Talk:Philosophy/Archive 16

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On Unlocking the article.

The debate appears interminable, the disputants irreconcilable. I'm tempted to ban all present editors from the site for a month or two (joke!).

But instead, I'm going to unlock the page for a bit, and see what happens.

I'm going to do this partially because of my naive conviction that there is no problem that men of good will can't sort out when given the opportunity. (Men - I'm not being sexist here, since no women have taken an interest in this dispute. It might profit us to consider why.)

So have at it. But remember a few basics of men of good will. Don't just revert. Improve what is there, rather than just deleting it. Avoid personal attacks. Be polite. And Don't be a dick. "Being right about an issue does not mean you're not being a dick yourself!"

If you really think that the other guy is being a dick, talking about it on this talk page won't help. Instead, launch a RfC on the user. If they are a dick, they will have been a dick on other pages, and this gives others a chance to comment on their misbehaviour. It will also provide the admins and others with the information they may need to decide if they are worth having on the Wiki. Be aware that folk may also comment on your behaviour.

If the dispute cannot be settled, consider mediation.

If the discussion degenerates into a revert war, the page will be locked again.

Best wishes, Banno 23:24, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

You're certainly setting a positive and mature tone for the rest of us. Perhaps you can provide us with additional information on how not to be dicks? After all, I could be right about an issue and still be acting like one, no? JJL 23:41, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Follow the golden rule. —Quiddity 00:49, 17 January 2007 (UTC)


I can't resist, this talkpage is hilarious. Prospective philosophy undergrads should be forced to collaborate on an article like this. I have the urge to replace the intro's 'rational inquiry' with 'rhetorical inquiry' or 'subjective inquiry'.

It seems to need more levity (Meaning of life). More Einstein. More cowbell. ;) —Quiddity 02:23, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for nothing there chucklepants. { Ben S. Nelson } Lucidish 02:36, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Well you need something. Maybe take a tip from simple:Philosophy. Because this article's intro currently screams "we can't agree on anything, so cut out everything!" And this talkpage is almost as much fun as that over at Template:Philosophy topics (which is also locked due to lack of consensus! Randianism! oh boy.)
I was a philosophy/psych undergrad 8 years ago, so I only mean to tease lightheartedly (and potentially to inspire?)Quiddity 05:04, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm glad somebody finally got something out of my uncyclopedia article! { Ben S. Nelson } Lucidish 05:18, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Past examples, and foreign FAs

Here are some links to some semi-randomly selected past diffs. Possible inspiration. June 2004, July 2004, Oct 2004, Feb 2005, Aug 2005, Dec 2005 #1, Dec 2005 #2, Feb 2006, Apr 2006, June 2006, Sep 2006, Nov 2006, Dec 2006 #1, Dec 2006 #2.

See also the google translations of the FAs Arabic - Philosophy and German - Philosophy, and simple:Philosophy and Portal:Philosophy. Hope that helps someone. —Quiddity 20:57, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Might it be worthwhile to distinguish academic philosophy and popular philosophy, from amateur philosophy? Questioning the meaning of life isn't restricted to just experts and philosophasters.
See also this interesting rewrite/draft at User:KSchutte/Philosophy, which I just stumbled upon. --Quiddity 20:51, 19 January 2007 (UTC)


I got asked if I can help take a look at the article, and maybe help if there are any ways in which it's getting stuck. I've managed to be a decent influence in a number of articles that were in dispute.

I understand that might not be easy, especially as philosophers themselves have been arguing over it for millennia. But in writing an encyclopedia, it's best to get something that is factual, cleanly organized, and helps newcomers to the field to get their bearings without inadvertent bias.

Luckily nobody here has to decide for ourselves all these questions; we only have to characterize the various philosophers' debates, and neutrally summarize what others have stated and the relevant and reliable information that's out there in large quantities in other reliable sources.

Would anyone mind me offering, or take it wrongly, joining the discussion to try and clarify what's what in the article? FT2 (Talk | email) 14:15, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

We need, to put it mildly, all the help we can get. Rick Norwood 14:20, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
I second that emotion, and motion. --Ludvikus 14:33, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
All sounds very innocent, why not, give it a go, you don't really need permission.
Innocent as it is, rarely do people come here without some even unconsious philosophical position. So what kind of philosophical position do you have, are you a rationalist? Analytic, Continental? Do you think science is the bee-knees? Do you see youself in the mould of the great 18th Century encylopedists or are you more of a postmodern? What do you think of non-Western philosophy? Religion? Do you put facts above values? --Lucas 15:06, 18 January 2007 (UTC).

Good and fair questions. Quick answers: I probably have views and if examined, they would probably put me in a fair old hotch-potch of places, like most people - somewhere in the top-middle-left-upper-side-right-middle quadrant of philosophy, so to speak. My stance when editing for wiki though, is more like this:
If policies are followed, we'll get a good and well written article, and then I'll learn from it, and from others who contributed to it. For example, we don't have to say (or decide, or argue) over whether philosophy is split into "Western" and "non-Western", or "Regional" (african, eastern, etc). We can simply note (as recommended by WP:NPOV) that: Traditionally, it has been split this way by some writers on philosophy,[CITE] that way by other writers,[CITE] and according to yet others such splits are inappropriate and/or misleading.[CITE] That is factual, verifiable, and takes about 20 seconds to state. In the next 20 seconds we can note how comes it has split that way, and how such splits are seen, again citing from sources.
Likewise we don't have to agree what philosophy covers or define it ourselves. We note what others say it covers, which topics seem to be widely agreed as included or are only stated as included by a minority, and which schools or individuals espouse them.
Like this, we can comment on it, and document the field, rather than argue over it.
Personal views should not be at issue, there are enough sources to determine which views are notable and expounded by whom, and which schools present which perspectives on the subject. That's the specialism of philosophers. Knowing where to look for this information, how to check what's notable and verifiable, and trying to achieve fair reasonable presentation of this material when we've done so, is our specialism as editors to this article. My own specialism is to assist the necessary debate, and that's a different specialism of mine, as philosophy is a specialism of others. FT2 (Talk | email) 15:39, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm afraid in philosophy here personal views appear, that is, if you think being a ratinalist or an Analytic, is a personal stance, etc. You say they are "good & fair questions", but you decline to answer them. Ok, which editor here asked you to tidy up the page, that might at least give us some idea.

As far as I can see your opinions would be close to an administrative approach. One that would accumulate all dissenting views in some order. The order would be questioned. You seem to think that it is easy to just get rid of the problem by citations. Problems is we have 1000s of citations to call upon, which do we choose? We argued above if we should cite only great philosophers or secondary soources such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, or both. One suggested it was preferable to go for primary sources and not dictionaries. I agree, what do you think? --Lucas 15:58, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

I like this and have been arguing for a similar approach for months. However, as the man says, there is the slight problem that philosophy has been around for more than 2,000 years and there are a few definitions to choose from, thus selective reading of primary sources is a problem. My understanding of WP:OR is that secondary sources are preferable for that reason. Thus I have tried to locate encyclopedias or general guides where the author is a named individual (e.g. Sir Anthony Quinton is one, Warburton another). Some encyclopedias recycle other encyclopedias - I tried to avoid those. Best Dbuckner 16:10, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
WP:OR says "most articles should rely predominantly on secondary sources". Dbuckner 16:11, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
I cannot see this preference for secondary souces in the wiki OR policy. It talks of "eye witness" accounts as a primary source. I think in philosophy we have to take care not to give secondary source preference since, apart from often being dull, they are even more numerous than primary and all have their own slant. Also, is Plato a secondary or primary source? --Lucas 16:49, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Then let me quote it in full. "Although most articles should rely predominantly on secondary sources, there are rare occasions when they may rely entirely on primary sources (for example, current events or legal cases). An article or section of an article that relies on a primary source should (1) only make descriptive claims, the accuracy of which is easily verifiable by any reasonable, educated person without specialist knowledge, and (2) make no analytic, synthetic, interpretive, explanatory, or evaluative claims. Contributors drawing on entirely primary sources should be careful to comply with both conditions." The reason is, obviously, to avoid the situation where people selectively quote primary sources, or make analytic or interpretative claims of various kinds. It is a carefully written, very strong policy. With every kind wish. Dbuckner 16:55, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

To take your last paragraph first, there is no such thing as an "administrative" approach. A key aspect of Wikipedia is that all editors are - editorially - completely equal. There are no 'sacred cows' or 'higher status' editors: not you, not me, not some administrator, not jimmy wales. We work together, and try to pool as best we can, in accordance with a commonly agreed editorial approach that usually works pretty well.
There is a historically possible problem with "just demanding cites alone", and that is, in some disputes you get "cite wars", where people end up fighting for their personal agendas on the basis "I found a citation to support my view, so you're wrong, I'm right". This is typically followed by cites, counter-cites, claims that "my cite is okay [or written by a real expert] and your cite isn't", and lots of WP:OR and personal attack stuff. That's often a pattern in 'bad faith' disputes, and I've seen it elsewhere before.
What I'd go for is what is stated above. When you come to an area which is divisive, represent the various main views fairly. That should not be too hard, since philosophy is a very well documented subject. As I understand it, there will be two kinds of sources that are helpful: notable philosophers who gave their own opinions, and notable comentators, academics and researchers (writers on philosophy etc) who summarized what the main threads in various debates were, and also often added their own views and interpretations as specialists/experts of various standings. Both are potentially useful sources. Has anyone suggested a good reason to completely exclude either? Then use both. Just be aware what exactly they are saying, and what the cite really means - its value, its limits, its significance. Would Kant's definition of philosophy be more or less notable than some academic's 1990 dissertation? I don't know, but likely they might both be useful, and if so, we could cite both to give an sense of the range of notions that exist. It's two different perspectives, and a fair representation of the answer should give the impression there are different perspectives - and some indication why that's ended up that way.
Returning to your first question, I'd distinguish two kinds of personal view. One, where a person is of the view that X is notable, or adequately confirmed, or stated fairly. The other, where a person has a view within philosophy, that this is the right definition, or this is the definition of Ethics. Both have value, the latter are more easily made personal though and inadvertantly create disputes where it would in fact be better to look at what reliable sources have said, and discuss if we are summarizing them fairly and in a balanced representative manner.
Your other question is answered on my talk page. It's an editor I have never spoken to before so I had no preconceptions. As far as I'm concerned its a direct "article in dispute, you look like you help disputes, can you help here" note. There isn't much more I know.
Hope that helps. As background, I think it's enough. The rest will show itself over time, like things usually do. My main view is, if we try to keep the wiki approach in focus, and work with respect for the entire field and for each others goodwill (and not with narrow minds) we should be able to sort a decent article out. FT2 (Talk | email) 16:58, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes that is fairly inclusive and I agree we take the citations as they come. One misunderstanding from DBucker is about primary and secondary. Now in academia primary means the philosopher (who is often commenting on previous philosophers and so is seondary too). In wiki the OR policy talks of primary sources and gives the following examples:
Examples of primary sources include archeological artifacts; photographs; newspaper accounts which contain first-hand material not merely analysis or commentary of other material; historical documents such as a diary, census, video or transcript of surveillance, a public hearing, trial, or interviews; tabulated results of surveys or questionnaires; written or recorded records of laboratory assays or observations; written or recorded records of field observations; and artistic and fictional works such as poems, scripts, screenplays, novels, motion pictures, videos, and television programs
Now it is clear that primary is very different to an academic philosophy primary. My point about secondary was that it is likely to be more diverse and less easy to agree upon, since most agree on some basic canon of primary philosophers. Also use of other encyclopedias is considered as tertiary by the wiki policy, and, unlike primary and secondary, the policy does not advice the use of tertiary sources.
--Lucas 17:17, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks... In a way, I guess it's really all about seeing the wood for the trees. That and like you imply, commonsense might not have all the answers, but ignore it and one'll never be sure to find any of them. What'd help is, can you summarize somehow, in maybe one paragraph, from a dispassionate viewpoint, what the heart of the issues in the article are, that have caused problems? It'll give me some idea what I'm supposed to read and what to look for in it? As a starter I mean, sort of an initial pointer? Thanks :) (And same goes for anyone else who wants to; I dont really want disputes over it, just more like, summaries how its seen, what's worrying people about it, or what's of concern in the article contents, stopping the debate from running more easily) FT2 (Talk | email) 23:43, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Well I don't claim to be an expert on the history of this page. In my opinion the great difficulty (and perhaps opportunity) here, is that there are many editors and all have very different levels of experience, age etc. Already in philosophy there is a major division, if one editor is trained in one side they think of philosophy only in that way. More specifically you can see the haggling over the intro. Some want it defined in the intro, others say no. For me it is naive to try define it in a sentence. This has quietened down but now it moves on to this Schism subsection, here we are now getting a long discussion of US politics and British Analytic (I moved this to a subsequent subsection called "Historical notes"), really it should cover the schism itself philosophically and avoid giving heaps of political detail. But at least the issue is a live one and helps the page become relevant
The overall problem with the page is that it is quite dull and at times long winded with just a pro forma list in the contents index. I'd like better more interesting/provoking photos, snappier text and more daring in the table of contents.
--Lucas 11:36, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Some samples of definitions from intro

I think we're getting somewhere. Here's the 2nd paragraph:

  • One describe(s) philosophy as a "form of intellectual enquiry which uses critical analysis and reasoning, as well as dialogue or introspection, to solve seemingly intractible problems." [1]
  • Others[citation needed] claim that philosophy examines the process of examination itself.
  • One argue(s) that philosophy is continuous with the best practices in every intellectual field.{{cite book|title="Philosophy", The Oxford

I do not like it, but isn't this more accurate? User:Ludvikus --Lucas 15:49, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Now I ask, why this arbitrary selection? --Lucas 15:49, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

I think the curent intro is going to make a long endless snake of various dictionary's dull claims. I say avoid lexicographers in the intro. And stop forcing one definition or a string of them in the intro.

I think the intro should be to the point, have a nice photo, and quickly orient the reader to areas of interest or "live issues" in philosophy. A snappy quote from one or two of the greats would server much better than quotes from these dusty old encylopedias of 1904 that were written by second-rate philosophers.

It should not bias people into thinking philosophy is just all those dull things mentioned by the lexicographers (who, by the way, hate philosophers and want to make it sound as dull as possible).

--Lucas 15:49, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

I accept on the 3 definitions being dropped. Why not drop the random, arbitrary, sample of three sources, invoving "Some"? What you call lexicographers is a mystery to me. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Ludvikus (talkcontribs) 17:22, 18 January 2007 (UTC).

