Talk:Philosophy

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High traffic

On 24 May 2011, Philosophy was mentioned in the mouseover text on xkcd, a high-traffic website. (See visitor traffic)

Professional section[edit]

Some useful info in this section but I have doubts about this sentence: "Furthermore, unlike many of the sciences for which there has come to be a healthy industry of books, magazines, and television shows meant to popularize science and communicate the technical results of a scientific field to the general populace, works by professional philosophers directed at an audience outside the profession remain rare." This was mainly true 26 years ago in 1991 and that is exactly why I started Philosophy Now magazine, which consists of works by professional philosophers directed at a general audience, and which has since grown to have a big circulation and be sold from news-stands in more than a dozen countries. At least ten other philosophy magazines that I know of have been started since, in a variety of languages. A major industry of popular philosophy books and philosophy books for beginners has sprung up in the last decade or so, and you can find them in any bookstore. There have also been various TV shows. Apart from that I suppose the sentence is accurate... Actually, no, it really is a shame that the sentence as it stands utterly ignores the existence of the movement to popularize philosophy. I'd be happy to fix it, but as I'm still the Editor of Philosophy Now, I'd probably end up breaking Wikipedia guidelines. Can anyone else fix it? That sentence is just downright wrong as it stands. Dodo64 (talk) 23:25, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

Moving History of philosophy section[edit]

The section history of philosophy needs to be moved to its own page for various reasons. It is too large and too specific to be part of a general philosophy article. Just like we have separate pages for eastern philosophy, african philosophy, etc, we should have a separate section for the history of western philosophy. This page should be a generalist page on philosophy and thus any in depth historical overview should have its own page. If not, this page would have to also outline the history of all other world or regional philosophies in order to adhere to a certain fairness. I am therefore moving all historical content to "History of Western Philosophy". Javierfv1212 - Sabbe Satta Sukhi Hontu 01:57, 13 October 2016 (UTC)

Do you not see the enormous discussion section at the top of this page about that very topic? --Pfhorrest (talk) 02:02, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
Yes, however, as I have explained, this article is inconsistent and unfair. Keeping the historical material in this article strictly about Western philosophy is simply unbalanced. On the other hand, adding to this article historical perspectives of similar depth for all other philosophical traditions - Buddhist, Chinese, Indian, Islamic, etc would simply make the article too large and unwieldy. So the solution is simply to split off and create another article for History of Western philosophy, let that article grow on its own and simply add short cultural historical overviews for each tradition in this article pointing to the main articles of the respective philosophical traditions (in the "Culture" section). I am working on doing just that at the moment. Javierfv1212 - Sabbe Satta Sukhi Hontu 02:39, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
I'm not arguing for or against either way, and I can see the point you have here, but I don't think such a radical change should be made without any prior discussion as other editors recently did a lot of work on this very matter. Please wait for further comments before proceeding, per WP:BRD. (If nobody else cares after a few days, I don't care either and won't take any further action to stop you). --Pfhorrest (talk) 04:11, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
Is it really that radical? The main issue that the other editors had was that there would be no historical content in the general article which I agree would be a problem, but this will be remedied as the "Cultural overview" section I am working on now will include short historical overviews of philosophy in different cultures, not just a large section on the history of Western philosophy alone. So the consensus reached in the previous discussion is not being circumvented by my edit, it is just being altered to include varying philosophical cultures. What the edit accomplishes is keeping this article from becoming too large by moving the detailed historical overview of Western philosophy to another article. Either way, I will wait some days as you requested. I now think that the 'History of Western philosophy' section should be moved to Western philosophy, there does not need to be both a History of Western philosophy and a Western philosophy. Javierfv1212 - Sabbe Satta Sukhi Hontu 22:03, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
I am now mostly finished with the "Cultural overview section", would you (or anyone else for that matter) mind giving me some feedback, thoughts? Javierfv1212 - Sabbe Satta Sukhi Hontu 14:37, 15 October 2016 (UTC)

Avoiding an edit war[edit]

