Support this article and I'll support yours. Oppose this, and I'll get you blocked. That's a throffer: it's a mix of a threat and an offer. This is my first philosophy-related FAC: The term was invented by a philosopher, and while there has been plenty of back-and-forthing in philosophy journals, it has also seen some more practical usage. In this article, I address both the conceptual issues of interest to philosophers, and the practical issues which interest academics from other disciplines. I hope you enjoy the read and I look forward to your thoughts. (Also, I would like to thank The Rambling Man (talk·contribs) for his review at GAC!) J Milburn (talk) 17:24, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
Comments from Stfg
Thank you for your thoughts. I appreciate that my writing is a long way from perfect, and that I'm sometimes a little wordy. J Milburn (talk) 22:22, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry I couldn't do a more thorough review and help with copy editing. Unfortunately, personal circumstances will prevent me doing so for several weeks yet. I do recomend getting an independent copy edit, though. It would definitely help. --Stfg (talk) 22:39, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
"The norm" is referred to 10 times, but not defined. If it means the situation that would exist if the intervention was not made, then say so. If it doesn't, you see my misunderstanding, so a definition is needed :)
I'll look into this. That's not what's meant, but I'll check the source again before clarifying. J Milburn (talk) 22:22, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
Glad I waited, as I misread your question. I've clarified this now- hopefully it's clearer. J Milburn (talk) 15:45, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
Is it the quote "the description of the normal and preducable course of events, that is, the course of events which would confront the recipient of the intervention were the intervention not to occur"? I think that's saying what I said. Could something less jargon-like be included in the lede? --Stfg (talk) 22:39, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, done. I'm going to have a very close look tomorrow to make sure I'm capturing the subtle differences between Steiner and Stevens- it's pretty clear to me, but I don't know how well I articulate it in the article... J Milburn (talk) 23:28, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
The prose is poor, and I recommend getting a good copy edit. Just in the first paragraph there are:
Right at the start: "In political philosophy, a throffer is a proposal (also called an intervention) that mixes an offer and a threat. A person presents a throffer when they make an offer that is wedded to a threat which will be actualised if the offer is not accepted." This is very verbose. Better: "In political philosophy, a throffer is a proposal (also called an intervention) that mixes an offer and a threat that will be actualised if the offer is not accepted."
Next sentence: "The term was first used by political philosopher Hillel Steiner, in the 1970s ..." Why the comma?
Because he wasn't just the first person to use it in the 1970s- he was the first person ever. I've tried to rephrase it. J Milburn (talk) 22:22, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
The meaning you intended would have been clear even without the comma, but the rephrase is also fine. --Stfg (talk) 22:39, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
Next sentence: why "however"? There are several further dubious instances of "however" throughout the article.
I've rephrased that sentence and removed some from elsewhere. J Milburn (talk) 22:22, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
Next sentence: why "Though"? The fact that "the threatening aspect of a throffer does not need to be obvious, and may not be articulated at all" is unrelated to the fact that the given example is overt.
I do not follow. How would you phrase it? J Milburn (talk) 22:22, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
Something like: An overt example of a throffer is "Kill this man and receive £100—fail to kill him and I'll kill you." The threat element of a throffer is often less obvious than this and is sometimes not articulated at all. --Stfg (talk) 22:39, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
Indopug has rephrased this a little. J Milburn (talk) 17:43, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
This rephrase doesn't solve the problem I was alluding to. If I say, "Though there are apples in the supermarket today, I bought fish fingers", my "though" is making a false contrast. The fact that there are apples makes it no more or less likely that one might buy fish fingers. Similarly, the fact that sometimes the threat is non-obvious or not expressed has no bearing on the fact that in your example it's overt. It makes sense to say that some are overt and some are not, but not to say that some are overt though some are not. Apologies for failing to make my comment clear. --Stfg (talk) 08:36, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
I really don't see the contrast as false- the fact that some are not overt contrasts with the fact that the example is overt. "Though my house is rented, not all properties on the street are." Or would you object to that sentence as well? If what you're saying is right, I honestly don't think I've ever been taught how to use the word "though" correctly. J Milburn (talk) 09:04, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks; if anyone else has any issues with it, I'll do what I can to rework it, but I can't find a good way of doing so currently. J Milburn (talk) 10:47, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Origin and usage: "and he has been cited in place of Steiner". By whom? Why?
