Wikipedia:WikiProject Philosophy/readability

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These are proposed guidelines for Wikipedia:WikiProject Philosophy.

General and introductory articles[edit]

These include Philosophy, together with the main philosophical topics such as Epistemology, Metaphysics or Ontology, Ethics, Logic, as well as the philosophy of... articles such as Philosophy of language, Philosophy of science.

By their nature, such articles tend to be lists of the various positions and arguments of the field, along with outlines of the views of the significant philosophers. The emphasis should be on breadth rather than on depth. Each section should link to the appropriate main article using the appropriate template: {{Main|main article}} or {{See|main article}}.

These articles should be written for the general reader. In these articles

  • Use minimal technical language
  • Explain any jargon as soon as it occurs
  • Describe key arguments briefly and link to their main article rather than presenting them in detail in the body of the article
  • Introduce the views of key philosophers and link to their main article rather than describing their work in detail.

Biographical articles[edit]

These articles describe the body of work and biographical details of significant philosophers.

As with the main articles, the biographical articles should be written for the general reader. However some detail is to be expected in order to accurately explain the view of the philosopher concerned. Judgement will be needed in determining the placement of arguments. For instance, Karl Popper describes falsification briefly, linking to the main article falsifiability; whereas John Searle presents detailed arguments.


These articles describe important publications in philosophy.

These articles should present sufficient information to understand the arguments being presented in the publication. They might present the argument in a more accessible way than the original article, targeting readers with a deeper understanding of the topics involved. As a rule of thumb, the reader of these articles might be assumed to be familiar with the general features of the field under discussion, and understand some jargon that is relevant to the topic. See The Unreality of Time; The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. The emphasis should be on depth.


Articles that present specific arguments, for example Regress argument, Is-ought problem. Again, the emphasis should be on depth, and it is reasonable to assume some familiarity with jargon and technicalities. For instance, it is reasonable to assume that the reader of Raven paradox is familiar with inductive logic, and be able to make sense of Bayes' theorem.

See also[edit]