Hello friend Javierfv1212, thank you for your recent edits. I hear your concern about "unfairness" -- however, we have had long discussions about this topic. The word 'philosophy' is a Greek word, and the concept of western, Greco-Roman philosophy is a distinctive one (when compared with Chinese, Egyptian, etc.). The article should link to other cultures but keep a tight focus on 'φιλοσοφια' as it has evolved through the ages -- the way the story is told by Hegel, Melchert (https://global.oup.com/ushe/product/the-great-conversation-9780199999651?cc=us&lang=en&) , Kreeft (https://www.amazon.com/Socrates-Children-Ancient-Greatest-Philosophers/dp/1587317834/theofficiapet-20), and most other philosophers. I am a professional philosopher and can attest that academic philosophy is divided into "western" and "non-western" philosophy, where "western" is metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language, ethics, aesthetics, and other traditional topics and "non-western" is asymmetrically divided into all other cultural wisdom traditions. Therefore, I think the Wikipedia article should reflect the professional practice, not any one's personal opinion (however correct it might be!) With these considerations in mind, I am going to revert some of your edits. But please, do not take it personally, and post your thoughts here. Thanks, CircularReason (talk) 06:54, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Hello sir, I was disappointed to see that you decided to undo my edits. I thoroughly disagree with your stance and in fact, can back up this disagreement, even if I am not a professional philosopher myself. I can point to academic sources which indeed use the term "philosophy" to refer to non-Western thinkers and to remove them from this general article and focus this article solely on western thinkers does a disservice to the purpose of wikipedia, which is to provide a general introduction available to people of all cultures, not just westerners. The thing is, even if the term 'philosophy' is a Western term, it is clearly now being applied in a general sense to refer to thinkers and traditions from all over the world, as we can see in academic journals like "Philosophy East and West" and "Asian philosophy" (Taylor and Francis). Obviously, the understanding in this common usage of the term is that "philosophy" in a general sense, is not something that is unique and only exists in the West, but is a way of asking questions shared by many cultures. Examples of sources that I would cite to support my point include the philosopher Jay Garfield, who has been very vocal about modern philosophy's eurocentrism, see this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/11/opinion/if-philosophy-wont-diversify-lets-call-it-what-it-really-is.html?_r=0 Recently Justin E. H. Smith has written on different types of philosophers, and includes numerous non western folks in his book: http://blog.press.princeton.edu/2016/04/22/justin-e-h-smith-on-six-types-of-philosophers/ Not only that but there are many books, journals and professional philosophers which use the term philosophy to refer to non-western thinkers, such as for example, Mark Siderits' publication "Buddhism as Philosophy: An Introduction" and the following https://www.amazon.com/Introduction-World-Philosophy-Multicultural-Reader/dp/019515231X/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1482640759&sr=1-2&keywords=world+philosophy Recently Michael Puett's class on Chinese philosophy has been very popular at Harvard, http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2013/10/why-are-hundreds-of-harvard-students-studying-ancient-chinese-philosophy/280356/ Finally, if the wikipedians reading this comment would like to see further proof, they only need to head over to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which includes many articles on Indian and Chinese philosophers, and uses the word philosophy when referring to them. For example, see: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epistemology-india/ They can also refer to the academic sources that I cited in writing the section I added (e.g. Garfield & Edelglass; The Oxford Handbook of World Philosophy), many of which are sources which use the term philosophy when referring to non-western thinkers. I think that this is more than enough evidence to show without a doubt that indeed, the term philosophy as used by many academics and philosophers is much broader than just Western thinkers. I ask you to please not revert my edits on this topic as you did before, unless you can show that the term philosophy, which is the title of this article, is absolutely not used for non-Western thinkers by academic sources. In the meantime, please feel free to continue your edits as before on Western Philosophy instead. (Javierfv1212 - Sabbe Satta Sukhi Hontu) Edit: Here's Philosopher Jonardon Ganeri (New York University) making the point, again: https://news.uchicago.edu/multimedia/jonardon-ganeri-why-philosophy-must-go-global

https://www.academia.edu/25799760/Why_Philosophy_Must_Go_Global_A_Manifesto_for_Re_Emergent_Philosophy