I've rephrased slightly. Though Taylor himself cites Steiner, I'm assuming that some academics didn't think reading the work of a philosopher they hadn't heard of was worth their while, preferring to use a prominent political scientist. J Milburn (talk) 22:22, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
Rhodes's account: In the numbered list, inconsistency as to whether the period goes inside or outside the closing quote (and one closing quote missing altogether). (The article generally needs checking for compliance with MOS:LQ.)
I've tweaked the way I quote Rhodes- there wasn't actually an inconsistency, as I didn't quote the whole of one of Rhodes's definitions. Hopefully it'll be clearer now. I'm pretty sure the article is MOS:LQ-compliant, though it wasn't at one time. Is there a particular quote you're worried about? J Milburn (talk) 22:22, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
MOS:LQ is a hornets' nest, but it does say "When a quoted sentence fragment ends in a period, some judgment is required: if the fragment communicates a complete sentence, the period can be placed inside." I don't see how represents a situation which is preferred to the norm, for example, can be said to "communicate a complete sentence". Whether there's a full stop after "inside" in the source seems to me to be irrelevant. In the article, the sentence containing that text begins with "For an offer", so that whole sentence, not the quoted fragment, is what needs to be terminated with a full stop. I can't see how it can be consistent to put the full stop inside in that case, but outside in (for example) By contrast, if the proposal was a final proposal, it would take the form of "if and only if you fetch the paper for me, you'll get candy". --Stfg (talk) 22:39, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
I was under the impression the period always goes within when the source has a period there, and always goes outside when the source does not. I've now adjusted it so that the period only goes within when "the fragment communicates a complete sentence". That actually makes a lot more sense than how I had previously interpreted the policy, and is closer to how I write outside of Wikipedia. J Milburn (talk) 10:53, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Great. It looks good to me now. --Stfg (talk) 20:31, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
New point: talking about the threat being "actuated" feels like jargon. Carried out? Executed? --Stfg (talk) 22:39, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't say "actuated"- do you mean "actualised"? J Milburn (talk) 23:28, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, sorry, I did. (It was late at night when I typed it.) --Stfg (talk) 08:16, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Comment on the lead—it's clear that all those people in the lead are philosophers of some sort, so no need to describe them as such each time. On second thought, do you even need so many people, I count 13, in the lead? It bulks up the lead and adds little to the lay readers' understanding. Just have the main people and the key ideas.—indopug (talk) 16:48, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
I've trimmed the lead a little as you suggested. J Milburn (talk) 16:58, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Source review - spotchecks not done
Page ranges should use endashes consistently, and be consistent in how they're abbreviated
FN52, 53: page formatting
Arboleda-Flórez title should use endash
Be consistent in what is wikilinked when. Nikkimaria (talk) 20:06, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
I've done the ndashes (but not the WL consistency). --Stfg (talk) 20:31, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Nikki and Stfg; I've hopefully caught everything. J Milburn (talk) 09:24, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Support Comments from Jim Fascinating and readable
Purely as a style thing, I don't like the links to publishers and publications in the cited texts. They are unnecessary since isbn/doi/jstor do the same job, pointless when there is only a redlink, and seem vaguely spammy. I'll support if you change and oppose if you don't (: Really, I won't lose sleep if you don't do anything Jimfbleak -talk to me? 07:45, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
I understand why you dislike this. I've lost the publisher links and redlinks, as I agree they're not so useful. I've kept the others, but can trim further if you feel it's needed. J Milburn (talk) 10:52, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
in the Business section, should there be an indication that the rewards and penalties are disproportionately greater than would be expected from a purely piecework system, since the level of production in such a system affects income anyway?