Ludvikus 17:23, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

That 2nd paragraph, whose center is dialogue, is that not your, Lucas, unilateral contribution? Do you wish to delete it? Ludvikus 17:29, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

I think the first of those three definitions is just dandy, and I believe does universally cover every (Western) philosopher when he or she is doing philosophy. If anyone is uncomfortable with that dogmatism, let's hear an example of an exception (note: I know nothing about Eastern philosophy). The two following definitions strike me as unnecessary. Philosophy 'examines' itself - sure, but it's not an overwhelmingly important point, and isn't it true of any other discipline. Literary criticism examines itself to hell and back, and the hard sciences must do so too - who else is going to examine their foundations and precepts? Er, apart from philosophers. As to the third, (1) I honestly don't really understand it, (2) taken literally it's probably false, (3) and I don't recognize the cite(oh yes I do, it's Blackburn. Nice guy. What the heck does he mean??? Is there a context in the original?.

I am glad to see some positive efforts here this morning. Pick up any faculty guide to philosophy from any university - including on "the Continent" - and it will tell you in a few words what the subject is. And these definitions, albeit different, will not be as starkly inconsistent as some editors seem to think. It shouldn't be hard. KD Tries Again 17:56, 18 January 2007 (UTC)KD

Blackburn. Okay, I checked the reference and the current intro text only has the second half of his thought. He says that whereas philosophy once considered itself to be the primary and founding intellectual discipline which could provide foundation and direction to other disciplines/sciences, contemporary phil. is now hostile to that idea and regards itself as no more than continuous with the best practices in other disciplines. You can't figure that out from the fragment we have, and no I don't think it needs to be in the intro. As to the last sentence splitting Westerm phil into analytic/continental, if we have to say it we should qualify it - "generally", "for the most part", because here there are exceptions. KD Tries Again 19:01, 18 January 2007 (UTC)KD

Another voice is an improvement, among optimists, as I am. But remember, there's no such thing as truth by majority vote. Please try to go beyond your oinion as to what philosophy is, since we've already agreed that defining philosophy is controversial. And may I suggest taking things a word at a time. I think no one here will accept your sweeping generalization about philosophy. That's the reality here - as it is among philosophers. You may have also exposed an Acheles heal by announcing your lack of knowledge regarding Eastern philosophy. That issue, I think, ultimately turns on one's views as to what role one claims religious concepts play within philosophy itself. But I think this issue should be considered later.
You seem to assert that the two (later) qualifications regarding Philosophy's nature are inaccurate. I agree with that. But notice that no one has taken the bite. Do you not see that the choice here is really more of a political one? Accordingly, we have no right to call philosophy rational, or critical (though some keeping thinking that it follows, logically, or otherwise, that it's irrational). I think I'm prepared to compromise towards a consensus - because that's the only way out of our stalemate. However, consider also that there are here only a half dozen truly dedicate editors - but they are mostly all dedicated to having their own opinions prevail. This must be acknowledge, while recognizing that Wiki policy imposes sanctions against extreme views, in which an editor is personally attacked. So we have a kind of dillema here. We must tolerate one another - while believing the other is completely off the wall (because only "I" am "Rational"). I can only hope you are less likely of falling into that category. Best of luck to you, User:KD.
Yours truly, Ludvikus 21:36, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
I think the boot is on the other foot. Those remarks are my work, to the extent I typed them, but (1) Blackburn says what he says - which is misrepresented in the article; (2) I'd like to know if there's anything distinctive about philosophy (as opposed to say, lit crit) in defining itself - that's an invitation to contribute, not a dogmatic view; and (3) I have invited any editor to cite an exception to the first definition - again, that's an invitation, not a dogmatic view. If you are asking me to cite exceptions to the analytic/continental split, I'll do so, but I am surprised you need that. Let me know if you do. So, not 'my' opinions after all. KD Tries Again 22:28, 18 January 2007 (UTC)KD
Now I understand your position. Let me direct your attention to the fact that we already have in the first sentence what appears like a definition - the problem is that some wish to put more in. I think the most critical focus has been on the words Rational, or Critical, and their cognates. And when references had been made to Postmodernism, and Marxism on ideologies and Class interest - that's just ignored. My main concern is dropping this qualification if only we would thereby gratify communists and certain Continentals. For me that was the primary issue here. It appears that there's a very strong block that whose members passionately believe that that word(s) must be associated with any kind of definition of philosophy of any significance. On the other hand, I've also recommended a sort of historical approach, tracing Philosophy through its travels, in history, through the West, beginning with the formation of the concept in ancient Greece. But that gets knocked down because it somehow violates the suggested sactity of Eastern philosophy. And when I point out that it is a Category of Barnes and Noble, but our major desk references do not even have such an entry - this too is simply ignored. Remember, it is much harder to prove a negative. The more notable encyclopedias have Chinese philosophy, Hindu philosophy, but not Eastern. I also tried to direct the editors attention to the extremely well known marginalization of mythology, religion, and faith, as concepts, or notions, distinct from philosophy, a characterization that has been with us for 2,500 years in the Western world - it seems that in that I'm merely talking to a wall. I suspect that by this distinction we might be viewed as somehow trivializing the rest of the world. Certainly, in the 19th century, it was held that philosophy was uniquely a part of the Western Intellectual tradition. This, however, is apparently taken as an abhorent distinction. It's as if there is an effort to cover up the fact of imperialism by covering up historical events. I'm almost affraid (just kidding) to say that the airplane was invented in the West. I suggested that we get to Eastern philosophy in relation to its discovery in the West in the 1960's or 1950's. I've emphasized that this is the English Wikipedia, so its "reasonable" to begin with the West. But here to I found myself confronting an impenetrable philosophical wall which, mind you, claims to be Rational. So these are the two pressing issues here, as I see them. Yours truly, Ludvikus 00:27, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
I think it is time to give the intro a rest. We should all take about a month off, and let the professional philosophers do the hard work of writing the subsections. Rick Norwood 00:55, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
(To KD) No, you can read the entirety of Blackburn's intent from exactly what has been written. He has a lot to say, but that last part was the most unique. Yes, we do need to include that material if we're to talk in the article about the relationship between science and philosophy. We also need mention differences between traditions for the same reason { Ben S. Nelson } Lucidish 03:28, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
I could not. I had to go to the original, and was surprised to discover that he is making a contrast between philosophy's historical self-image as the founding intellectual discipline, and its modern self-image as a discipline which comments on other disciplines in a manner continuous with their best practices. If I couldn't figure it out, the general reader, I contend would be lost. Anyone else have a view? I don't care if we include the point, but it needs to be intelligible. KD Tries Again 15:21, 19 January 2007 (UTC)KD
I don't dispute your interpretation of the context. I do dispute its relevance. The comment about contemporary philosophy can just as well stand alone. But this isn't a really serious point, it only suggests that we add something about foundationalism into the intro { Ben S. Nelson } Lucidish 15:55, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

material from history of schism

This is highly objectionable. Lucas added, with no discussion here, a stack of factually inaccurate material from an article Wikipedia just decided to delete [[1]], despite his attempts to defend it. I know Lucas can revert and re-insert it, but if so I am going to raise this as a case of deliberate disruption. If any of that material should be a candidate for inclusion in this article, it should be discussed here first. KD Tries Again 19:48, 18 January 2007 (UTC)KD

This is incorrect. The section that was there only gave a short description of it and mainly just tried to talk separately of each one. The only part I added was a modified and much re-edited (not only by me) detail of the story of the division.

There is nothing inaccurate about it. The details I include are referenced unlike you additions. If you have particular comments to make about some details well raise the issue, add {{Fact}} to it or remove it. But if it stands for primary source reference then it should stay. --Lucas 21:12, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

I will add comments inline (replies) if you don't mind since you make alot.Lucas 22:22, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Given the deletion of this material, there must be a strong presumption that it's problematic. As you know, I did - in the discussion on the deleted page - give you a bunch of corrections, which for whatever reason you didn't accept. I also gave references which were lost when you deleted. I'll give it all again, and save it this time. From memory:

1. The discussion between Searle and Derrida was not about a "book". Derrida read a paper on J.L. Austin, Searle replied - both these papers were published in Glyph. Derrida then replied to Searle, and his first paper and reply were published in "Limited Inc", together with a summary of the first Searle response. If the consensus is that these facts need to get a high profile in the article - and I can't see why - I'll supply full biblio detail.

reply:This is perfectly fine. Just change the wording to paper or whatever.

2. Cassirer and Heidegger did have a famous debate about Kantianism, but since neither of them is an analytic philosopher, and the debate did not discuss analytic philosophy, it has no place in a history of the so-called "schism", regardless of whether Carnap was in the audience of not.

reply:This is debatable, anyhow, just remove this from the section, it is called editing! I think that two major philosophers, one a major Analytic one Carnap and the other Continental Levinas both coming down on completely opposite sides is very interesting for tracing the history of this schism.

3. The comments by Rorty do not constitute any kind of event or moment in the schism. He was just talking about it.

reply:He was talking of 40s and 50s, it is just called a history, 40s and 50s are historical times. Dont know what you mean by Rorty's writing as an event, he was referring to an event.

4. Foucault/Chomsky debate - again, no analytic philosopher is involved there.

reply:Chomsky represented a certain stream of Analytic philosophy of language, he is well known for a theory of language in Analytic.

5. You had the Carnap/Heidegger dispute wrong too, I think, but I can't remember the detail.

reply:No, I think this is docuemted and referenced.

If you think any of this material helps the article, please post drafts here so that we can comment. I think that's a reasonable request in view of the fact that Wikipedia has already deleted it once. KD Tries Again 21:21, 18 January 2007 (UTC)KD

reply:Overall I think you only have negative criticism. What parts of this history might you add to? Or is it only a case of removing things or denying there is any history.? I also note that a completely re-written section on this was removed. How do you think this divide should be handled in philosophy.

--Lucas 21:45, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

I hope other editors can follow my points, with the interposed comments. (note by Lucas, I cannot see inline comments from you above, I made the inline comments on your initial points) Here are some more:

6. Ryle's review of Being and Time is generally considered surprisingly sympathetic. Ryle mentions the "unflagging energy with which he [Heidegger] tries to think beyond the stock categories of orthodox psychology and philosophy".

reply:The mention of Ryle's reaction to Being and Time comes from a verified source and is a quote from page 9 of that book.Lucas

7. J.S. Mill is not a major influence on analytic philosophers, except narrowly in discussion of utilitarianism. The main conjunctions between Mill and the analytic school were Frege's rejection of his psychologism and Russell's attack on his theory of meaning. Let me know if you need more on these.

reply:Mill is read mainly in Analytic (as you admit) and not much in Continental, hence his attack from Russell, but you will find others after Russell attack him in his turn. The whole idea of denotation and connotation comes from mill and is similar to the ideas of sense and reference from Frege and Russell, but argued in the detail different. Who else from the 19th century is on the Analytic reading list?

8. Scandinavia is not well known for its Anglophone phil. departments.

reply:Anyone trying to do Analytic must be able to read English and the Swedes are very good at it, by the way. Anyhow, where is there mention of Anglophone? It says mainly English speaking, is does not say entirely English-speaking. Anyhow why not add this caveat.

Comment: I do not have only negative criticism. I have left the comment about Derrida's doctorate untouched, because it seems to me accurate. I have mostly negative criticism for the reasons I've given. Bottom line - how I would handle this is to post suggestions here and let editors comment, especially since the previous draft of this material was deleted by Wikipedia consensus because it had problems beyond clean-up. KD Tries Again 21:56, 18 January 2007 (UTC)KD

Comment: Ok, you left something there, well that is amazing, really contributing alot! This material is mostly new except for some undisputed parts. There were lots of events in this history, maybe be contructive and add a few! --Lucas 22:22, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Okay, I made changes and put in correct references (whether or not I put them in correctly...). Chomsky is, of course, known to analytic philosophers, but his emphasis on treating language in terms of cognitive psychology is rejected by many (e.g. Dummett), sympathetically regarded by some (Fodor) on the analytic side. But Chomsky himself is not a philosopher, not an analytic philosopher, and the debate with Foucault did not address issues in the so-called "schism". I deleted that part therefore, and accepted your invitation to delete the Cassirer entry. I sincerely ask you not to just revert again, but to comment here or make improvements on the page. KD Tries Again 22:19, 18 January 2007 (UTC)KD

Yes but think you could add something instead of just being negative and deleting!

I added further comments above (see "reply:"). You seem to think that because Chomsky is not an Analytic philosopher yet is debated and rejected/accepted by Analytic philosophers means nothing to the schism. I think the debate with Foucault showed an English-speaking intellectual (ok not Analytic phil) and a very Continental one it is interesting and there were also link to a video if the debate.

The Cassirer debate I will leave omitted but just add in the outcome which shows the difference between Levinas and Carnap. The quote from Heidegger I think is relevant to the issue of a schism. --Lucas 22:28, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Adding something assumes I think the section and general treatment is a good idea, which I don't. I am just trying to take out errors right now. Chomsky's linguistics is discussed by analytic philosophers. Right. He is discussed by continental philosophers too (Deleuze & Guattari, Mille Plateaux). He was NOT debating those issues with Foucault - it was a discussion of leftist politics. (Okay, that's an overstatement, but it's barely on point.) Great video. It's irrelevant. KD Tries Again 22:37, 18 January 2007 (UTC)KD

Balance. If we are going to have the Babich comment setting the tone of that section, it will have to be balanced by reference to philosopher who have put bridges across the divide: Follesdal, Woodruff Smith, Mohanty, Davey, Dummett, Dews, Rorty, Dreyfus, and so on. I will wait to see what reaction other editors have to the section, especially given its history.

KD Tries Again 22:58, 18 January 2007 (UTC)KD

Yes but this is just air, you make not references or even arguments why you think this should not be here. Do you think that the gap does not exist! If Chomsky was not talking of humanism and debating it why do you think Chomsky said after that he was a most amoral person. I can quote the issues if you like but that was the centre of the debate, Chomsky believed in some basic humanism, Foucault did not, he saw the definition of a universal "human", as another scientific definition of man that would again lead to more prisons, stricy schools etc.
Balance. If we are going to have the Babich comment setting the tone of that section, it will have to be balanced by reference to philosopher who have put bridges across the divide: Follesdal, Woodruff Smith, Mohanty, Davey, Dummett, Dews, Rorty, Dreyfus, and so on. I will wait to see what reaction other editors have to the section, especially given its history.

