep?--Logicalgregory (talk) 05:25, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

[edit] "The Notability Paradox"

The "Paradox of Notablity" - If notability is being worthy of notice, and if someting is not worthy of notice, but it cannot help but be noticed, is it notable or not notable? PPdd (talk) 05:45, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

I think it is not a paradox but the statement "X is not notable" must all ways be false. If you state "X is not notable" then you have noticed X therefore X is notable.--Logicalgregory (talk) 05:57, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

I would write LOL, but since I actually read your remark and chuckled out loud, it seems inadequate. Seriously (I just wrote the seriousness article, so thought I might as well name drop it here), I added to the new talk page questions about what it is to notice something, and what "worthy" means in this context. And resolved paradoxes can always be unresolved. There is also the matter of notable being of some distinction (individuation), as if distinction were not all or nothing, but I'm overlapping myself. As Mark Twain might say, the curious matter of distinction is very "singular" indeed. PPdd (talk) 06:07, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

PS re LOL - I just started an article on ridiculousness, and read Hobbes on laughter for it, as I needed to "confer notability" with some sort of transitivity from Hobbes, as the article was about to be deleted as WP:NN. I rate the best philosophy as being when no one knows if it is a joke or not, and you keep going anyway. My definition of a good joke is when you are standing in front of a large audience and tell the joke, then the logician in the front row rolls their eyes and slaps their forehead and says "that's the worst joke I ever heard", but the rest of the audience is still performing the calculation. Freud's student's student, Piero Ferrucci, who is also the head of the Huxley Family by descent (I'm "conferring notability", and T. H. Huxley's "ascent of man" from apelike ancestors should really be "decent", as humans "descended" from anscstors, not "ascended"... except for maybe Aldous Huxley)... Piero just wrote a book titled "Beauty" with an interview of me in it, where he asked me what perception of mathematical beauty felt like, and I said that the "QED moment" felt the same as the feeling at the instant when one gets the punchline of a joke. The upshot is that I still have to think aobut your response to the paradox, and I also put a section on transitivity in the Notability (philosophy) talk page. PPdd (talk) 06:23, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

I think notable does not only mean worthy of being noticed, it also means capable of provoking notice, regardless of normative considerations such as worth. Looie496 (talk) 17:57, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes, a propensity or disposition to provoke notice. That is true, but I doubt it will go over big with Wiki deletionists. PPdd (talk) 03:32, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Looie brings up an important point. We could say that there are two definitions of notability. Def A connotes values such as worthiness. Def B has no value connotation and means nothing more than capable of provoking notice. Under Def B establishing notability is unproblematic; if a statement has already provoked notice then it is ipso facto notable. The problem is that if a statement X qualifies as notable under Def B then people (mistakenly) apply the connotation from Def A.

Let me give an example: Blair said "There are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq" this was notable under Def B, because it provoked notice. But I want it argue that it was not notable under Def A, because it was false and there was no evidence that it was true (therefore, it was not worthy of being noticed). In the event, because the statement provoked notice many people believed (falsely) that it was worthy of notice. The reasoning goes "It is notable because Blair said it" (Def B), "if its notable it must be worthy" (Def A).--Logicalgregory (talk) 05:00, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

I agree with your "two different definitions", but I don't like your example, since a prime minister saying something false that leads to war is worthy of notice, no matter what they say. Perhaps a better example is cold fusion, which is not worthy of notice, so it is not A-notible, but it got noticed, so it is B-notbale. Another example is Paris Hilton, who has no A-notability, but right now at t=2011, still has lots of B-notability, but it likely wont last for large D because of lack of A-notability (cf Zsa Zsa Gabor). Your "two different definitions" bifurcation is relevant to Wikipedia, and I am surprised it was not put forth at talk:WPNOTE before. WP:NOTE does not acknowledge A-notability at all, but it does acknowledge B-notabiity, and all inclusionist-deletionist arguments are about the degree of B-notability, or about choice of t in B-notabilityt, where t is either the point in time of notice, or the duration of notice (the latter of which also relates to degree). PPdd (talk) 06:12, 19 February 2011 (UTC) Note re B-notabilityt - The t is in Wikipedia's subscripts is very small. PPdd (talk) 06:25, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Def1 C-notability = capacity to be noticed.
  • Def2 W-notability = worthiness of being noticed.
  • Def3 A-notabilitytD = amount actually noticed at t for duration D.
  • Further defs can be proposed using considerations of objective vs. relative, and various kinds of relative.