Rather than just "we give you 2 coins for every item you produce", it becomes "beat the expectation, you get many coins; fail to meet the expectation, you get few coins". I could expand, but I worry I would be drifting into OR territory- Clancey makes the point as an interesting aside, rather than the subject of heavy analysis- he's a management scientist, not a philosopher.
Is the reduction in sentence in return for a guilty plea a throffer? the certainty of conviction set against a lighter penalty — I'm not suggesting you include this, just a thought.
Interesting question. I suspect not; if it takes the form of "plead guilty for a lower sentence, or don't plead guilty and face a fair trial", given as you would be facing a fair trial anyway, that's probably an offer. If it took the form of "rather than present you with a fair trial which may result in 5 years in prison, you can plead guilty for a 3 year sentence or we can lock you up for 8 years" then that is pretty clearly a throffer. (I think that's why sex offenders are such an interesting example- once presented with the throffer, they may lose any chance of a "normal" sentence, and get either a shorter or a longer sentence.) Of course, this kind of analysis is going to depend on whose conception of throffers we buy. J Milburn (talk) 10:52, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
Comments - just taking a look-over now. Interesting and unusual topic, a good choice for something completely different for the main page one day. Queries below. Cas Liber (talk·contribs) 12:06, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
.... compared to the normal course of events which would have come about were no intervention made. - I think it is a "that" not a "which" here....
whether performing and not performing the requested action was more or less preferable than it would have been were no intervention made. - "whether performing or' not performing the requested action was more or less preferable than it would have been were no intervention made."?
when compared with "the norm". -de-quote - also clarify "normal behaviour", is it?
I've left it as it is for now- I clarify what I mean by "the norm" immediately following, and I thought the quotes showed that's what I was doing. Perhaps I could shift the second part of the paragraph (from "Steiner observes" to "to occur") to immediately following "the form of an offer", as this would mean I had defined "the norm" before I first mention it? (See a similar concern above.) J Milburn (talk) 21:56, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
So far, my head is swimming with all the conditional clauses - which is I suppose to be expected given the subject matter. I have no idea about the completeness as am unfamiliar with the topic area and will read it through a couple of times more to get my head around it......Cas Liber (talk·contribs) 20:40, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for taking a look, I really appreciate it. I certainly understand that this is a difficult and weird topic; that's exactly what attracted me to it in the first place! I'm afraid I'm moving house (involving flights and ferries...) tomorrow, and I'm attending a several-day conference in a week or so, so I'm going to potentially have very limited access to Wikipedia for a couple of weeks. Any further thoughts you have would be appreciated, and they will be seen to as soon as I am available, but that may be a while. Thanks again! J Milburn (talk) 21:56, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, real life has a habit of intruding on these things - more later. Cas Liber (talk·contribs) 22:51, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
Philosopher John Kleinig sees a throffer as an example of an occasion when an offer alone may be considered coercive. - would the subjects be better switched? The emphasis is funny - is it "Philosopher John Kleinig sees an occasion when an offer alone may be considered coercive as an example of a throffer."?
No, it's definitely right as it's written now. There's a lot of literature out there about whether there is any such thing as a coercive offer (it sounds counter-intuitive, but consider the case of the lecherous millionaire). Kleinig, who's very prominent despite his lack of Wikipedia article, says that the case of throffers proves that there are; a throffer is an example of an offer which is coercive. (I think he's wrong; as far as I'm concerned, a throffer isn't an offer, and so it can't be an example of a coercive offer. But there you go.) J Milburn (talk) 08:11, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
I would give some descriptors before the first mentions of some of these people such as Robert Stevens, Michael R. Rhodes and Kristján Kristjánsson, to clarify who they are in context to what they are saying (eg American philosopher - professor etc.)