KD Tries Again 22:58, 18 January 2007 (UTC)KD

Do want balance where there is none? Why is the gap getting ever wider? Giving balance where there is none, is what TV stations pretend to do by bringing in two sides of every story. Anyhow I cannot find sources that deny the gap. Just because there is the odd bridge here and there only shows how large the gap is. There would be no need for these ineffectual bridges if there was not the schism in the first place.
By the way the change you made about the 19th century did not fit, the question was which philosophers from 19th C are read in Analytic philosophy. Now I left Mill out, but he is one that is read. And of course there are U.S. philosophers who study continental that is not contested.--Lucas 23:16, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Reversion despite correction: Lucas, you reverted to your previous description of Ryle's BT review as "negative and dismissive" despite my quoting Ryle's praise of Heidegger above. Check Wiki's Heidegger page: " moderately favourable review in Mind by a young Gilbert Ryle of Being and Time". Please don't just revert without giving a reason or a citation. I can't figure out why you would do that. Also, could you tell me which 19th century philosophers the analytic school refers to - I suggested Frege, which you took out. Who else? I'd ask you again to discuss such edits here before publishing them. KD Tries Again 23:08, 18 January 2007 (UTC)KD

I did not revert anymore than you! I left most of the stuff you put there. I made comments above which explain all. Frege is not 19th Century he is turn of the century. --Lucas 23:16, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Ryle's review Unlike you I have no opinion of Ryle's review of Being and Time. I take the review as interpreted by a secondary source and add that reference to the article. --Lucas 23:30, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Ryle's review - please support your position. I do have an opinion because I have read the piece. I don't have a complete copy available to quote from. But in this case I am not relying on my opinion - I cited actual words from the review praise Heidegger's unflagging energy. I can also point to the indisputable fact that Ryle was a young philosopher in his twenties when he published the lengthy review in Mind, and that he worked through Heidegger's text (and other phenomenological texts) in the original German. It is also a matter of record that Ryle lectured on Husserl and Brentano and took great interest in contemporary German philosophy (Dummett, Origins of Analytic philosophy, ix). So either Prado's position, which you rely on, is controversial, or you might not have read it right - no offence, it happens. I don't have a copy of Prado - could you please post here the comment on which you rely? KD Tries Again 15:13, 19 January 2007 (UTC)KD

My problems with this section: Perhaps my response seems like "just air" because I was summarizing criticisms made at considerable length on the original Analytic/Continental Talk Page and the Deletion discussion for that page, which I assumed you'd read. There IS a distinction, and it needs to be discussed. There is no compelling reason not to discuss it in a balanced way, which include mentioning philosophers who attempt to bridge the divide - starting, perhaps, with Gilbert Ryle. I can't help it if you're not familiar with the authors I listed - I am prepared to give cites, but I am awaiting views of other editors on the section generally. As for Babich, yes she's a secondary source but - usual problem - she is one among hundreds and thousands. Her view is strongly expressed, but it doesn't mean it can monopolize or guide a section on Wikipedia. You quote Rorty's brief remark about the split; why not cite his long list of publications which make theoretical mediations between analytic/pragmatic/continental positions (cites - his two volumes of philosophy papers, Phil & the Mirror of Nature)? It's a divide which some have tried to bridge and many have not. The "large" gap, the "ineffectual bridges" - pure POV. KD Tries Again 15:30, 19 January 2007 (UTC)KD

Stabilizing the Intro

These two seem to be the ones people keep reverting between. One I cal the snake version, it contorts itself into putting 2,500 years and millions of leafs of written and spoken material into a few clauses:

snake version

Philosophy (from the Greek, philos, love + sophia, wisdom) concerns itself with how to live one's life (ethics), what one knows, can know, and how one knows it (epistemology), and what can be said to exist (metaphysics). [2]

Defining philosophy is controversial in part because it is also its own subject; accordingly, there are diverse definitions of philosophy. Some describe philosophy as a form of intellectual enquiry which uses critical analysis and reasoning, as well as dialogue or introspection, to solve seemingly intractable problems. [3] Others claim that philosophy examines the process of examination itself. Still others argue that philosophy is continuous with the best practices in every intellectual field. [4]

Although the word "philosophy" originates in the Western tradition, seminal figures in the history of the East have addressed similar topics in similar ways. [5] Contemporary Western philosophy is divided into continental and analytic traditions.

The above version uses tertiary sources the Oxford and Penguin (!) dictionary. WP:OR recommends not using tertiary sources.

Neat version

Most definitions of Philosophy (from the Greek, philos, love + sophia, wisdom), are fairly controversial. In general, philosophy is concerned with critical or systematic enquiries related to what should be done, (ethics), what we can know (epistemology), and the fundamental elements and general nature of existence (metaphysics and ontology).[6]

The definition of philosophy is controversial because one of the subject's own projects is to enquire critically into its own nature. Because of this, many important philosophers have proposed new definitions of philosophy as part of their work.

The neat version admits the difficulty and in so doing manages to sum up not only philosophy but all the bits on this talk page. --Lucas 22:06, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Keep Snake, because it attempts with some success to say what philosophy does - but lose the comments with cites 9 and 10 for reasons above. KD Tries Again 22:22, 18 January 2007 (UTC)KD

My vote goes for the neat version, as well as my appreciate of the work done by User:KD Tries Again, Yours truly, --Ludvikus 23:43, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

As I said above, I think it is time to give the intro a rest. If we all take about a month off, we will return refreshed and with clearer heads. Meanwhile, the professional philosophers can work on the subsections. See you in March. Rick Norwood 01:00, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

The "neat version" completely fails to give even the most tentative of descriptions over what philosophy means, which is why I reject it { Ben S. Nelson } Lucidish 03:35, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

W. Windelband - History Ancient Philosophy

       . . . Greek philosophy, . . . in the development of
  the intellectual life of Europe.
       The emphasis falls primarily upon the lifting of mere knowing to the plane of systematic
  knowledge, or science. Not content with his storing of practical facts,
  and with his fantastic speculations born of his religious needs,
  the Greek sought knowledge for its own sake. Knowledge, like art,
  was developed as an independent function from its involvement
  in the other activities of civilization. . . .
       It is, . . . the birth of the separate sciences. For the process of differentiation,
  which begins with distinguishing thought from conduct and mythology,
  was continued within the domain of science itself. With the accumulation and organic
  arrangement of its facts, the early, simple, and unitary science to which the Greeks
  gave the name φιλοσοφία, divided into the special sciences, the single φιλοσοφίαι,
  and these then continued to develop on more or less independent lines.
  [Links added]] - History of Ancient Philosophy (1900) (Dover: 1956), pp. 1-2

I shall supply the 2 omitted Greek words shortly. Yours truly, --Ludvikus 02:54, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Done. --Ludvikus 03:54, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Philosophy as Logic under Frege and Russell and England

Dear Wiki colleagues, I thought I'd give you guys and/or gals a gift or brake by filling in the body of the article, regarding Analytic and Continental philosophy - something we're pondering besides the opening. I'll work on it later - unless someone beats me to it and improves my work.

Now I know some of you have your doubts, but I do have a life, and need to eat, if not to sleep and dream . . . philosophia . . .
Yours truly, --Ludvikus 07:39, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Snake vs neat

I don't like the neat. But I don't like the snake either. Some reasons:

1. Metaphysics is about "what can be said to exist"? False, without further qualification. Usually said to be about what 'ultimately' or 'really' exists, or something similar.

2. "Defining philosophy is controversial in part because it is also its own subject" is clumsy – what does it mean? If it means that the subject of philosophy is philosophy, then as KD pointed out, the subject of literature is literature.

3. The claim that there are 'diverse definitions of philosophy' is not true. Definition of philosophy shows that there is remarkable agreement among philosophers about what philosophy is. Or rather, as Quinton says, there are interesting definitions, which do tend to be controversial, and there are dull ones, which are not so. As KD says, look on the prospectus of any reputable university, and see how it describes itself to prospective students. There you see remarkable agreement.

4. But the most misleading bit is the whole thread of 'some .. others … still others'. This, coupled with the earlier insistence on the diversity and disagreement between definitions, suggests quite inaccurately that these 3 groups disagree with each other. Not at all. Nearly all philosophers would say that philosophy uses critical analysis and reasoning, i.e. that is its method. And nearly all would also agree that philosophy, unlike many other disciplines which are defined by their subject matter. "It is by its methods rather than its subject matter that philosophy is to be distinguished from other arts or sciences" (who said that?). Correct. The subject matter can be pretty much anything (though usually limited to the usual suspects). The method, by contrast, is its defining characteristic. KD said "I'd repeat that it's very important to say something about the way philosophy answers those questions, because novels, poems, churches, politicians and exotic cults also address them." Asolutely. We seem to have lost that. Anyway. The first group (the 'some') are in fact the majority of philosophers. The second group are the ones who 'claim that philosophy examines the process of examination itself', i.e. think of philosophy as somehow second-order. This forms a sub-group of the first. The third group think that 'philosophy is continuous with the best practices in every intellectual field' – still not sure what this means (and it will certainly be unintelligible to the average reader of the article), but I know from Ben it was intended to be a group that disagreed with the assessment of philosophy as second-order.

5. I don’t like 'seminal figures in the history of the East', but that's a point of style. Seminal figures of what? Why 'seminal'.

6. Don't like 'Contemporary Western philosophy is divided into continental and analytic traditions' because it introduces an idea without definition and explanation. If I know no mathematics, and I am reading an article to understand it, it does not help in the slightest to know that it is divided into pure and applied mathematics. Whats that?

This comment displays a mis-understanding of contemporary philosophy. If I wanted to study the politics of the world during the latter half of the 20th century, the essential thing was to know the major two political divisions, and which were used as excuses for many international affairs, wars, coups etc. If was easy to define/explain it would not be what it is. --Lucas 11:00, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Also not touched upon in this, though it could be, is that the extent of disagreement depends on whether we are talking about the method, the subject matter or the goal of philosophy. Pretty much anyone with any philosophical training agrees that the defining mark of philosophy is its method (see above). Regarding the subject matter, there is deep disagreement between anti-metaphysicians who think philosophy has no subject matter at all, and is really about clarifying our thought, and the metaphysicians who think e.g. that there really is something there that is the special subject of philosophy. But that is really a division into two, not a diversity. Then about the goal of philosophy, almost complete disagreement everywhere. Is it curative? Is it to discover the fundamental nature of reality? Is it to reconcile faith and reason? Everyone will give a different answer.

Could I congratulate all participants on generally being to the point, not using double-spacing, avoiding gratuitous capitalisation and generally not ranting. It's looking a lot more house-trained. Best. Dbuckner 09:21, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree with almost all of that, and especially the bits which quote me. Well done. Lucas is right that the split matters and must be dealt with; but it must be dealt with accurately and must not become the fulcrum of the whole article. KD Tries Again 15:35, 19 January 2007 (UTC)KD

No consensus on Snake Vs Neat

Seems like the same divisions appear again here on the talk page that seem to reflect the argument over rationalism.

Those who want the "snake" version of the intro: KD Tries Again, Lucidish and Dbuckner

Those who want the "neat" version: Lucas, Ludvikus, Rick Norwood.

The difference being, I suppose some want some kind of definition of what philsophy does in the intro, others think it is not possible to do it. This article is old enough and has millions of different 'pet' definitions in the intro.

If you want to have any possibility of a stable version that can be developed in future, then we should put a note on the talk page "Warning: no defintions of philosophy in the intro". --Lucas 14:56, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

We should work with the neat version - and build it up! Step by step!
It is to be noted that KD Tries Again is a newcomer to the debate - one day.
Lucas has been on the page since 2004.
Accordingly, my (reasonable) tally of the vote is 3 for "neat"; 2 + 1 newcomer "against."
Yehhhh. "neat" wins - so much for "rationality"!
Yours truly, --Ludvikus 15:07, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Editing protocols

I suppose that I should start by saying that, if I had to choose one or the other, the so-called "snake" version is clearly preferable, though I'm not completely happy with it (why is there a link for "from"? It looks very odd, and when I checked other articles it doesn't seem to be the standard approach).

My main concern, though, is for information. OK, there is one editor who seems to operate by writing large amounts of rather disconnected and often insulting stream-of-consciousness stuff in broken English, and whose edits to the article are generally peculiar. But even part from him, I can't see any real structure. Are we supposed to discuss things here, and when agreement or compromise is reached change the article (which was how I started), or are we supposed to just jump in, change the article to our own preferences, watch someone else change it back, then change it back again, with an occasional bit of argument here (which is what actually seems to be most people's way)? It doesn't seem that there's much point my doing either, as - on the evidence of the above "discussions" - rational argument is mainly ignored or not understood by some of the more prolific contributors, and those same contributors won't allow anything to stay with which they disagree.

In other words, what I suppose I'm asking is this: is there any point my hanging around here? --Peter J King 15:13, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Actually, I should add that the recent discussion has been better, and I shall join in when I've thought more about it -- but it does seem to be a blip in the normal course of things. --Peter J King

Another devolpment is that we have managed to convince one or two of the "snake" editors that philosophy is not just Western and not just rationality or a way to rationalise things in the world.
Now we move on to issues, such as can it be called "intellectual enquiry" and "critical analysis" or "solving problems". Many philosophers debate these things and so it is hard to say without be biased. Until we can agree them I think they should be removed from the intro.
Good to hear you might help us, as you sound quite experienced in these matter. One problem on here has been the appropriation of words like "rational" it is often just a way of saying "I'm right you are wrong". Though I'm sure you don't do that. Rational is really an outcome in my opinion, when enough agree on a way forward.
--Lucas 15:31, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
I strongly endorse the idea that material for a section which has become controversial is discussed here first, rather than posted, changed, changed back, and eventually left in a mess. I am worried that any phrase which attempts to characterize philosophical method will be unacceptable to one or two editors here because they can cite methodological disagreements among philosophers. But for an encyclopaedia article, a general characterization of what philosophy is and does is unavoidable, whatever specific qualifications one might make, either in the body of the article, or in articles about individual philosophers to which it links. My invitation remains to give me an example of any philosopher who does not proceed, one way or another, and at least much of the time, by advancing arguments. KD Tries Again 15:40, 19 January 2007 (UTC)KD
Lucas: to clarify, I never claimed that "rationality" and "western-hood" were necessary / sufficient conditions for philosophy { Ben S. Nelson } Lucidish 15:46, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
No but others have, sorry to lump you with them. The issue now is about "intellectual enquiry", "critical analysis" reasoning etc.
Dbuckner why do you insist defining philosophy is unavoidable in the intro. Is this need to capture in one sentence the meaning of philosophy (or as you say its "general character") a false one. Can you not let the rest of the page do it and avoid such false security. --Lucas 16:00, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't know exactly what Lucas means about "rational". I've looked at some of what has been said about it here, and it seems that some people are using it in very odd ways. I get the feeling that there's some confusion between "rational" and seventeenth-century Rationalism (very different notions), but often I just can't work out what is meant. Perhaps, given that it is a bone of contention, editors who disagree over its inclusion could say here what they mean by the term. I'll kick off:

A belief, process of thought, argument, action, etc., is rational if it is consistent with logic, is consonant with a relevant goal. Rationality isn't isolated, though; in order for something to be rational, its starting points (premises, goals, background beliefs, etc.) must also be rational.