OED: "Noteworthiness, distinction, prominence; an instance of this." --Anthonyhcole (talk) 18:29, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Dictionaries and thesauruses are a very good way to start an article when no other RS is immediatly at hand, and often lead to finding other RSs. PPdd (talk) 03:32, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Logicalgregory, I was falling asleep when I wrote about the paradox. When I woke up I realized the paradox is just the old every whole positive number is ineteresting paradox. PPdd (talk) 03:32, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Worthy of note (attention)[edit]

Worthy of note (attention, being noted). PPdd (talk) 05:13, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Questions from WIkiProject Philosophy talk page[edit]

Philosophical questions about it include -

  • Is all notability relative? * An unotable person may consider the notable events in their own life, which may not be considered notable to anyone else, in which case notability is shown to be relative.
  • Does notability fall foul of the Argument from Authority fallacy?
  • If A is more notable then B, and B is more notable than C, is A more notable than C?
  • Notability is more just being famous, e.g., a discovery might be little known, but anyone who learns of it would agree it is notable.
  • Does it make sense to say that the Cretan was a notable liar?

The above were modifications of Logicalgregory's questions from Wikiproject Philosophy PPdd (talk) 05:31, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

More -

  • Is being worthy of notice an aesthetic evaluation, or is it broader than that?
  • If it is worthy of notice, should or can it be ignored?
  • How is transitivity related to "conferring notability"?

PPdd (talk) 05:33, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

The "paradox of notablity"[edit]

The "paradox of notablity" - If notability is being worthy of notice, and if someting is not worthy of notice, but it cannot help but be noticed, is it notable or not notable? PPdd (talk) 05:36, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

I would argue that the mere fact of 'being noticed' does not imply notability. The point made about things being 'worthy' of note is more important than the act of notice. Irishexpatriate (talk) 14:27, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

For the record, people quite regularly try to analyze notability in terms of trying to suss out logical flaws; it seems, by and large, to be motivated by the notion that Wikipedia should be about everything (including you, me and my cat), and isn't generally worth taking all that seriously.
Your response here is correct, though: in reality, if you dug deeply enough, you could probably write an article about almost every person on the planet — if they've ever been quoted in the local Pennysaver as a spokesperson for their local volunteer group or their church bake sale, or offering an opinion in a vox pop, or writing a letter to the editor, or even if they have a professional profile up on LinkedIn, that would all qualify under "verifiability" if we didn't apply further standards to distinguish topics that Wikipedia should or shouldn't be writing about. Which is why we have rules in place such as WP:NPOV — we don't care, for instance, whether one individual editor thinks that Justin Bieber is a talentless hack who doesn't actually deserve to be as notable as he is — and an insistence on reliable sources, and it's also why many of the more specific notability guidelines document certain specific achievements that will take subjective debates about a person's notability permanently off the table (e.g. duly elected state or provincial legislators are always notable whether you personally care about them or not, etc.)
So yeah, if this guideline existed in isolation, the holes that people try to poke in it might mean something. But it doesn't, so this "paradox" is no paradox at all. Bearcat (talk) 18:30, 2 April 2013 (UTC)