Hi Javierfy, thanks for your passion and for your recent edits. I'm afraid I'm going to have to revert them again. I will politely request that you build consensus before adding anything again in order to avoid an edit war, as per Wikipedia policy. The reason I will revert them is not because they are bad its, but Wikipedia reflects present state of things; Wikipedia is not a platform for changes you would like to see made. Western philosophy is the norm when talking about "Philosophy" unless qualified otherwise. As a professional philosopher, and others should certainly weigh in here, the state of the discipline is clear. I am not just pulling rank, because I established a consensus on these edits after months of discussion and writing. Non-western philosophy courses are certainly taught in larger universities in the western world, but "non-western" refers to many different strands of thought (eastern, Indian, African, early American) as opposed to the "main" tradition of western philosophy, including metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and so on. Non-western philosophy is a real thing, with books, courses, experts, etc... which is why this article needs links to those sources. The sources you cite are good sources but do not make your case; they prove the point that without further qualification "philosophy" *as it currently is* usually refers to a western (or "Eurocentric") tradition dating back to Socrates and the pre-Socratics in Greece. No one is saying that Indian and Chinese philosophy *is not philosophy at all*. It There are dozens of links to the appropriate sources on this page. However, it is different (in historical genesis, style, and content) from philosophia -- the tradition beginning with the Greeks. You cite a NY Times opinion editorial and a NYU professor who are pushing back against the state of the profession, trying to change the way things currently are. But that's the way they are. Another consideration, more practical than philosophical: this article is too long to include every wisdom tradition of every culture and country and time period in every part of the world. When I trimmed it down it was almost readable; we want to avoid it growing unwieldy again. PS. It's not personal; I've had a hundred edits reverted, we all have. Sometimes I save the text on my HD; I'll give you some time to save your edits before I revert. CircularReason (talk) 22:28, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
It seems to me first that you are the one threatening an edit war, as you are the one insisting on reverting a series of edits without pursuing consensus. On the substantive points, I don't think you're correct. While we can argue about the appropriate balance of Western and non-Western philosophy on the page, I don't believe it's tenable to say that non-Western philosophy should be wholly excluded, either in virtue of covering the wrong topics or by lack of interest within current academic philosophy. Buddhist philosophy engages with many of the traditional questions in philosophy of perception and metaphysics, while Chinese philosophy is sufficiently well studied within Anglo-American philosophy departments that it merited its own section in the Philosophical Gourmet report. Another piece of suggestive evidence is the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which is decidedly centered on Western philosophers, but also includes sections on Chinese, Indian and Arabic philosophy. It also seems to me that on the points that are changed, the December 1st revision has some clear problems, as it categorizes African, Aztec and medieval Jewish philosophy *inter alia* as "Eastern", while linking to a page that does not include them, so it may make more sense to work from the current page and cut as is appropriate if necessary. JustinBlank (talk) 02:54, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
Let me add my support to what JustinBlank said above. This has been discussed here, at length, for years, and the viewpoint he expresses has emerged as a consensus. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:27, 19 February 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 24 October 2016[edit]


I think knowledge should be linked to the wikipedia page on knowledge. That would be helpful to gain a better understanding of what philosophy is.

146.95.24.239 (talk) 16:33, 24 October 2016 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Gap9551 (talk) 16:42, 24 October 2016 (UTC)

Not sure if Problems is a good way of summing up philosophy[edit]

The lede of the article refers to philosophy as dealing with problems, however this is a very controversial thesis within meta philosophy (e.g. Wittgenstein did not believe in philosophical problems). Only one of the references uses the word problems, can we change it to more closely follow the more metaphilosophically neutral wording used in the other reference?--Ollyoxenfree (talk) 00:16, 23 November 2016 (UTC)

why not "questions"?Mercurywoodrose (talk) 05:57, 25 November 2016 (UTC)
October 2015 lede:
Philosophy is the study of the general and fundamental nature of reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.[1][2][3] The Ancient Greek word φιλοσοφία (philosophia) was probably coined by Pythagoras[4] and literally means "love of wisdom" or "friend of wisdom".[5][6][7][8][9] Philosophy has been divided into many sub-fields. It has been divided chronologically (e.g., ancient and modern); by topic (the major topics being epistemology, logic, metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics); and by style (e.g., analytic philosophy).

Semi-protected edit request on 27 January 2017[edit]

Under External Links, add Wireless Philosophy as a resource. Wireless Philosophy produces free animated lectures featuring faculty and graduate students from top philosophy departments, and is an official partner of acclaimed education non-profit Khan Academy. Aamarmor (talk) 21:22, 27 January 2017 (UTC)

Not done: Spam — JJMC89(T·C) 19:17, 28 January 2017 (UTC)