That's not perfect, and is just off the top of my head, but it's a start, and is roughly right I think.

About the question of defining philosophy in the introduction, I don't really see how anything else could count as an introduction. --Peter J King 16:08, 19 January 2007 (UTC)


I really intended to leave the introduction alone for at least a month, but I hate to let "eg" with no periods stand. Also, there is a problem that schools of philosophy are given as examples of "seminal figures".

I would like to change the sentence that now reads:

"Although the word "philosophy" originates in the Western tradition, seminal figures in the history of the East have addressed similar topics in similar ways (eg Jnana or Gyan). [4]"


"Although the word "philosophy" originates in the Western tradition, other cultures have addressed similar topics in similar ways, for example in Jnana or Gyan. [4]"

I will refrain from doing so if there is even one objection. Rick Norwood 15:17, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

That's much better. --Peter J King 15:27, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree that you should make this change, so go ahead whether you agree with the below or not itis better.

However, I don't think you need the "Although the word philosophy". Since 99% of the words in English originate in the West or at least as Indo-European. Better just to say Philosophy is not localizable and includes philosophers from all over the world, from China (Confucious Lao Tzu etc) to India, Europe and the U.S. Historically it is probably localizable to the last 3000 years or so. --Lucas 15:41, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Good { Ben S. Nelson } Lucidish 15:49, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Snake (ugly) version - cleaned

Look at it's cleanup version:

  Defining philosophy is controversial in part because
  it is also its own subject;
  accordingly, there are diverse  definitions of philosophy.
  For example: one describes philosophy as a form of intellectual enquiry
  which uses critical analysis and reasoning,
  as well as dialogue or introspection,
  to solve seemingly intractable problems.
  another claims that philosophy examines the process of examination itself;
  still another argues that philosophy is continuous with the best practices
  in every intellectual field. [8]
  Emphasis/boldface added

It's an arbitrary sampling, with the most uninformed choice of vocabulary.

It is a-historical in the extreme. It is a prime example of what happens when a horse is designed by an arbitrary committe of shoemakers - you get a camel?
We should look at things as follows:
1st: West: Philosophy Thought - Mythology = Science.
2nd: East: Chinese philosophy, Hindue philosophy.
The Only way to go is start with West, and do it from a historical point of view;

then come back and do it in all the other place - and you cannot omit African philosophy or you will be labeled a Racist; acknowledge the Unity of European civilization - it is the civilization which is now associated with Abrahamism; or Jews, Christians, and Muslims, with their intellectual traditions intermingling, especially when it comes to Philosophy; there would be no philosophy in the West as we know it, if it had not passed through the hands of the believers in Muhammed. And the role of Mathematics and Logic must be accounted for.

But lets take things one at a time.
Yours truly, --Ludvikus 15:42, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

This article is on philosophy, not the history of philosophy { Ben S. Nelson } Lucidish 15:52, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

I think the point is missed, though you might like it, there is no clear line between the history of philosophy and philosophy.

The point is, do we give a definition or characterization of philosophy as is thought in 2007 somewhere in the U.S., or in Analytic, or do we go for a broader definition, and include postmodernism, and historically, include perhaps what Hume or Kant or a Modernist like Russell might have believed it was. --Lucas 16:16, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

No doubt that if and when someone misses the point, it may be because the point is invisible. You're not talking about "the point", as in Lud's point, which had nothing to do with what you attribute to him in this section, and everything to do with what he really said: 'start with the West', a 'historical point of view'. I don't feel strongly about this one way or the other -- it depends on how it is executed. But my first reaction is "we already have a historical narrative in the body of the article". My second reaction is "we need to be economical if this proposal is supposed to be in the intro". Third: history should not replace descriptions (note, descriptions not definitions) of philosophy. The very fact that these two things (description of philosophy vs. history of philosophy) are not coextensive, and interchangeable, shows that there is a line between the two disciplines, no matter how blurry one would like to imagine that line is { Ben S. Nelson } Lucidish 20:31, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Some Historical notes on the Analytic side of the Schism

Initial comments (and my POV is that the dose of 1066 and all that cold war history is way too large for a section in an encyc article on philosophy):

1. " well known commentator of that time" - an odd description of Marx, but in any case he was writing in 1847, not the time under discussion. Next sentence has us in the 1950s.

2. It's not the case that communist literature and ideas could not be read or studied in the United States at any time because of the 'red scare'. In the 1950s, for example, some of the leading intellectuals in the country were the Marxist and Trotskyist writers associated with the Partisan Review and openly discussing leftist politics (cite Barrett, The Truants; cf Wiki article on Sidney Hook). It was membership of the party that was problematic - quite a different thing.

3. "no such intense stigma" in Britain and Europe? Cites, please. Britain may have been less hostile than the States, but stigma there was. And it is wildly simplistic to include Germany, Italy, Spain without qualification - countries where being a communist could get you killed during large chunks of the vaguely defined period we're in.

4. I like the idea of Bertie Russell "coming along", but he was around before 1911 - see Wiki biblio, and discussed Frege way before that (ibid). PM was "seminal"? Cite please. The math summary is unintelligible.

5. "Hegel had already show Kant's a priori necessary to be more complex issue. But for Russell, the last remaining subject which remained a priori necessary was arithmetic." Well Hegel rejected Kant's position - if that's relevant here. The second sentence is not true - the truths of logic and mathematics were necessary truths for Russell (analytic a priori - he differed from Kant, who thought them synthetic a priori). But in this context - so what? It's a development of Hume, nothing more.

6. And then there's the last bit.

KD Tries Again 16:00, 19 January 2007 (UTC)KD

Well I would agree considering what you say above that we should fix up this "Some Historical notes on the Analytic side of the Schism" section and include your comments above.

By the way Hegel did not "reject Kant" out of hand, he included him from a higher level. It was Kant that showed Hegel the way to his own philosophy, as he clearly admits. Though the idea of universal and eternal 'a priori' insofar as it characterises Kant and his, de jure, "best explanation" I agree was changed, he dropped the eternal bit, but the synthetic idea was kept. On the eternal, Hegel did not deny it, he has lots to say about it, but I do not find them well translated. --Lucas 16:09, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

You are misreading. Hegel rejected the specific position of Kant's under discussion. The problem with "fixing up" this section, and the introductory material on the schism, is that you have to look at the main points being put across. To the extent I understand Ludvikus, his main point in the first three paragraphs is that reading Marxist theory was hindered in the U.S. for political reasons, but less so in Europe. Since this isn't really true, I don't much want to "fix up" those paragraphs, but would like to get a consensus for deleting them. The discussion of Russell and Frege is pertinent, but needs to be written by someone with expertise - it's highly technical. KD Tries Again 16:21, 19 January 2007 (UTC)KD
The misreading is yours I'm afraid. Hegel would be nothing without Kant. Hegel didnt really "reject" any historical philosophy they remained "live" moments of his greater scheme. What he did I suppose was expand Kant, the a priori is returned to mean "previous" as in historical, rather than eternal.
On the subsection though, I do not think it is a good idea to delete all of Ludvikus' work. I think the issue, though it is not entirely correct, does have some truth. That you do not wish to do that work and prefer to make long discussions here is censorious. Do you not think that the "red scare" was more virulent in the U.S.? People lost their jobs all over the place and were banned from the media. On the other hand in France and Germany there were well respected and highly acclaimed, intellectuals, who appeared on TV and were openly Marxist. I'm thinking of people like Sartre. It may also be relevant to why the Frankfurters returned to Germany.
--Lucas 16:45, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, Hegel did not accept Kant's account of the analytic and synthetic a prioris; check the Logic. I think you know that, but still wish to contradict me. No matter. I do not wish to delete all Ludvikus work, but rather to achieve a consensus on whether the main point is both true and worth inclusion - if not, it is a waste of everyone's time to revise it. Your history is inaccurate. First, Ludvikus is unclear throughout on which period he is discussing. In the 1930s and 1940s, being a communist in fascist Europe put you at risk of death, which is arguably worse than being blacklisted. This is why so many Marxist theorists came to the United States and taught there (many were Jewish also, of course). Adorno, Marcuse, Horkheimer - you'll find hundreds of names in J-M Palmier, Weimar in Exile. So, in fact, the cutting edge of European Marxist thought relocated to the States in the post-war era - fewer figures ultimately ending up in Eastern Europe - Lukacs, Bloch and Brecht after first living in the States. Yes, members of the Frankfurt school returned to Germany, for a number of reasons - but NOT because they were barred from reading or teaching Marxist theory. If you need cites to lectures given by Adorno in the States, let me know - I have them. So it's a nuanced history, and the assumption from which Ludvikus launches, that Marxism couldn't be read or taught in the States, not supported by the evidence. Furthermore - you really want this history of post-war philosophical Marxism contained within the Analytic/Continental section of the article??? KD Tries Again 17:29, 19 January 2007 (UTC)KD
Also - please see my further citations in support of Ryle's engagement with German phenomenology above. If you wish to retain the entry as written, you do need to give a reason. KD Tries Again 17:32, 19 January 2007 (UTC)KD

Anyhow let us, like good Analytics, move off Hegel. You make good points and I know many people moved around during the war years to the USSR, to Britain and the US. Many returned others took up their home abroad.

I think that the point Ludvikus tries to make is that perhaps the Cold War which lasted until 1989 had an effect on the open appearance of Marxism in the U.S. more than it might have had in post-war Europe. There were many powerful communist parties in Europe at that time, in the U.S., well really it remained(s) locked in civil war political division of Dems and Reps. I think the effect on the teaeching of Marxism in the US is not easily explained. I suppose now that the cold war is behind us all undergrad philosophy students learn about Marx in the U.S.?

How relevant is this to the section on the analytic side of the schism? Is it something better covered in the Analytic page because it does not directly relate to the schism? I think it is worth keeping, how much though, I'm not sure, so I would say leave it there or edit it even if that means only one line is left in the end. (note, I can't find the citation about Ryle you mention) --Lucas 18:23, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

But the cold war did not block the teaching of Marxist and leftist philosophy in universities, or the reading and writing of such philosophy. Do you need list of left-wing academic thinkers active in United States between 1945 and 1989? I would rather not provide it, because it is not going to help the Philosophy article get written. You discussed the Ryle cite on my User Talk page. I quoted his praise of Heidegger from the original article, cited Dummett's account of Ryle teaching Husserl, Brentano and other German philosophers at Oxford in the 1920s, offered circumstantial evidence that a young British philosopher in his twenties would hardly do such teaching, including reading those works in the original German, and write a long review for Mind if his attitude could accurately be summarized as "dismissive" - and I asked, and ask again, for the actual comment from Prado which is your only cite. KD Tries Again 20:40, 19 January 2007 (UTC)KD
This is a counterfactual, the cold war of course had an effect on the academic climate. Not only that but because there was only a tiny communist part in the US compared with some of the majority or close majority parties in Europe the social and monetary support was less. Of all the Analytic philosophers you can think of how many give any space to Marxism? In Analytic Marxism is divided into a sub department called "Political Philosophy", a number of whom Rawls and Nozick come out with very different ideas than Marx. Its effect on the rest of Analytic, that is the bulk of English-speaking philosophy is invisible.
Again I note your reluctance to provide material. Be daring!
You quote Ryle out of context the bulk of the review was "negative and dismissive" as the referenced appraisal of the entire review says in the article (as opposed to your own surmising) The point is that hardly any other other Analytic philosopher took up Heidegger, and in contrast on the Continent he was seen as a new Descartes or something. They were falling over themselves to ge out their own version of Heideggers work. That Ryle spent time on Husserl and Brentano is a private affair in some sense since it had little knock on effect. Do you see him reference much in he main work?

--Lucas 22:01, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Ludvikus' short comments and quotes on Marcus, Chomsky and Cognitive Science

Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979)

Lucas is right! I'm afraid,You have to try again. And by the way, have you heard of Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979). I love my country, the United States. But to have you come along and deny the effect of McCarthism suggests you must be a very well sheltered younster living on Park Avenue.
Russell and Wittgenstein dominate post-WWI America, with Quine in tow. --Ludvikus 17:43, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
By the way - I'm only pointing out that such a dismissive view of yours can only mean that Marxists are right - that we can only expect you to express the views of Capitalism. You do not demonstrate objectivity by unilaterally offering to delete. If you delete me, I'll delete you.
Do you follow my argument above?
Please do not take it personally - it's not intended to be so.
However, you have expressed yourself as an authority on Truth above.
Regards, --Ludvikus 17:47, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
The significance of McCarthyism to the rise of analytic philosophy is clearly controversial. John McCumber, probably the most significant proponent of the thesis, writes the he "will argue these points in turn and as strongly as the written record enables me to do. That will not be strongly enough, I think, to establish definitively that the McCarthy Era decisively shaped subsequent American philosophy. What the record does show, and amply, is that the possibility should not continue to be passed over in silence."[2] That is, even he does not think the issue is cut and dried. So it's clearly inappropriate for the Wikipedia article to make a strong claim that the analytic/continental division is due to McCarthyism, although it's quite right to mention it, sourced to McCumber. Aside from that, it strikes me as clearly wrong, and bizarre, to clutter up the article with a detailed explanation of Marxism and McCarthyism - we can explain their relevance in a sentence or two, and refer readers to the articles on the topic for more detail. VoluntarySlave 20:41, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
I won't be responding to the personal abuse, Ludvikus, so you might save your fingers. That Marcuse lived and taught Marxist critical theory in the United States until he died at a grand age in California seems to support my position rather than yours.
VS, I'm not familiar with McCumber's position, but I think we can readily agree that the article cannot both trace the analytic/continental division to the late 19th Century and to McCarthyism. If there is a point worth making, it needs to be made differently. I do query whether it's notable enough for this very general article. KD Tries Again 20:48, 19 January 2007 (UTC)KD

I do not like the word "Schism", but otherwise Lucas is correct about the Gulf between the Continent of Europe and Anglo-America. So I side with him.

The brake, I think is tracable to the Rationalists/Empiricist split. And we must trace its history, step by step; so it's better if you take an issue at a time. --Ludvikus 18:23, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Yours truly, --Ludvikus 18:30, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Noam Chomsky

You must try again on dismissing Noam - just because he's an Anarchist, and your views are reflective of Capitalism, is insufficient.

