Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Philosophy/Archive 12

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Could we have a few editors take a look at recent changes to Aristotle, Metaphysics (Aristotle) and Corpus Aristotelicum. The main discussion is at Talk:Aristotle. Thanks --Snowded TALK 07:49, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

continuum (philosophy)

Is the subject of the continuum a suitable topic for a separate page, or perhaps a section at continuum (theory)? Tkuvho (talk) 16:17, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

I appreciate your initiative very much. I miss information on this particular perspective on the topic on Wikipedia, as I did not have the time yet to actually get into in. I think that if you have a lot to contribute, you might start a new article, otherwise expanding Continuum (theory) might be a reasonable idea, as that article is a stub. Let me quickly point out to some aspects that I consider worthwhile covering.
1. Continuum (theory) lacks a mathematical section. At least some reference to the existing articles on the mathematical side of the topic should be in order. Also, you might add to the existing sections what you find during your research, e.g. the psychology section lacks a remark on the historically relevant field theories in psychology (e.g. Lewin). Also, aspects of the philosophical viewpoint can spill over to the other sections, as e.g. conceptions of force/field/matter into the physics section.
2. Regarding philosophy proper, the concept of infinity is central. Aristotle's distinction between actual and potential infinity is key, but also e.g. his exclusion of the middle (Law of excluded middle)
3. Also to be considered relevant for philosophy proper, but of a mathematical flavour, is Cantor's Continuum hypothesis, and the later discussions in the context of set theory. Alain Badiou comes to mind. (The context of} his philosophy draws heavily on the continuum hypothesis, even though not necessarily explicitly. In his "Briefings on Existence", the Axiom of choice plays a prominent role (which also relates to the Continuum hypothesis) in his distinction of a Platon-Descartes vs. an Aristotle-Leibniz lineage (the first maybe leading to Badiou, the second maybe to Deleuze?). The Axiom of choice is important in deciding whether non-constructable entities will be accepted to exist (which is important in deciding about what can be known to exist - the cognisability of actual infinity that Aristotle rejects connects here, also the principal (empirical) realisability of knowledge/sapient beings).
However, if your ideas run into a completely different direction, don't let yourself be bothered by my remarks, your contribution is welcome - maybe my allusions just point in a helpful direction in case you run into certain aspects of the topic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Morton Shumway (talkcontribs) 02:28, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
The issue of the law of excluded middle is definitely relevant, as it determines the divide between intuitionistic continua such as Brouwer's and Lawvere's, and classical ones such as Stevin's and Robinson's. Tkuvho (talk) 09:25, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
I added a section at continuum (theory), feel free to elaborate. Tkuvho (talk) 13:11, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, I left a short note at the article's talk page. --Morton Shumway (talk) 17:04, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Category:Chinese_American_philosophers at CfD

See the discussion at Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2010_May_16#Category:Chinese_American_philosophers. AllyD (talk) 17:09, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Proposed move of banner template

See Template talk:Philosophy#Requested move (2010). –xenotalk 13:00, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

The Human Condition

Anyone impressed with Harry Frankfurt's "Bullsh*T" should agree that our articles on recent philosophy books can be less than admirable.

The article on Hannah Arendt's "The Human Condition" would be a case in point: we aappear to have a section on Chap VI which neglects to mention its outrageously biased, fallactious and otherwise obnoxious attack on science.

The chapter is founded in the views of Heidegger, which in the 1st ed. go unmentioned.

The view of Einstein as of 1905 on matter, energy and later on invariance is comical were it not that she is now viewed as a prophet of everything from ecology to animal rights (she uses the word creature, but was as anthropocentric as Heidegger.)

Her chapter VI could be used for a Phil 100 Logic class for tracing deliberate ambiguities, false dichotomies, non-sequitors and the use of false premises.

Her conflation of all relativisms with general relativity is not simply comic. This book has been assigned reading in colleges for decades.

I suggest handing this article off to any grad student in philosophy of physics at CMU and asking Bryan Skyrms or Clark Glymour or Bas van Frassen to do a quick review (Yvon Gauthier in Montreal probably even knows the Heidegger required to debunk her Descartes interpretation). Her misrepresentation of Galileo's views is worse than that of Husserl, whose interest in phenomenology of Lebenswelt I, for one, otherwise share (here I see the influence of Heidegger and Fink on the aging Husserl.)

Joceyln Benoist might be willing to do a reading from the view of post-Heidegger philosophy in France.

With regard to feminism and phil: she appears ignorant of Emmy Noether at Bryn Mawr and has no mention of Susanne Langer among her mentions of Cassirer -even when talking about thought and symbol. See Heidegger in "Wegmarken" on Aristotle and physics. Compare Michael Oakeshott as a political thinker with views on modes of experience (her contemporary in many ways.)

See: philosophers as journalists versus philosophers an intellectuals. Arendt and the telescope.

