Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Core topics/Category sets

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Category sets: an expandable knowledge tree[edit]

These are sets of top level categories for organizing outlines of Wikipedia articles.

The category sets below range from 2-fold to 32-fold classifications of basic aspects of our experience and knowledge of the world. The category sets expand in number mostly by gradual sub-division within four main categories: culture, social sciences & society, natural sciences & technology, and "indexical" knowledge.

To define these four categories briefly: "Culture" means symbols (such as art and language); "Society" means social structures and relations (such as an economic system or political body); and "Indexical knowledge" can mean, in one sense, a knowledge system that holistically orients people in the world (such as in geography with space or history with time). These four basic categories are imminent in groupings of subcategories (hence the lack of alphabetization below). An extra hierarchy level of 4 categories is not needed for an 8 or 12-fold set, but might be needed in 20-fold and larger sets.

While other categorization schemes are possible (and while the core topics group will explore other schemes over time), these category sets can be adapted (are scalable) to small and large collections of articles and lists in Wikipedia. And, the 8 and 10-fold sets are quite similar to existing top level English Wikipedia category sets, such as the Lists of topics main categories. The category structure is also informed by the top level categories on the French Wikipedia main page.

Due to the above qualities, one of these category sets (or something similar) can be used now as a standard Version 1.0 top level category set (and for top level categories on other Wikipedia pages as well).

2-fold set[edit]

  • culture and society (subjective and inter-subjective world and knowledge)
  • nature and sciences (objective world and knowledge)

4-fold set[edit]

8-fold set[edit]

Note: this 8-fold set is close to the Wikipedia List of topic lists main categories. With the exception of using extra words, this is rather similar to the Wikipedia Main Page top level portal categories.

^(N) = new category

10-fold set[edit]

This is added as a compromise between the 8 and 12-fold sets:

12-fold set[edit]

^(N) - new for 10 and/or 12-fold sets

One could achieve a 10 or 11 category set by dropping 1 or 2 new categories.

If one dropped "Everyday Life" and ""Language and literature" and replaced "People" with "Society", one would essentially have the top level category set (with a few wording variations) used on the Wikipedia List of reference tables page. The categories there are:

  • Art and Culture - Philosophy and Religion
  • People - Social sciences and Society
  • Geography - History and Events - Reference
  • Mathematics and Abstractions - Physical sciences and Nature - Technology

16-fold set[edit]

arts - language and communications - literature and writing (N) - religion and philosophy

everyday life and leisure^ - politics and economics (N) - society - social sciences

biography (N) - geography - history - other classification systems (or all portals)

mathematics - natural sciences - medicine and health (N) - applied sciences and technology


^Note: Everyday life includes the common categories of food and drink and games and sports.

20-fold set[edit]

arts - communications - language - literature and writing - philosophy & religion

everyday life and leisure - politics and war (N) - business and economics (N) - society - social sciences

biography - geography - history - references (N) - other classification (or category) systems (or all portals)

mathematics - natural sciences - medicine and health - engineering and computing (N) - technology and transportation (N)

24-fold set[edit]

arts - communications - language - literature and writing philosophy - religion

everyday life and leisure - politics and war - business and economics - education and psychology (N) - society - social sciences -

biography - geography - history - information and library sciences (N) - references - other classification (or category) systems (or all portals)

mathematics - biological sciences (N) - physical sciences - medicine and health - engineering and computing - technology and transportation

28-fold set[edit]

arts - communications - film and theatre (N) - language - literature and writing philosophy - religion

everyday life and leisure - law (N) - politics and war - business and economics - education and psychology - society - social sciences -

atlas of the universe (N) - biography - geography - history - references - information and library sciences - other classification (or category) systems (or all portals)

mathematics - biological sciences - earth sciences (N) - physical sciences - medicine and health - engineering and computing - technology and transportation

32-fold set[edit]

arts - architecture (N) - communications - film and theatre (N) - language - literature and writing philosophy - religion

everyday life and leisure - games and sports - gender and sexuality (N) - politics and war - business and economics - education and psychology - society - social sciences

atlas of the universe - biography - geography - history - references - information sciences - library sciences - other classification (or category) systems (or all portals)

mathematics - biological sciences - chemistry (N) - earth sciences - physics and astronomy (N) - medicine and health - engineering and computing - technology and transportation