Noam also revolutionized Philosophy by almost single-handly converting it into Linguistics for you to come along and label him as not being a Philosopher is uninformed in the extreme. Transformational grammar has had the effect of converting Philosophy into Linguistics. Now you and I may not subscribe to such a view - but at least I acknowledge its existence. --Ludvikus 18:39, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
That Chomsky had an influence on philosophy is one thing, that he is a philosopher is another. Besides, the question is whether the Chomsky/Foucault debate is significant in reference to the analytic/continental distinction; I don't see that it is, as their disagreements concerned human nature and the consequences for radical politics, which is not, AFAIK, an area of disagreement between analytic and continental philosophy. VoluntarySlave 20:33, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Cognitive science

In Philosophy, historically, that's another moment we'll have to get to. --Ludvikus 18:42, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree with VS on the debate, of course. Whatever Chomsky's influence, he's not responsible for converting philosophy into "linguistics". The so-called "linguistic turn" is attributable to Frege, and Russell following Frege (see; and/or Russell and Moore, see; also see Dummet, Origins of Analytic Philosophy and Frege: Philosophy of Language; beginning of 20th century before Chomsky was born, see Come on, Ludvikus, let's have more cites, less POV. KD Tries Again 21:00, 19 January 2007 (UTC)KD

What is going on. Someone please stop this

This has gone too far. Ludvikus continues with a hyperactive series of illiterate, incomprehensible, unfactual and downright peculiar edits. Can something be done about this. It has gone completely out of control. For example:

  • Great Britain, until the 1940s, continued its Idealist and Hegelian traditions. (1066)
  • In 1911 Betrand Russell came along. (1066)
  • in his seminal work, written with Alfred North Whitehead, Principia Mathematica, in imitation of Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. (grammar, fact)
  • The work was founded upon Frege's logician. (gobbledegook)
  • Russell had mathematical interests, and had published his thesis as his second published book entitled the Foundations of Mathematics around the turn of the century. (date, name of book, fact)
  • The mathematicians, and philosophers had done, that the nature of geometry, whether it had this or that set of axioms, was an empirical question to be answered by scientists. (gibberish)

An earlier version of this sentence reads:

  • Great Britain, on the other hand, essentially merely continued its and Empiricist and Hegelian traditions until Betrand Russell came along. Russell's seminal work is Principia Mathematica, titled not accidently, to invoke the memory of Sir Isaac Newton, namely Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica.

This amounts to vandalism. I have deleted the lot. Dbuckner 19:30, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Wow, wow. You have 2 Philosopher Kings and now a VoluntarySlave working for you? Or is it rather that you're totally are incapable of quoting, or paraphrasing, someone? It looks to me like it's more your work, than mine. Maybe you are sincere, but you have this amazingly incredible ability of distorting someone's written views. May that's the problem - what you have done to me - you must do to all the philosophers you read. So the problem is that you actually extremely irratiuonal.
But perhaps I'm mistaken. You are innocent - it was done by your VoluntarySlave?
Is that really my writing style? It sure looks more like yours to me! Ludvikus 20:21, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Lucaas is responsible for much of that. Worth mentioning, just in case he wants to defend it { Ben S. Nelson } Lucidish 20:52, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Dbuckner on Rubbish and Rationality

Please stop writing rubbish on the Philosophy page

Stop now. I am reverting anything whatever that you do here. Dbuckner 19:40, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Thank you very much, garbage man. At what hours do you take out the trash? --Ludvikus 19:54, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Is this rubbish too? Sanitation man?

The Newton - Liebniz rivalry

  The Calculus, as as new Branch of mathematics, had been invented independently
  by Newton and Liebniz. It enabled Newton to revolutionize Physics,
  which at his time was thought of as being a branch of natural philosophy.
  The calculus enabled natural philosophers to offer an account for the physics of motion
  and the mathematics of the infinite.
  Newton, an Englishman, subsequently accused Leibniz, a German, of having stolen from him
  the fundamental ideas of the new calculus, and Newton, vindictively,
  used his position as President of the Royal Society
  to marginalize Leibniz's independent accomplishments.
  The result was a schism between England and the Continent in accordance
  with national feelings and corresponding loyalties to Newton or Leibniz accordingly.

I find it incredible - the extent of your irrational conduct at undermining me because you do not agree with me on my philosophical work here. What you are doing is a personal attack upon me. You now full we that it's a substantial distortion on your part - and constitutes a personal attack. And you keep saying that philosophy is rational?

Newton would do that to Leibniz, what you do to me here.
But Newton was a genius. How do you see yourself? Ludvikus 20:36, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Where does the weird stuff in the box come from? Is it supposed to be an authority? Pity about the spelling. KD Tries Again 21:07, 19 January 2007 (UTC)KD
Is the Newton-Leibniz rivalry really significant enough to include on this page? It didn't (AFAIK) have much of an impact on philosophy. If we want to include philosophical grudge matches, Descartes vs. Hobbes strikes me as a better one, as it leads into a discussion of the rationalist/empiricist split. VoluntarySlave 20:54, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
It's Leibniz; the debate is mainly found in the Leibniz-Clarke correspondence. It's relevant, mainly to Kant, at a very abstruse level. I have written about it. It's tedious. We don't need it. Let's get the bare bones right. KD Tries Again 21:07, 19 January 2007 (UTC)KD
This isn't the place for a discussion of N. vs. L., fascinating as the story is; I would think that Berkeley's criticisms of N.'s methods would be more relevant (but still too detailed for this page). If absolutely necessary, simply refer the reader to a history of the calc. page (surely it's addressed several times in WP). JJL 04:23, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
the lack of scholarship is incredible - as is the mediocrity. It shows that no one knows what it's all about - Russell and Wittgenstein. This is the stuff of which 2oth century Anglo-American Philosophy is made of? It is common knowledge to anyone who has read read [[Bertrand Russell] substantial work -- not just popular work, like Marriage and Morals. You guys just gave me an idea - I should just write a book - make money - and you could quote me. I see it as main events that are common knowledge of those in the field. --Ludvikus 03:23, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Shortening the analytic/continental divide

Ludvikus: I'm sorry our edits crossed over, meaning that I removed a lot of your text just after you'ld added it. However, I do think we should try and be concise, and that my version included the key points from what you had added. Over and above that, what I was trying to do with my version was make the section more coherent and easier for the reader to follow, explaining first the history and then moving onto the matter of the division between analytic and continental philosophy, rather than simply listing differences with little or no structure. So, if you do want to add some of the detail from your version back in (and I'd encourage you to think whether it's really necessary before you do so), please try and integrate it with what I've written, rather than reverting wholesale. VoluntarySlave 20:47, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

This is not right, you appear on here, work had been done by Ludvikus, DBuckner and myself. You revert it all. This section in my opinion is not at the standard to be set in revising the article as a whole. You seem to want small blocky sections with long continuus paragraphs and blocks of dense text. Is it not strange that the only contribution you have to make just happens to be in an area of the page that other people have been working on. Try another section. I will try and restore the work done by the three editors. Your changes were essentially a revert and block any move to redo the article. --Lucas 21:16, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

(Ludvikus, for reasons best known to himself, copied this over from his talk page - that's why I was specifically addressing him) I don't see how you can characterize my changes as a revert: I specifically attempted to include the information that had been added about Russell and about McCarthyism. Could you say specifically what's wrong with the changes I made? VoluntarySlave 21:28, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Please see discussion above in section "Some Historical notes on the Analytic side of the Schism" this covers the changes needed to the material, dont just reowrd it all without taking on the comments by DBucker and other editors who have made much discussion of it.--Lucas 21:23, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Stop reverting each other

We have been doing well until now with not reverting.

Can I ask you both to stop doing complete reverts, the page will just get locked.

If someone is going to add anything major (ie, a new paragraph) to the page might you also put the text in here. We can then comment on it and reach a consensus or suggest improvements. I ask this because with all the reverts of reverts it is hard to know what is being contested. --Lucas 20:42, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Another user Voluntary Slave is making major changes to the page, would you please discuss it here before making those changes. Again I remind you of the ground rules I took from Banno's post when he unlocked the page and to prevent another lock:

1. No reverts

2. Improve what is there

3. Avoid personal attacks

4. Being right can be wrong

--Lucas 20:54, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Lucas, I've been asking you repeatedly to post major text here rather than just add it to the page - notably the material from your deleted article on the schism. Please take your own advice. KD Tries Again 21:09, 19 January 2007 (UTC)KD

Lucas, please stop reverting to the discredited material in the Schism section - you or Ludvikus or anyone interested needs to deal with the critiques on this page by myself, DBruckner and Voluntary Slave. The material is unacceptably inaccurate. I only just noticed the comment that Russell was "somewhat successful" with Principia Mathematica, whereas in fact a difficulty in logic of sets he was unable to solve drove him almost to suicide. See a biography. KD Tries Again 21:15, 19 January 2007 (UTC)KD

Lucas just reverted again. The page can only be written by consensus. KD Tries Again 21:27, 19 January 2007 (UTC)KD

Exactly agree here first. This removal of basically the last 24 hours edits was not agreed here at all.

I have not reverted anything, I have added back the work that you and I and Ludvikus were doing, see section "Some Historical notes on the Analytic side of the Schism", are we to assume that talk here is pointless, if you just go and in the middle of a discussion just decide to remove everything!

By the way "somewhat unsucessful" is typical British understatement and not to be taken literally. I agree there are lots of problems with the "Analytic side of the schism" but we talk here about it and then decide. I would make the edits you suggest to that section which was added by Ludvikus but have not time. --Lucas 21:31, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Somewhat "successful", not "unsuccessful" - it's not a quote from Russell, and it's wrong.

The record is clear. Ludvikus posted his history with no discussion here. Several editors pointed out the horde of errors on this Talk page, and quite rightly removed it. Rather than the errors being addressed, it keeps getting re-posted. Similarly, the material from your deleted article was published without any discussion here first. The Voluntary Slave version (if that's where the credit goes) is at least better. Your principle seems to be that if you post something, then it can't be deleted without discussion. The principle ought to be not to post something without discussing it first. The page needs to be locked down, with the spontaneous and undiscussed contributions removed. KD Tries Again 21:35, 19 January 2007 (UTC)KD
I'm sorry Lucas, but it's very misleading of you to say that you "have not reverted anything." Reverting is precisely what you've done - you haven't just added deleted material, integrating it with other changes; you've undone re-organization and re-phrasing of the section. If you think these changes made are iredeemably bad, and so there's no point trying to work with them, fine; but don't claim that that isn't a reversion. VoluntarySlave 21:39, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Correct. And the changes were an improvement. KD Tries Again 21:45, 19 January 2007 (UTC)KD

Several editors? who? I agree that section that Ludvikus added has problems but I thought we were discussing them here (see above section). I claim it is not a reversion because what I was doing was restoring work done by a number of editors over the past day or so that you just removed en bulk.

I suppose I have a positive view to this, otherwise we just get stuck, and I suppose it is like this, if someone spends time adding referenced material etc. then it should largely stay unless we discuss it here and agree it is wrong, what I find happening is that some are not contributing at all and just following other editors and removing their stuff, perhaps they like conflict or something but they seem to have no expertise themselves to go and edit one of the other 28 subsection sin the article. --Lucas 21:47, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Several editors: myself, Buckner, Voluntary Slave, but you can easily look and see. Buckner removed the Ludvikus section, I removed it again after it was restored. I haven't knowingly removed your work - VS improved it considerably in the light of the conversation here, but you reverted. As for commenting on expertise, please respond to the criticisms here - mine are as thoroughly backed by citations as I can make them on the run. The Ryle point, for example. It will not go away. We cannot proceed with editors posting material which citations cannot possibly support and then defending it to the death by reversion. KD Tries Again 21:59, 19 January 2007 (UTC)KD

I do not think you are accurate anout what Lucaas has done. For Lucas is correct. What you say he has done is simply not true. He is dedicated - and keeps telling that he's willing to discuss. It is Dbuckner who is reverting - how come you do not see that? And You seem not to be able to tell the work of VoluntarySlave to which Dbrucker has state is trash which will revert. He thinks its my work - but it is not. Perhaps you should slow down a bit and see whose doing what? Ludvikus 22:16, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Analytic/continental schism

What ought we to say about this? It seems to me there are a few things we could include:

  • The philosophical genealogy of the split: Russell and Moore's rejection of Hegelianism and move to analysis, the Vienna Circle's rejection of metaphysics and move to formalization. Probably something about contemporary alternatives that resisted the analytic approach on the continent (i.e., Russell/Moore and the Vienna Circle tells us why analytic philosophy is as it is; it would be good to explain something about why continental is as it is).
  • The institutional changes: the rise to dominance of analytic philosophy in English-speaking countries in the '50s and '60s (if that time period is indeed the correct one - it's the one claimed by Rorty). We could attempt to explain this by reference to McCumber's book on McCarthyism, or we could leave the issue of explanation out altogether.
  • A brief statement contrasting the subject matter and methods of the two approaches (I'm not sure of a good source for this).
  • Something about the contemporary status of the divide - a broadly recognized division, with some people working across the divide (e.g. analytic work on Nietzsche and others; Derrida translating Quine? I don't know).
  • Possibly examples of interactions between the two traditions. I don't know if this is really worth including, except to give examples of the hostility and misunderstanding that has often characterized the relation between the two.

VoluntarySlave 21:57, 19 January 2007 (UTC)


1. To the Russell and Moore and Vienna Circle stories, add the divergence of Husserl from Frege - who initially were very close. I can do that from Dummett, Mohanty, etc.

2. Why continental is as it is. I need to think. They didn't stick with Hegel - there was a Hegel revival led by Koyre in - what - the '30s? What happened mean-time? Phenomenology - what else? Other than, of course, the analytic work being done on the continent. I will try to refresh my memory over the weekend.

3. Subject matter/ methods. This is tough. There is actually something decent on the Continental Phil page - skepticism about abstraction - but it needs fleshing out.

4. I can provide references on crossing the divide.

5. A few interactions - fine, if we can find good ones. There plenty of bust-ups involving Derrida, but we need more for it to be worthwhile.

Oh yes, and let's not forget structuralism. Everybody wants to talk about post-modernism, but structuralism comes first.

KD Tries Again 22:10, 19 January 2007 (UTC)KD

I made a comment on Ryle above, I also note that inone of his bibliographies he notes UT Place, Wittgenstein, Tolman and Sherrington, no Heidegger, no Husserl. In fact he considered phenomenology as a fallacy.

I remind you both that where you areas of interest are there are 28 other sections here and you dont have to just do what I do, though it is flattering. As to the importance of this section. I think it is probably needs a good bit of space many of the other areas have their own pages. And this is perhaps the best place for a contentious issue that affect philosophy in a general way.

On 1-5 above: 1. The discussion needs to balance both Analytic and Continental. So a long discussion of how Analytic formed is not suitable. This is better put on the Analytic page (especially if you want a smaller section, though I'd prefer to see it grow and then take it back).

2. The 40s 50s institutional dominance is already well covered with the quote from Rorty. If you want to expand this part. How will you do it?

3. Giving examples of hostility is essential. The other way is to do as Babich notes, to underestimate the difference and make for not only a dull article but also deceive people into thinking it is just a technical point.