Suppose X being notable to Y means Y thinks X is worthy of being noticed, and not notable means Y does not think X is worthy of being noticed. Let A be "rock", B be "paper", and C be "scissors". So notability is not transitive. That must be why Wikipedia does not allow conferring notability. PPdd (talk) 05:43, 18 February 2011 (UTC)


I had not considered aesthetics, and I do not know the literature. But it is main-stream philosophy and if notability is an issue there, then notability in aesthetic could act as a model for notability elsewhere (this is not to say that notability is part of aesthetics, that would be a separate question). However, the model would only be relevant to the notability of people, places and things. The notability of sources is another matter, and this is where all the paradoxes start coming in.--Logicalgregory (talk) 06:21, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

I have some background in art galleries, though not in aesthetics. One thing I have heard come up in the gallery context is about valuation in terms of dollars, not based on aesthetic quality, but on notability. I don't know if the aesthetics notiability is the same as the marketing use. PPdd (talk) 07:11, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Is notability all or nothing, like at WikiP? Quantifying notability[edit]

Is notability all or nothing, like at WikiP. How to quantifying notability, and is this quantification unique relative to some value system? PPdd (talk) 07:26, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

The article body talks about quantification in the social network context. In Political Radicalism in Late Imperial Vienna: Origins of the Christian Social Movement 1848-1897, John W. Boyer write of "petty notability" here[1]. PPdd (talk) 07:31, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Do you think that the opener (passage) should be shortened?[edit]

thanks. (talk) 23:26, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Journalism, marketing: two distinct fields, two distinct sets of standards[edit]

As a former reporter, I want to float an idea informally here before going in haphazardly to split one extremely short section into two based primarily on personal experience which, lacking credible secondary and tertiary sources for citation at this point in time, would blatantly violate WP:OR. I mention it here only because I do not believe that it actually constitutes a new synthesis of views, but also would very much value others' input on the matter one way or another before deciding if the section split which I propose is something I in fact might want to do.

Journalism and marketing are utterly distinct from each other, due to overwhelmingly incompatible motivations which propel persons to engage in either field of endeavour: in the discipline of journalism, always to the total exclusion of marketing directives (the very inclusion of which would create specific conflict of interest issues which in part distinguish the two fields), but in the case of marketing, often with the express goal in mind of affecting or "shaping" journalistic coverage. This fundamental incompatibility between the two has been historically enshrined in journalistic organizations by creation of institutional "firewalls" between news-gathering and -disseminating departments on the one hand, and sales and marketing or fundraising departments on the other. Although in recent years we have seen this institutionalized framework largely collapse, at least historically, a news editor or reporter's notion of what constitutes "notability" (or "newsworthiness") would have tended therefore, generally, to be at sharp variance with a marketer or press agent's ideas of what constitutes the same.

I therefore would respectfully propose that the idea of "notability" as it has been (at least historically) understood and/or employed in these two separate fields should be considered separately: under separate section headings, though ideally with at least passing mention in each section of how each field's unique views and practices determining what's "notable" (or "noteworthy") has affected the other.

Cheers, ༺།།ༀ་ཨཱཿ་ཧཱུྃ།།འཚེར།།xeltifon།།སར་ཝ་མང་ག་ལམ།།༻  {say it}  {contribs} 06:30, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

It's important to understand that this guideline doesn't exist in isolation; our insistence on reliable media sources and our insistence on maintaining a neutral point of view both mitigate against the marketer or press agent's ideas of notability entering into ours. Bearcat (talk) 18:34, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Is the concept of notability required because of limitations to server capacity?[edit]

At present, Wikipedia's servers (presumably) do not have the capacity to function as a repository of all past and present human knowledge. As such, the concept of "notability" is required in order to prioritize the use of Wikipedia's storage capacity. The potential exists, however, for Wikipedia to morph, one day, into just such a repository of all information. At that time, would "notability" be needed?

Re. "Is the concept of notability required because of limitations to server capacity?" — No. --Francis Schonken (talk) 14:09, 24 November 2014 (UTC)