I prefer to keep both sides of my discussions together. If you leave me a message here, I will reply here, perhaps with a copy to your page. But if I left a note on your talk page, feel free to reply there or here. Thanks!
Is it really becoming of an administrator to restore unsourced content to an article? Do you want me to provide scans of the sources that are being cited, so that you can see how they do not align with the text? I can do that, if you want me to. RGloucester — ☎ 03:42, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
It is not unsourced content. You have a disagreement about the sources, and their use in the article. As I've said on the talkpage, I find your arguments strange at best. But the point here is that in no way is the wholesale deletion you undertook a question of removing "unsourced content." It's gutting the article in the name of some strange idée fixe of your own creation. --jbmurray (talk • contribs) 04:03, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
It is unsourced. I'm sorry if you're not willing to go to a library and slave over texts like I am, but the fact remains, the sources do not support the text. I can provide scans for you, and it will be apparent. Do you want them? RGloucester — ☎ 04:13, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Re: "Why everything has since blown up, I'm not quite sure." Long story. Part of it is the . (Scroll down to Eric Corbet (2). This has now disappeared as it was closed with no block and the filer was cautioned not to file there.) Rationalobserver filed this request to block Eric Corbet two days after this editor was blocked for 48 hours per comments at WER. The filing editor used the same discretionary sanction violation. (See  and scroll down to Eric Corbett, blocked by Sandstein and habbed. She has filed ANI requests and polarised editors among other things. EChastain (talk) 16:24, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
On page 113 Rarick ascribes motivation to Native Americans that his notes do not provide a source for. Rationalobserver (talk) 21:50, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
As I've said, I'm not particularly interested in further discussing Rarick. As such, I'm changing the section title. From your comments, it sounds as though you may be interested in a broader and at the same time more thorough-going discussion of the problems of historiography and (particularly) the writing of historical narrative. If that's the case, then let's do it. If not, that's fine too, but we can bring this chat to a speedy close. --jbmurray (talk • contribs) 22:08, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
According to this, "When you write a historical narrative, you combine fiction with nonfiction." Is this inaccurate, or just overly generalized? Rationalobserver (talk) 22:02, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
That's a terrible source. As I've been suggesting, let's try with a real book, shall we? I've suggested E H Carr or Hayden White. But I'm open to other ideas. --jbmurray (talk • contribs) 22:08, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm sure you're right. Which book should I look at first? Rationalobserver (talk) 22:16, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
At a glance, White looks controversial, and the subject far from settled. Is it your position that Wikipedia should adopt his approach wholesale? Rationalobserver (talk) 22:50, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
"Hayden White's diagnosis of history as constructed narrative has wreaked permanent damage to traditional conceptions of history, philosophy, and narrative alike; it is no longer the moment simply to assess that damage, but rather to respond to it with new proposals and new creativity, something this extraordinarily stimulating collection does in exemplary fashion." –  Fredric Jameson, William A. Lane, Jr. Professor, Duke University, USA. Rationalobserver (talk) 23:02, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Indeed, White is--or was in his time--fairly controversial. But even in Carr, who's as traditional as you can get, there's an understanding that history can't simply be a matter of "just the facts." White merely pushes that understanding a little further; further perhaps than some historians would want. And yes, as it happens, I think that one of Wikipedia's weaknesses is that it can sometimes be too literalist. But White's position is not that we should abandon history, or the attempt to deal seriously and carefully with historical sources. It's just that (to simplify) we shouldn't feel quite so comfortable when we do so: all narrative is by its very nature a distorsion; and yet narrative is inevitable, we can't do without it. NB, though, that there's a distinction between narrative and fiction; it's not that everything's somehow "made up."
But let's start with Carr. I see there's a pdf here. I'll commit to reading at least chapter one, "The Historian and His Facts," by Monday. Do you want to do the same? While we're at it, we can see if we can improve the relevant article, too. --jbmurray (talk • contribs) 02:36, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm going to be pretty busy this weekend, but if I don't read the chapter by Monday I will read it on Monday. Thanks for being willing to explain this to me. I appreciate your effort, and I promise it won't be a waste of time! Rationalobserver (talk) 16:47, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Okay, if I'm following, the schools that demand facts free of interpretation are Positivists and Empiricists. Lord Acton suggests that interpretation is necessary, and even advocates what we might call synth: "our Waterloo must satisfy French, English, German, and Dutch". Houseman says "accuracy is a duty, not a virtue". Scott says "facts are sacred, opinion is free." What Parsons is talking about is a kind of intellectual cherry-pick, where facts are only important after the historian selects them, thus the historian "fills the sack" so it can stand on its own, influencing the final product. It's an interesting point that history is made up of selections of facts that do not necessarily paint the whole picture; e.g., much of what we know about ancient Greece comes from the Athenians, but other perspectives are overshadowed if not completely forgotten. Barraclough's asserts that history is not a collection of facts, but rather a collection of judgments. I think this pertains to the Donner Party especially well. In much the same way, Bernhard's story has been shaped by judgment and circumstance, not mere facts alone. "Imaginative understanding" sounds like "know your audience", and it helps shape what facts are included in a history, and what importance they hold. Collingwood and Nietzsche are basically saying that all facts are influenced by the opinions of those who record the facts. Clark suggests that input and output are equal partners, and if you try to over emphasize one or the other you are risking a heresy. Is this primarily about balance? Clark: "The historian without his facts is rootless and futile; the facts without their historian are dead and meaningless." How close am I to understanding this chapter? Rationalobserver (talk) 18:38, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Great! I'll get back to you on this tonight, maybe late-ish (Pacific Time). --jbmurray (talk • contribs) 20:00, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Let me know if I can help. Z1720 (talk) 03:45, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
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Hi! I think you were the last main editor of the entry on Brian Leiter, having added a useful section on the fall 2014 controversy. But an edit war has erupted since, with another editor trying to turn the article into an article about the controversy, and completing ignoring your work and misrepresenting the RS cited. You may want to take a look. Thanks.Philosophy Junkie (talk) 00:20, 4 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I have half an eye on it but am not too keen to intervene. In part for lack of time, but I have also received multiple emails from Leiter himself about the article, which I didn't really appreciate. I'm sure there are many vested interests trying in various ways to influence things. It's a time sink, and sadly, as always on Wikipedia, the ones who have the energy to stay the course are those who feel they have most at stake. --jbmurray (talk • contribs) 11:47, 4 July 2015 (UTC)