4. A small amount on the "bridges" between the two since again as the referenced material states the schism has been ever-widening over the past few decades and it would be misleading to pretend it was easily overcome. (also note Rorty notes only about 10% of philosophers read both sides of the schism.

5. Overall the need is to avoid long descriptions of Analytic on its own or Continental on its own there are already long pages on these and their history.

6. A good discussion of how the two differ is needed also some commonality.

--Lucas 22:27, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

There's a link to a debate between Michel Foucault and Noam Chomsky on you tube that doesn't work. 23:13, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

=Big Insulter, bad editor, user to be blocked from use

Look, would you please just f--- off. OK Dbuckner 22:42, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

what to do

I've given up editing on the article. KD and VS have done sterling work but it seems pointless to do this when it will either get reverted or overwritten by two dyslexic morons. Are you two guys keeping your work? What you can do when this happens is work in a separate space in a collegiate way (i.e. discuss changes, have meaningful dialogue &c. It is absolutely pointless doing anything here. Dbuckner 22:19, 19 January 2007 (UTC) Dbuckner 22:19, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Whoops, back again. Ludicrous has just reverted to the version that has Russell writing the Foundations of Mathematics at 'the turn of the century'. Here we go ... Dbuckner 22:26, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

I do not find this comment helpful, "two dyslexic morons" well he scores again last time he insulted me it was far worse. If you have a problem with when Russel wrote something go and edit it. And stop complaining here, neither I nor the other editors should be subjected to your complaints, go and tell them to your family. --Lucas 22:30, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

There is no point in any editor making corrections, because you just revert. You did it to me, you did it to VS. You won't respond to the corrections and criticisms here, however well sourced. KD Tries Again 22:33, 19 January 2007 (UTC)KD
I don't care about reverts. It's the monstrosities he reverts that are the real crime against humanity. Dbuckner 22:36, 19 January 2007 (UTC)


In the likely event we get a revert, perhaps I can preserve this splendid effort by Ludvikus. How many errors can we spot? Dbuckner 22:35, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Great Britain, until the 1940s, continued its Idealist and Hegelian traditions. In 1911 Betrand Russell came along. in his seminal work, written with Alfred North Whitehead, Principia Mathematica, in imitation of Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. The work was founded upon Frege's logician. Russell had mathematical interests, and had published his thesis as his second published book entitled the Foundations of Mathematics around the turn of the century. He was much moved, as others of his time had been, by revolution caused by the discovery of Non-Euclidean geometry whereby Euclid's Fifth Postulate is not an axiom. His thesis was that Projective geometry was a priori. Five years later, when Einstein published his Theory of Relativity, a theory of physics, in which space was non-Euclidean, Russell's work proved philosophically worthless, as he himself asserted. Russel now bowed to science and accepted that the physists were right, and that he had not been doing philosophy at all but physics. The mathematicians, and philosophers had done, that the nature of geometry, whether it had this or that set of axioms, was an empirical question to be answered by scientists.

This is almost as good:

The story of Marxism and Revolution goes all the way back to the French Revolution, where many of the fighters who were more left-wing had lost and the Bourgeois took control. Later in the 19th Century there had been sporadic revolutionary activity throughout Europe. Such was the promise of Marxism to the vast majority of working people that it terrified the politicians and company owners. Along with the French Revolution came major escalations in the activities of secret police. In Russia the Tzar began imprisoning leftists. Many similar actions were taken throughout Europe to quote a well known commentator of that time, "A spectre is haunting Europe".

Marxism goes back to the French Revolution. :grin: And just who was Frege's logician? We need to know. KD Tries Again 22:38, 19 January 2007 (UTC)KD

Ah yes I did notice that one, but I was on sure ground with Russell. Let's start a museum. The trouble is that most people soon realise they are making fools of themselves. I am a clown and just impervious. Anyway, time for bed .... Dbuckner 22:41, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

The issue of Marxism and the schism is I think important. The way the issue has been dealt with however, both in the article and mainly by carping here, has been very poor. The way to look at this is to see how Marxism is relevant on both sides of the schism. The mix of Marx/Hegel, as philosophy, and not just a few lines in a book on political philosophy or the history of ideas, is largely ignored by the Analytic tradition.

The politics of this is difficult to disentangle, however, if ever there was a place on the philosophy page to give some political background this may be it. No one, I presume, would deny that the appointment of a Head of Philosophy is a political matter whether the university is funded by private industry or by government. If in the 40s and 50s suddenly most of the Heads were Analytic then this too is political.

Also relevant here is how Analytic philsophers though often sympathetic if not to Marx but to some form of egalitarianism, compartmentalise their political activities. This is true to some extent for both Russell and Chomsky. This compartmentalising means something for philosophy, it means perhaps that it has become spcialised and does not have the breath of older philosophy. I do not intend putting this detail in the article but I just try to draw your attention to this issue. Especially for those specialists without ears, yours,

--Lucas 23:52, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Foudations of Mathematics, Philosophy of Mathematics, Logic

As I'm still new to the topic, I have a couple of questions about some of todays edits:

  1. Ludvikus - you posted a large number of edits in a row DIFF. Reading it, this seems to be closer to a history of analytic mathematics, much more than a focussed summary of the divergence in history of philosophy. Thoughts? I'm thinking that the divergence of the two schools of philosophy could be described more briefly, without replaying in such extensive depth how schools of mathematics thought developed as an part of that. What do you reckon?
  2. VoluntarySlave then made a number of edits, reverted in toto by Ludvikus [3]. A while later, Ludvikus reverts Dbuckner [4], Lucaas reverts VoluntarySlave [5], VoluntarySlave re-reverts Lucaas [6], Lucaas reverts ("restores") a number of edits I can't quite figure out [7], and everyone seems to get into the revert party.

I think we could do better than this. What would help is, could those who edited these things, just drop a note, a few lines or something, what they felt they were trying to add to the article, or what they were trying to remove that was (in their view) poor quality content, and why it was so judged? Just briefly and simply, without debating it, so I can start to get a sense what's gone on in these and similar edits and what kind of editorial approaches are driving this article's actual edits today? It'd help :) FT2 (Talk | email) 23:35, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

By the way, think you left out major reverts by KD Tries again and DBucker, or does your "revert party" refer to them? [Reply: Yes, I couldn't figure out who was reverting which edits, it was pretty clear other edits were reverts of edits too but I couldn't figure out which and what of -- FT2]

Ok sounds fair to me: First edit, to update the section on Analytic and the schism, some errors pointed out above, no major deletion or addition. Unfinished though. I left stuff on Mathematics but dont know how it is meant to have a relation to the schism. Lucas 00:00, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

There's a confusian here. Russell's opus magnum is Principia Mathematica. If I need say more, than I'm probably talking to a wall. Nevertheless, I mention his Principles of Mathematics, and his Foundations of Geometry. So Russell is a mathematician. Right? Ludvikus 00:33, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
And I might as well mention Frege's Foundations of Arithmetc. Another mathematician, right?--Ludvikus 00:42, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Okay. Bertrand Russel and Principia, I'm aware of. But more from the mathematical/logic perspective. Is this really a chunk of text more about "philosophy of mathematics and logic" then? FT2 (Talk | email) 00:59, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
I think the relevance is that one of Russell's reason's for rejecting British Idealism was his rejection of Kant's idea of the synthetic a priori, and this rejection was motivated by his belief that all mathematical truths were truths of logic (the article in its current state sort of suggests this with the discussion of the a priori status of geometry). I think Russell gives an account of his motivation during this period in the first volume of his autobiography, but I don't have my copy to hand to check. VoluntarySlave 01:07, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
What do you think philosophy is all about - at that time and place? It seems you're trivializing the issue here by that marginalization. You also omit Philosophy of Language. I think there is the failure to appreciate that these are not separate. And Carnap - Where do you put him? --Ludvikus 01:18, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Thank you, VoluntarySlave - now maybe I'm not talking to myself afterv all. --Ludvikus 01:22, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Many 19th century thinkers, philosophers, scientists were Kantians. What does this mean?

Two forms of intuition: Outer& Inter. What are they? Space & Time. What are their corresponding sciences? Arithmetic & Geometry. What is the relation between them (at the moment in history). After the discovery of Non-Euclidean Geometry, there remains only Arithmetic (Geometry becomes Physics). So What is Arithmetic. Frege says he proves that it's Logic. Russell sows he's mistake. Russell then shouws Arithmetic is Logic.

So was Kant merely a Mathematician?
Have I been succinct enough - yet preserving understanding? Yours truly, --Ludvikus 01:31, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't like Lucas's word "schism", I think "divergence" is better. But I'm open to any other word that occurs in published literature. The issue is the split between the Rationalists, on the Continent, and the Empiricists in Great Britain. And this division continues into the 20th century. So-called W. philosophy should be recounted along those lines - in that I'm in agreement with Lucaas, who has been on it since 2004 - he is dedicated. Ludvikus 00:50, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Another thing - I find it absolutely shocking, is the conclusionary, & unconditional, denial that McCarthyism made the study of Marx impossible in the United States after World War II, and that quite the opposite occured in Europe; in Europe - in Western Europe mind you - Philosophy after WWII can be looked upon as a series of footnotes to Karl Marx. But I'm not prepared to engage in quntification on the matter here. Ludvikus 01:05, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Is there a reason why PhilOfRel is scarcely touched?

Especially troubling to me is including all three of Ethics, Aesthetics, and Politcal Philosophy as "Branches" in the table near the end of the article, but not including "Philsoophy of Religion", too. Multiple major historical philosophers have been largely silent on at least one of Ethics, Aesthetics or Political Philosophy, but not one has overlooked Phil of Rel. PhilOfRel is routinely one of the must-have areas of every academic dept. of Phil. and no PhD program could possibly pass muster without one specialist in it. Tmusgrove 02:30, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Hello metaphysics { Ben S. Nelson } Lucidish 02:38, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

West, East, & South

As a 2nd parag. I've added the following:

  As a consequence of the collapse of colonialism and imperialism in the twentieth century,
  philosophy now is classified according to three major geographical regions, Western philosophy,
  Eastern philosophy, and African philosophy.

Now we can write logically about each, & in order.

Yours truly, --Ludvikus 03:20, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
I know of no book, whatsoever, whatsoever, which writes about World philosophy. To my nowledge, there is no such thing. So we should not invent what does not exist. We should write about each separately. That is the Rational, Reasonable, and Logical thing to do. Does everyone agree?
yours truly, --Ludvikus 03:26, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Actually I cited one earlier, one of the Blackwell volumes { Ben S. Nelson } Lucidish 03:47, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the reference. It proves my point of non-existence:

World Philosophies, A Historical Introduction, Second Edition

By: David Cooper Reviews

‘A multicultural feast of ideas and arguments! In language that is expressive, clear and often humorous, David Cooper has written a compelling history of philosophy, covering as it does not only the major figures in Western thought but also the main trends in non-Western philosophy.' Robert L. Arrington, Georgia State University More reviews Description

This popular text has now been revised to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the growing number of people interested in all the main philosophical traditions of the world.

  1. Introduces all the main philosophical systems of the world, from ancient times to the present day.
  2. Now includes new sections on Indian and Persian thought and on feminist and environmental philosophy.
  3. The preface and bibliography have also been updated.
  4. Written by a highly successful textbook author.

TopTable of Contents

Preface to second edition. 1. Introduction. Part I: Ancient Philosophies: 2. India. 3. China. 4. Greece. Part II: Middle Period and 'Modern' Philosophies: 5. Medieval Philosophies. 6. Developments in Asian Philosophy. 7. From Renaissance to Enlightenment. Part III: Recent Philosophies: 8. Kant and the Nineteenth Century. 9. Recent Non-Western Philosophies. 10. Twentieth-Century Western Philosophies. Bibliography. Index. Detailed contents TopAbout the Author

David E. Cooper is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Durham and Director of the Durham Institute of Comparative Ethics'. He is the author of a number of books, including Metaphor (1986) and Existentialism (1990, second edition 1999). He is also editor of A Companion to Aesthetics (1992), and four volumes in the series Philosophy: The Classic Readings - Aesthetics (1997), Ethics (1997), Epistemology (1999) and Metaphysics (2000). These titles are all published by Blackwell Publishing.

Yours truly, --Ludvikus 04:39, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Notice the plural: World philosophies, not World philosophy.
And notice the absence of Eastern philosophy.
Notice the distinctions: China, India, etc.
Therefore, No World Philosophy.
Yours truly, Ludvikus 04:51, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Risking repetitiveness, but overcoming obscurity thereby: there's no World/Universal Language of Philosophical Discourse. Each Phil. is a product of a particular history/culture/civilization. Accordingly, begin with the Western Intellectual Tradition! Does everyone understand? Aggrement, & eloquence, of course, are separate issues - that may be hopeless. --Ludvikus 05:03, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

By the way, is Wikipedia to interpret the world? Or is the point to change it? I'm only asking? VoluntarySlave, what's your take on that? Ludvikus 05:12, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Quiddity - has anything essential been left out? Ludvikus 05:12, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Any observations from our Philosopher King(s)? Ludvikus 05:12, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
For Quiddity's love of brevity: Mixing Apples and Oranges --Ludvikus 05:19, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Oh! I almost forgor: Any comments from the peanut gallery? --Ludvikus 05:21, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
The peanut gallery suggests that it is very easy for you to pluralize a singular { Ben S. Nelson } Lucidish 15:02, 20 January 2007 (UTC)


Ludvikus: Wikipedia is trying to document the world. Not interpret OR change it. I already asked on your talkpage that you cease creating nicknames like "Philosopher King". You are being antagonistic, and baiting confrontational replies. I strongly urge you to take a wikibreak for a few days, and to read about Wikiquette and related concepts before coming back here. We are just here, at this talkpage, to write an article; this is not a discussion forum. Thank you. --Quiddity 07:36, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't know why you copied my comments from your talkpage to here, but if you're going to quote me, then at least do it in full... --Quiddity 10:37, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

copied from User talk:Ludvikus
You both may want to check out (the humorous) m:MPOV before you start taking this all too seriously... RfCs are kinda depressing, and best avoided if at all possible. Remember that The world will not end tomorrow!
You may also get some enjoyment and insight from reading through m:Conflicting Wikipedia philosophies, to better know thy cohorts and territory. Thanks. --Quiddity 01:24, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
You would also both be better off if you ignore the biographies and names of your fellow contributors. Discuss proposed text, NOT your own or others personal philosophies. Specifically, Ludvikus, stop calling people "philosopher king" and "'Professor'" as sarcastic reference to username and claimed profession. Anybody can edit here, their qualifications are irrelevant; only the quality of their contributions to articles matters. --Quiddity 02:17, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Ludvikus, to answer your question on my talkpage: Mel's intent behind that statement is to call you "overly-verbose", albeit in a very crude manner. The image in question is a reference to the constructed word he uses - logodiarrhoeic - which is basically a mixture of verbal diarhea and Logorrhoea.