Stevens and Rhodes are pretty obscure, but Kristjánsson's fairly prominent and definitely notable. Gave a rough introduction to each one. (I didn't mention nationalities- I know that Stevens studied in Australia and Rhodes studied in the US, but then Steiner studied in the UK but is Canadian.) J Milburn (talk) 08:11, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
It's a term to refer to those things generally assumed to be the case, especially when there's been prior thought on the matter. The OED defines "received" in the following way: "Generally adopted, accepted, or approved as true, authoritative, or standard. Freq. in received opinion, received wisdom." Do you think it's too colloquial? J Milburn (talk) 12:38, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes I did think it was, but it's OK I think.♦ Dr. Blofeld 18:23, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
"Several writers have also considered throffers presented to people convicted of crimes, and, in particular, sex offenders, who can face more lenient sentences if they accept medical treatment. ", I'd reword it as "Several writers have also observed that throffers presented to people convicted of crimes, particularly sex offenders, can result in more lenient sentences if they accept medical treatment."
"For a throffer to be coercive, they claim, the threat must meet three further conditions; firstly, the person making the throffer "must be intentionally bringing the threat to bear on X in order that X do something, Z1", secondly, the person making the throffer must know that "X would not otherwise do or wish to be constrained to do" Z1, and, thirdly, the threat part of the throffer must render "X's option of doing Z1 more eligible in X's eyes than it would otherwise be". " -could use a citation.
Covered by footnote 41- I could add another if you feel this is unclear? J Milburn (talk) 12:38, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
If you could.♦ Dr. Blofeld 18:23, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
"Such compulsion serves to reintegrate people into the labour market, and serves as a kind of "new paternalism". " -citation needed I think, seems a little OR without.
The entire paragraph is covered by footnote 50. I could add more if you like, but it'd just be repeating itself. J Milburn (talk) 12:38, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
Could you just add one citation for that?♦ Dr. Blofeld 18:23, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
"they have multiple implications in regard to coercive mechanisms from implicit curtailments of freedom to ascription of vulnerability. The former would include threats to personal autonomy, instilling fear in regard to a potential loss of freedom, an increase of dependency with mistrust of one's own capabilities to manage the business of living and, hence, an increase of feelings and attitudes of helplessness. The ascription of vulnerability overrides the principle of equality between the partners, constitutes and invasion of privacy and impacts on the positive rights of individuals." -is this a quote?
Business section is rather short. Given that it's a broad topic is there not anything else in sources which documents other examples or examples of it in the business world? What about things like advertising or promotion? Can you elaborate a bit if possible?
I'd love to, and I have no doubt that there is potentially a lot of interesting analysis to be done here, but I'm afraid the citations just don't exist. Only a few thinkers outside of political philosophy have really started using the term- I've no doubt that in ten years, I could expand this article significantly, but, right now, I don't think that's possible. In my search, I did come across another article by David Wilson (I missed it originally as it was in the popular press, rather than in an academic publication) which I have added to the article. J Milburn (talk) 12:38, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
That's fine, you can only go on what exists of course.♦ Dr. Blofeld 18:23, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Highly impressed with this piece, clearly meets FA criteria in my opinion, and represents the sort of authoritative professional writing piece we generally lack on wikipedia on such topics. Very interesting to me, not to mention that it illustrates that the Godfather is even more influential than people had thought!! I await your response. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:49, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
Thank you very much for your thoughts and kind words. I have just moved house, and so I lack regular Internet access; I'll hopefully be in a position to reply to these comments at the weekend. J Milburn (talk) 09:45, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for taking the time to take a look at the article and for your kind words. J Milburn (talk) 12:38, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
Support Excellent job, happy to support. If you could add those two citations though that would be great.♦ Dr. Blofeld 18:23, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Provisional support – Once the issues above are resolved, the closers can count this as a full support. This is an interesting, well-written account of a term I had never come across before reading the article. It's worthy of having a star on it. Giants2008 (Talk) 01:42, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
Delegate comment -- I think this nom has been open long enough, and if there are still some minor points to be resolved we should be able to AGF that they'll be actioned. Tks/cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 03:28, 7 September 2013 (UTC)