You do tend to write a hell of a lot in a given time span, and not always very clearly, which when mixed in with editwarring and not using the preview button enough, makes for dozens and dozens of diffs for any editor "watch"ing an article to attempt to keep track of. So I have to agree with the premise, if not the phrasing of Mel's comment. --Quiddity 02:17, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

end of content copied from User talk:Ludvikus

If you continue to disrupt Wikipedia to prove a point, you may be temporarily blocked from editing. Please consider taking a break and cooling off. --Quiddity 10:37, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

I would much rather have you contribute on content rather than form. There are only about four (4) dedicated, and/or passionate, philosophers here who are participating in some sort of philosophical dialogue here. And if it is not as rational, or critical, as you would like it to be, the best solution I think is to contribute on content. Your reference to rules of Wiki conduct are not useful - we all are aware of the rules - the problem is in their application. So if you cannot take it, or contribute on content, I suggest you just stay out of it - especially since you've suggested to us that Wikipedia is some big joke, and that we should laugh about it. But I do not think we need a policeman here, or a reference to rules. I may disagree very strongly about my most passionate opponent. But he at least has an interest in philosophy and expresses his views as rationally as he is capable of. You, I think, thus far, have contributed nothing. Or have I overlooked something? Can you at least take a side on some issue here? If not, I think you should just take a break yourself from this discourse on philosophy.
Best regards, Ludvikus 11:36, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
In what sense, exactly, have you contributed any content? Dbuckner 12:08, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

On Eastern philosophy

Eastern philosophy is a classification used by book stores. For example: Barnes and Noble. It conotes (1) the philosophy(s) of Chine, (2) the philosophy(s) of India, ...

Question: Is the West unified in a way that the East is not?
Accordingly, is there such a thing as a single/common Eastern Intellectual Tradition?
--Ludvikus 05:33, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
By all means replace the reference to "Eastern philosophy" with something more suitable; so long as we retain the content about the plurality of oriental outlooks { Ben S. Nelson } Lucidish 15:05, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Laughter is the best medicine

Why Philosophy is a laughing stock in Wikipedia. All contributions welcome. Dbuckner 10:01, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

(Disruptive material copied from talk pages removed [8] Banno 12:13, 20 January 2007 (UTC))

Reverting to snake version

I have reverted the introduction to the version above called 'snake'. To be absolutely clear: I do not particularly like this version (see my comments above, if you can find them). But I wanted to avoid reverting to something I had written, and moreover this version had some support among other editors. Please work on gradual changes to this version, and please do not make any material changes without discussing and obtaining consensus on the Talk Page. Dbuckner 12:21, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Snake vs neat

Here, again, are my reasons for not liking the snake. I'm not going to make any further edits, as the poor article as suffered enough already.

1. Metaphysics is about "what can be said to exist"? False, without further qualification. Usually said to be about what 'ultimately' or 'really' exists, or something similar.

2. "Defining philosophy is controversial in part because it is also its own subject" is clumsy – what does it mean? If it means that the subject of philosophy is philosophy, then as KD pointed out, the subject of literature is literature.

3. The claim that there are 'diverse definitions of philosophy' is not true. Definition of philosophy shows that there is remarkable agreement among philosophers about what philosophy is. Or rather, as Quinton says, there are interesting definitions, which do tend to be controversial, and there are dull ones, which are not so. As KD says, look on the prospectus of any reputable university, and see how it describes itself to prospective students. There you see remarkable agreement.

4. But the most misleading bit is the whole thread of 'some .. others … still others'. This, coupled with the earlier insistence on the diversity and disagreement between definitions, suggests quite inaccurately that these 3 groups disagree with each other. Not at all. Nearly all philosophers would say that philosophy uses critical analysis and reasoning. "It is by its methods rather than its subject matter that philosophy is to be distinguished from other arts or sciences". Thus the first group (the 'some') are in fact the majority of philosophers. The second group are the ones who 'claim that philosophy examines the process of examination itself', i.e. think of philosophy as somehow second-order. This forms a sub-group of the first. The third group think that 'philosophy is continuous with the best practices in every intellectual field' – still not sure what this means (and it will certainly be unintelligible to the average reader of the article), but I know from Ben it was intended to be a group that disagreed with the assessment of philosophy as second-order.

5. I don’t like 'seminal figures in the history of the East', but that's a point of style. Seminal figures of what? Why 'seminal'.

6. Don't like 'Contemporary Western philosophy is divided into continental and analytic traditions' because it introduces an idea without definition and explanation. If I know no mathematics, and I am reading an article to understand it, it does not help in the slightest to know that it is divided into pure and applied mathematics. Whats that?

Dbuckner 12:28, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Some of these judgments are a bit harsh, I think; perhaps I think that because I wrote the Snake (albeit hastily). Alas.
  • It is one thing to say that (1) is misleading or partial, and quite another to say it is false. I take it that what metaphysicians do in the style of Wittgenstein-I is to discuss what can be discussed sensibly. Perhaps this is misleading, but it isn't false, since there is no universal quantifier in the original statement (though perhaps one is implicit).
  • (2) is well-received but not on point: the allegation in the content is that in philosophy both its use (i.e., particular philosophies) and mention (i.e., philosophy itself, the word "philosophy") are disputed, more or less as is being proposed in item (3). Perhaps this is unclear when we take one sentence alone, but in context the point ought to shine.
  • I would prefer that the item in (3) read "there are diverse descriptions of philosophy", since "definition" is bound to be controversial. I'm not sure I like (3) either, but it's a compromise in the face of epistemic relativists.
  • Item (4) is not supposed to suggest an antagonism between the views, which is something I thought I had fixed from an earlier version; evidently not successful.
  • No doubt (5) and (6) are easily fixed. { Ben S. Nelson } Lucidish 15:22, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Avoiding discussion of the snake version until now, I wanted the neat one. Anyhow the definitions in the snake are given in this order

1. Analysis, enquiry, critical, reason etc....(nice Cartesian-mind adjectives) deployed in order to to solve seemingly intractable problems

This effectively gives "problem solving" as the definition. It is one I do not agree with since, it is not primarily an attempt to progress forward past problems, or deflate them. This problem-solving idea is more like science or psycho analysis. Though I know this idea was prevalent in Analytic philosophy.

2. Examines the process of examination

Well I know there are examinations at University, and doctors examine bodies. Examine again is too analytic.

3. Best practices in every intellectual field

This is a strange way to define it, I suppose all the other "fields" say the same thing, So this is just an attempt to pass off the issue.

4. Eastern philosophy is defined as a mirror of Western ("similar topics in similar ways")

This is an agressive use of Western philosophy as, presumably defined in 1-3, to pretend Eastern does the same thing. Especially when 1-3 are given, as I suggested, in mainly Analytic terms. So you copy what happens with Anglophone agression in geo- politics to philosophy, and philosophy becomes froth.

Why also is the snake duplicated beneath a banner?

--Lucas 16:13, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

(1) The problem here is not with the sentence, but with the term "definition". 'Definition' should be removed or at least clarified. (2) "Examination", I believe, was what the indicated source said. If not, then "enquiry" or whatever can replace it. Whatever you think isn't "too analytic" -- whatever that means when we're speaking in such general terms. (3) That's not true at all; i.e., biology doesn't study literature at a higher-order level. (4) Eastern philosophy is not mentioned as such (implying a homogeneous tradition); rather, what is written is that some thinkers from the East have addressed similar topics in similar ways. I've replicated the relevant passage from Cua on this talk page before, it shouldn't be hard to track down and compare if you are doubtful, think it is a lot of Western projection, etc.
As for the replication: who knows? It's not appropriate anyway, since the remarks are sourced. { Ben S. Nelson } Lucidish 17:19, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

It says "describes as" not definition. Anyhow whatever we say "philosophy is..." will turn out to be some description or definition since it appears straight away in the intro.

The points I raised above 1-4 do not appear to be as clearly made as I thought.

(1) still stands, it is too Cartesian and narrowed to a science as "problem-solving".

(2) As to sources, yes I know most of the section is sourced (perhaps why it reads so snakeadly). The sources are not recommended by wiki policy since they are tertiary ones.

This 2nd definition/description of philosophy as an exam of an exam, is an Analytic one. It neglects Continental and Eastern ways.

(3)rd description, I was not referring to Biology but to other "intellectual fields" (by the way I think the reader might at this stage have realizes Philosophy has something to do with intellect) It is continuous with the intellect, this, like exam of an exam, is just circuitous.

(4) So according to you the previous definition/description 1-3 just talks of Western philosophy, not philosophy. Or else those parts of Eastern philosophy that do not match 1-3 are considered by the article as non-philosophy. Let me quote the whole sentence here:

Although the word "philosophy" originates in the Western tradition, iconic figures in the history of the East have addressed similar topics in similar ways.

This says the word originates in the West, now is this meant to be funny, or does it suggest that for other words we use pictograms? Ergo, what it implies is not the word but philsophy itself is Western, or at lesat the one here described in the intro. And that a few, only a few, iconic Eastern people happened to do philsophy as intellectual analysis and enquiry, solving and examining exams of problems (by the way, name one problem that has been solved in philosophy?).

In general I don't like the way it is aimed at a 12 year old (as a previous editor suggested was our goal), wikiJunior is the place for that kind of hand holding.

I think the only good thing in the intro is the first part that says as little as possible and the last part that gives some direction to relatively current or live issues in philosophy. (ie, the bit about Analytic/Continental). --Lucas 20:16, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

To (1) I have added "fundamental". Of course, this increases the Cartesian feeling. But that is not an argument against its inclusion:
For, yes, I have just lately removed all overt references to "definitions" of philosophy. Please join me in being wary of the conflation between definitions with descriptions. It makes all the difference to what we're talking about. If somebody describes something in one way, then another person may describe it in another; and that's felicitous. By contrast, when someone provides a definition, they stipulate the terms under which we are to exhaust the minimum of some subject at hand. Descriptions are fungible, definitions are (ostensibly) not -- at least for any given speaker. Hence, with (2b), we have the supposedly analytic treatment (in terms of higher-order analysis), which is entirely plausible and well-received in the literature -- not just analytic literature, but the literature as a whole. But that does not exhaust the subject. So we can, and have, described it in other terms, too.
If you accept that philosophy is hard to talk about, and you accept that we should be modest in our ambitions -- that is, deal in terms of descriptions, and not focus on definitions -- then you'll accept that no single description will be satisfying for anyone who is out to get a feeling for the whole field. If you think there are Continental-style descriptions that are being neglected, that they are totally untreated by the current material, and that they really and truly are examinations of what philosophy is (and are not merely expressions of individual philosophical content), then find a source and include them.
Higher-order examination is NOT "circuitous" any more than talking about speech is identical to use of it. It is, perhaps, tedious, or spirallic. Not circular. (I hope I have not misread your use of "circuitous", here.)
Both myself and many others cannot agree to your stance against tertiary sources.
I can't make any sense of your "Western" critique. Give the sentence another read. Nothing like what you suggest is implied.
Tons of problems in philosophy has been solved if you ask any philosopher who is even mildly interesting.
Intros are meant to be informative, esp. in giving a picture of the article to come. If you think the prose is Scooby Doo, then add as many polysyllabic words as are needed. I won't, because I find that strategic obfuscation is a thing worthy of contempt. { Ben S. Nelson } Lucidish 22:48, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

1. On the issue of it being too Cartesian (with words such Analysis, enquiry, critical, reason, intellect) , you have made worse with "fundamental", is this not a mistake? Also the issue of describing it primarily as "problem solving", this you also agree with? Solving again refers to analysing.
2b. An "exam of an exam", I'm sure is logically ok as you say, but this quite like saying analysis of analysis. So again it is too analytic a description. Of course I accept we should be modest in our description but don't pretend that by being modest you get any better a description, as I mentioned before the neat one is my preferred version. It is circuitous in its grammar. You might be refering here to epistemology, the meaning of knowledge.
Being informative in an intro is an aim, but it is exactly not being achieved if you give a pet definition, this is misleading.
As to tertiary sources such as encylopedias and dictionaries, it is not only me who is against them, the wiki OR policy strongly prefers secondary or primary sources.
The reading as Western is obvious and I have read it again:
Although the word "philosophy" originates in the Western tradition, iconic figures in the history of the East have addressed similar topics in similar ways.
I repeat is this a joke? The word originates in the West? I suppose unlike all the other words on the page which came from outer-space. Only "iconic" ones in the East addressed similar topics in similar way, no, they have no lesser stars over there. Since we've given 6 ways and 6 topics all centred around an Analytic and Cartesian, topic and method, just which icon were you thinking of? If the description is good enough you should not need to add "eh but Eastern philosophy has icons and and they thought similarly to Descartes and Russell."
On problems that have been "solved" by philosophers I was not asking for a promise of tons, I simply asked you for one. It is clear you know of none since you could not even give me one.
As to other definitions, Eastern, Continental, many were listed earliar on this page, to give one example, Hegel, who says it is "the expression of an era in thought". So, in a way, since your definition is Analytic, and we have agressive Anglophone geopolitics, it happens to fit the bill; but without being consious of it, it remains ideology.
--Lucas 00:44, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Snake vs neat II

  • (1) Whereas Descartes was the great granddaddy of early modern philosophy; and whereas the Cartesian-esque sentence is wide enough in scope to capture the disparate thematic forms of philosophical writing as given by the most notorious philosophers in antiquity (Plato: discursive, dialectic; Aristotle, reasoned enquiry); it seems entirely sensible to say that, for a mere description, no, it really ain't half bad. If the texts say analysis, enquiry, etc., then so do we. That doesn't mean that we don't say boo afterwards.
  • (2b) is NOT circular in any conventional sense of the term. The analysis of analysis is not the same thing as the analysis of taxes, or the analysis of football, or of anything. Similarly, the meaning of "meaning" is not the meaning of "cats" or the meaning of "fish".
  • Encyclopediae are tertiary sources. I don't see anything on the NOR page saying they can't be used. But nobody means to adhere to them with total strictness -- they're just guides. On the other hand, it is OR policy to deal with primary sources with strictness. OR recommends secondary sources first and foremost.
  • You're the one who is reading analyticity into sentiments that have a history extending back into antiquity. Obviously, I think you're mistaken. But read Cua's quote if you want to know the grounding for the proposition at issue. He mentions Confucius, among others, who addressed topics in ethics.
  • "On problems that have been "solved" by philosophers I was not asking for a promise of tons, I simply asked you for one. It is clear you know of none since you could not even give me one." I do not want to waste time and space on this talk page by jawing out more than is needed. Especially when the caveat I mentioned is actually far more important for our purposes than an illustration of the rule.
Nevertheless, here's an old saw: "If a tree falls in the forest, and no-one is around, does it make a sound?" The Lockean: "No. Sound is a secondary quality which presupposes a hearer. The tree vibrates corpuscles in the air, which fly across the extended distance, much like billiard balls across a table; and these are primary qualities, independent of the mind. But they are not sound." For the Lockean, the problem is solved. No doubt one may reply with substantive objections, but the fact is, he answered the question.
  • I'm sorry, I don't have any idea what you're replying to with the Eastern remarks. The first part of the sentence brings up an obvious fact to shed light on, and to justify the merits of, the second part of the sentence. Moreover, the reading of the word "only" into a sentence which does not contain it (or any of its synonyms) is infelicitous.
  • A descriptive remark on the social and historically embedded nature of philosophy would surely be appreciated in the intro, if it's kept as slim as possible. { Ben S. Nelson } Lucidish 03:25, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

This discussion is getting rather long. In any case...

1.) intellectual enquiry which uses critical analysis and reasoning, as well as dialogue or introspection, to solve seemingly intractable and fundamental problems

So you give a definition that covers philosophy from Ancient time up to Descartes but go no further back nor forward and remain in a Western conception. Also if you do go to Plato you only stuff one word in there "dialogue", since he predated Aristotle you should say first that philosophy is a form of dialectic. All the other words lean toward Aristotle. But perhaps neither of these Greeks nor Descartes could subsume all these activities under the task of "solving problems". So I suggest we strike out this "solving problems", "seemingly" (it gives the impression of dualism, seem/truth and fundamental (this is only Modernist).

2.) An exam of an exam

I said it was circular grammatically, logically I said it was fine. The problem I have is that this "second" full description only gives philosophy as something like (not the same as) "analysis of analysis". Why does it not examine synthesis? Or why does it not synthesis examination.? One sided.

Wiki policy on OR says secondary and primary sources are preferable, it does not exclude tertiary, but just implies they are not the best. So we should work toward replacing these descriptions with sources from philosophers. I agree with this policy and find just a reproduction of muck if all encyclopedias do is copy one another.

I'm not reading analyticity into these words, this is what words like examine, enquiry, problem solving mean. It then looks like it is pasting this description over ancient and eastern philosophy.

Locke may have given one very peculiar answer "secondary qualities", but he did not solve it. If the Lockean believes he has solved it that is only a belief of the time. Nor do I think his philosophy's overall aim was to answer the question of hearing tree in a forrest.

4) Although the word "philosophy" originates in the Western tradition, iconic figures in the history of the East have addressed similar topics in similar ways Let me quote my comment on this again as from what you say it may not have been clear:

This says the word originates in the West, now is this meant to be funny, or does it suggest that for other words we use pictograms? Ergo, what it implies is not the word but philosophy itself is Western, or at least the one here described in the intro. And that a few, only a few, iconic Eastern people happened to do philsophy as intellectual analysis and enquiry, solving and examining exams of problems

You suggest that saying philosophy is a western word is obvious but it sheds light on the East. How does the fact that a word, like all the other words on the page, is Western shed any light? I read "only" into the sentence because it is there in the word "iconic" this refers to a few stars of Eastern philosophy, in other words all the other guys were not doing philosophy at all.

5) You suggest a descriptive remark on the "social and historically embedded nature" of philosophy. I remarked, however, on the "social and historically embedded nature" of the description given in the intro. The desciption, I maintain, is mainly Analytic, the social embedding of Analytic occurred with the "take-over" at UK and US universities during the 40s and 50s. The historical situation of that time saw the emergence of the cold war.

--Lucas 17:02, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

(1) Yes, (1) is both Western and historical, though that doesn't matter in context. We shouldn't remove "solving problems" if it is even partially applicable, because inclusivity is good. It is partially applicable because plenty of philosophers have solved plenty of problems, and ignoring this because all the solutions have failed to win somebody's satisfaction is simply stabbing one's own ears to spite the sound of an answered question. I have no idea why you're talking about "tree falls in the forest" as if it were meant to be the Only Question in Philosophy -- nothing in the context of this conversation suggests that either I or you or the words we use expect anything of the kind.
I don't care about the word "seemingly"; remove it if you like.
(2) To say that a sentence is grammatically but not logically circular is to say that the sentence is not circular in any conventional sense.
Why does this particular description not examine synthesis? Well, why would it? Synthesis is an aspect of dialectics, which was mentioned, albeit only in passing, in (1). If it is mentioned anywhere, it would be an adjunct to (1).
(3) To say that Wiki:NOR "implies" that "tertiary sources are not the best" is a projection. It is NOT what the policy states.
(4) It sheds light on the problem of speaking of "Chinese philosophy" (say), and it simultaneously suggests a solution.
There is a difference between basic justification and an expression of the whole truth. Just because I say that Socrates was an iconic figure and a philosopher, it doesn't mean that non-icons were non-philosophers. It means he was an exemplar. No "only" is implied.
(5) And you're mostly misreading the intro and its history. Analytic philosophers did not invent the notions of dialogue, enquiry, analysis. Seriously. But even if they did, that wasn't even the meaning of my recent suggestion, which had to do with overtly mentioning, not simply using, social and historical materials. Mere use of x is not necessarily a description of x. { Ben S. Nelson } Lucidish 05:02, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

So you agree, our 1st definition is western, our 2nd is Western and our third is western, I remind you thins is about Philosophy not only Western philosophy.

(1) "intellectual enquiry, critical analysis" to "solve problems", solving is like analysing again you have a circuitous explanation. "problem solving" does not give a good idea of what goes on in philosophy. I disagree about millions of things having been solved, I asked you before to name one and you struggled to come up with the "problem" of "does a tree make a sound if it falls out of earshot". This idea of "the love of wisdom or wisdom of love" as "problem solving" I've not seen in the Greeks, I think it represents a certain scientific conception of philosophy. In the intro we need to distinguish it from science and from theology. Nor do I even think the forrest thing is a problem that Locke as you suggested set out to answer, his goals were not aimed at "solving problems". If I remove "seemingly" then it is even worse, they can never be solved since they'd only then be "intractable". So strike out "solving problems".

(2) An exam of an exam The second full description again like the first gives philosophy as analsis, solving, examing, all similar terms. Here it goes one worse and makes it solving solving, analysis of analysis. I suggest you transfer these "descriptions" to a page that describes maths, their they solve problems, analyse equations and analyses itself in deductive proofs. A chemist will give you an analysis better than many a philosophy.

Wiki OR says explicitly it is best to use secondary sources, primary to be used carefully and gives leaves out mention of tertiary. So clearly it says preference is for secondary (this is made clear by another editor above also), this is all I was saying, I did not say tertiary was not to be used, I suggest that over the course of time we move the tertiary source and replace them with real sources.

(3) "Continuous with other intellectual fields" Again this is what all the other fields say, we should try here to say what it does in distinction to all these fields since it is quite obvious that if you talk of academic philosophy that it is academic (and therfore continuous with...)

(4) The intro says "Although the word philosophy is western" ", I said it was a joke, you say it "It sheds light on the problem of speaking of "Chinese philosophy" (say), and it simultaneously suggests a solution." Now I hope you arent speaking chinese (say), but what is the problem of speaking chinese philosophy? And the solution is?

Well if it says certain iconic figures happened to do philosophy like the West (since you agreed above the def given is Western) then why not just say that Eastern philosophy also uses "examination, enquiry, analysis to solve intractable problems" By exluding the non-iconic figures you imply they did no do "philosophy". How would you like if we defined philosophy according to the Eastern way and then added at the end, "a few iconic figures in the West did similar things in similar ways"? (and not, I dont need a reminded ot what langauge this page is written it)

(5) I'm sure you'll be relieved to hear neither am I talking of who "invented", as you say, analysis. I understood your comment on describing social conditions etc that is why my last comment clarified it when you were provoked to suggest adding a section of social formations in philosophy. I remind you that your description is localised to a social situation in the 50s, and is conditioned by it. You should admit this in the intro or go back to the neat one.

--Lucas 13:52, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Without exception, all of these comments are predicated upon falsehood.
  1. Description is not definition, i.e., not exhaustive. Any given description gives a partial truth, not a whole: hence striking would be POV pushing, not NPOV maintenance. "Solving problems" is not the only clause in the sentence in question. Locke's aims are not relevant, and your demand was satisfied with ease and patience, only to be mocked as the fruit of some nonexistent "struggle". Philosophy has not once been shown to ever be interpreted as "wisdom of love", despite persistent enquiry along these lines. But prove me wrong: quote me a page from Symposium and we'll see what it says.
  2. Your line of argument has been to push for primary sources. This is explicitly in error. If nothing is said about tertiaries, then nothing is to be inferred.
  3. To say that all fields see themselves as continuous with all fields is either false or a trivial misreading. One of the social psychologies won't event admit to overlap with the other. Biology does not give a damn about literary prose style. Etc.
  4. The vague statement, "similar topics in similar ways", is economical. Since we are treating in terms of descriptions, not definitions, it would be silly to use one and only one description as a basis for illuminating Eastern thought. We use them all. "By exluding the non-iconic figures you imply they did no do "philosophy"" is logically wrong. If you want a mini-lesson on logical implications, then please take it to either my talk page, or to the Village Pump. In order for me to know how to respond to your last comment under this head, I'd need to know what "the Eastern way" is. From what I know of Eastern thought, I would say, "if they had invented the word 'philosophy', then sure, that would be great".
  5. I am compelled by data and sourcing, when it is done seriously. The Hegel quote is compelling. Your arguments are follies, but I do what I can to discriminate between fact and fallacy. { Ben S. Nelson } Lucidish 17:44, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

All of the above are not falsehoods but naiveties

Your description you agreed was Western: "intellectual enquiry, critical analysis" to "solve problems". I add that it is not only Western but 1950s Western.

  1. "Solving problems" is the final clause which all the previous words are directed towards, it is given as the object or goal of philosophy. I already told you that the context of this counts more than whether you say description instead of definition (see the book: "Things you Cant Do with Words"). So allow me to use defintion and description interchangeably here. You claimed that Locke solved a problem, and from the description of philosophy you claim that this was his goal in doing philosophy. Neither did he solve it nor was it his goal to explain the sound of a tree falling.
  2. If nothing is said about tertiary or fourth order etc. sources and secondary and primary are given as the main and best sources then obviously tertiary are not the preferred.
  3. I merely point out that if philosophy is defined as being continuous with intellectual practice and we say this applies on ly to academic philosophy then you are left in air, the other fields will follow their own practices and you'll have nothing distinctive, this is just a white wash.
  4. It is economical use of words, and who suggested that wiki was going to go bust if we used 5 more words? The idea that iconic figures in the East did similar stuff but not quite it, ie, not quite philosophy. I agree it leaves open the question of what non-iconic figures did, so there is a gap here, we must add to this section, "On the other hand non-iconic Eastern figures also did philosophy", figures pretty badly this whole section on the East, but since you admit the "description is Western" we need this little excuse. And why are they called figures and not philosophers?
  1. Your idea of Hegel and fallacy is only from ignorance, you have given no substantive statement and so I take it as either childish simplicity or implies an unfounded authority. Either way you make no sense of this discussion on social/historical matters.

Overall you seem quite happy to describe Philosophy as Western and further, I contend, mainly as Analytic philosophy, and so we add Eastern and Continental as adjuncts saying that they do something vaguely similar to Analytic. Overall you need to make explicit these different philosophies and the descriptions that go with them or we need to give a description that covers all three. If it covers all three then you do not need adjuncts.

The above debate is getting to awkward. We should really make a separate subsection for each of the 3or4 descriptions of philosophy given in the intro. --Lucas 19:03, 22 January 2007 (UTC) --Lucas 19:03, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Continued misreadings, taking things out of context, etc. I brought up Locke in answer to your specific challenge, not to make a broader point about the introduction. If you use description & definition as synonyms then you're not interpreting anything I say according to my intentions, so I can do nothing except stop { Ben S. Nelson } Lucidish 21:02, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Finally you realise you have failed this intro description.
On being asked, you suggested, and of course within the context of a description of philosophy that has its primarily goal as "solving problems", that an example of this would be Locke solving the "problem" of hearing a tree fall in a forrest. He was not directed by that at all. And it must be one of the lamest examples of a problem I've heard of, certainly not one to garner the kind of fame Locke had.
I'm not using them as synonyms I just use them when I see fit, either way if a dictionary or an encyclopedia describes something it gives it the currency of a definition, as usual you forget the context.
I think you must stop because you have made a poor showing, though I must admit it is hard to argue for a our defintion because it is just a copy of some other encylopedia or Penguin dictionary Bet the guy who wrote the Penguin entry hardly had to discuss it at all and that is probably why they are so bad!
All you want to do is impose your language on me when I clearly explained why I will also say the word definition. Well let me impose a word on you and force you to use that from now on.
--Lucas 21:21, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
You have a talent for misunderstanding. I can only stop talking to you, because you aren't decoding properly, and are assigning arbitrary and nonsensical attributions to what I say. { Ben S. Nelson } Lucidish 22:39, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Thats fine, I understand the discussion was going on a little, lets just say you haven't a leg to stand on. Decision: a more balanced intro is needed. --Lucas 00:32, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Why are people trying to fool the italics system

I see some editors have purposely fooled the wikipedia parser by using two single quotes but they have never opened them. For example after "Beyond Good and Evil" someone has entered two single quotes in order to fool the parser into thinking a "close" italics has occured - but the itallics has never been opened according to the Edit This Page view.

This is a bad habit and will most definitely screw up the parsing at some point if the parser ever becomes smarter - or especially for custom parsers that don't interpret this as a closing itallics tag. It could cause the entire page to be italicized which is not a good thing. How do we stop people from fooling the parser, just because they want to turn off itallics which haven't actually been turned on according to the "Edit This Page" text? LFiveZeroFive 03:10, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

  1. ^ Mautner, Thomas (1998). Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy. Penguin. ISBN 0140512500
  2. ^ Quinton, Anthony; ed. Ted Honderich (1996). "Philosophy". The Oxford Companion to Philosophy.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Mautner, Thomas (1998). Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy. Penguin. ISBN 0140512500
  4. ^ Blackburn, Simon (1994). "Philosophy", The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  5. ^ Cua, Anthony S. "Emergence of the history of Chinese philosophy", Comparative Approaches to Chinese Philosophy.
  6. ^ Anthony Quinton, "Philosophy". The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, ed. Ted Honderich, 1996
  7. ^ Mautner, Thomas (1998). Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy. Penguin. line feed character in |author= at position 9 (help) ISBN 0140512500
  8. ^ Blackburn, Simon (1994). "Philosophy", The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. line feed character in |title= at position 14 (help); line feed character in |author= at position 11 (help)