Note: Isaiah Berlin both spoke Russian and knew Anna Akhmatova; cp Alasdair MaciIntyre's misrepresentation of Hilbert and a post for Noether in his book "Edith Stein". G. Robert Shiplett 18:18, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

Is this then how we discuss among peers philosophers with whom we disagree? This homily presents a near perfect archetype of overweening bombast, delightfully shrill and quickened with the thrill of an emotional roller coaster, first stepping in "Bullsh*T" and then moving hysterically from the outrageous and obnoxious to the comical, to the simply comic and ignorant, until at last, it flatulently debunks. Clearly, your primary interests here are objectivity and scholarly inclusion of opposing views, but some might question whether your followers and fellows comprehend your irony. --Devala1 (talk) 05:00, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
We can discuss like this, and it is comprehensible. However, I am not sure what's the aim of your comments regarding work on the article (which I assume is The Human Condition (book)). Contentwise, I agree with some of Mr. Shiplett's concerns, and the interesting info you give, but shouldn't this go into the article? Best, --Morton Shumway (talk) 17:09, 1 June 2010 (UTC).

Proposal to merge cats


Nota bene: I proposed to merge these two categories so as to avoid unnecessary redundancy. Any thoughts? Greg Bard 22:05, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Unless someone comes up with a technical and concise definition of the difference between a society and an organisation in this context, I absolutely agree with your proposal. Best, --Morton Shumway (talk) 16:54, 1 June 2010 (UTC).

Proposal to speedy delete Philosophical organizations

The following articles were proposed to be speedily deleted: Caribbean Philosophical Association, Mississippi Philosophical Association. I wonder if just the fact that these places have philosophical organizations is notable enough. Anyway, I would prefer to give these articles a chance, rather than have them deleted if possible. Any thoughts? Greg Bard 21:34, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

By now I find Caribbean Philosophical Association quite alright (it has been worked out a bit since you posted this), and I find the deletion proposal tag removed. On the other hand, Mississippi Philosophical Association is small & of small scope. However, I think that it holds specific and useful information on that society. There the delete tag has been removed as well. So I just second your concerns ex post I guess. Best, --Morton Shumway (talk) 16:51, 1 June 2010 (UTC).

symbol consistency

I might be wrong but it seems like many diferent symbols are used for truth functionl operators on logic related papers (for example, unless i've missunderstood, it seems that both a both-ways arrow and a tripple equal are used to express a biconditional). I think the articals would be easier to read if one simbolic notation were used consistantly and if that notation were documented sombrero. This problem is especialy confusing becuase logicians from diferent countries use different notation. 21:22, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

You are correct! There are Standards_for_notation. However, they are largely ignored. There are often instances of articles where symbols are changed and then changed again and again... There are even templates to make things easy... but people don't know about them, or ignore them, or they just prefer another symbol and are determined to have it. Please do use the {{and}} template type of notation as promulgated in the standards doc. If there is consensus to change the standard, we can change them all at once usingthis method. Be well, Greg Bard 22:23, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Atheism vs Nontheism

There has been some question of whether Atheism and Nontheism are distinct entities or should be merged. Please weigh-in here. --Cybercobra (talk) 00:48, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Recent edits to article Perception

There has been some heavy editing to the article by a single user. The current version is not a real improvement, and quite a lot important (even if not well- or systematically-phrased) content been deleted. I have left a note concerning this at the article's talk page under a message of the user, and at the user's talk page as well, and I will have an eye on the issue. However, I would be glad if someone with an interest in that topic, and someone who is more experienced with formal issues (disambiguation link was deleted, three project boxes were moved to the bottom of the article) took a look as well. What does one do if a rollback to the old version is indicated? All the best, --Morton Shumway (talk) 01:09, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

The issue has been resolved, a revert has been done. --Morton Shumway (talk) 11:19, 4 June 2010 (UTC).

Proposed category merger: "Educational_philosophy" into "Philosophy of education"

See the discussion at Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2010_June_6#Category:Educational_philosophy. AllyD (talk) 22:35, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

Index of philosophy articles

The Index of philosophy articles (A–C) series (four pages) should have the philosophers removed from them since they have their own list. It may make the series of pages short enough to be merged into one. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 05:17, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

It will be done soon. The Philosobot proposal above includes a function to automatically update the Index of philosophy. There will also be a separate function for updating the Index of philosophers.Greg Bard 07:47, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Mayan infinity

A user has asked for more information about the Mayan conception of the infinite. I asked the user to move the discussion to Talk:Infinity (philosophy) rather than Talk:Infinity, but I'm not sure that the page is being watched since it's relatively new. Any takers?

CRGreathouse (t | c) 03:53, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

Proposal for Philosobot

I have made a proposal to establish a bot to perform routine maintenance of some WikiProject pages. (See: Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/Philosobot). Greg Bard 05:08, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Sounds good. Let me know if you need a hand with anything. CRGreathouse (t | c) 14:14, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

Expert help needed

A few sections in Catholic–Eastern Orthodox theological differences have a seemingly inferior logic that perhaps affects a larger selection of subsections. Those interested who are proficient in theology, philosophy and logic, might give a helping hand by assessing relevant subsections and giving comment at the talk page HERE! Thank you for your attention, and otherwise happy editing! Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 08:58, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

add for Axel Honneth in Template:Frankfurt School?

I think that the name of Axel Honneth should be added in the template as the actual successor of Jürgen Habermas as the head of critical theory of Frankfurt School. Furter than being just the director in charge of the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt, his ideas (above all those contained in his work The Struggle for Recognition) are already been widely discussed across Europe and I think he would soon be recognized worldwide for the same reason. I would've added it by myself but I want to wait for some other's opinions before proceeding with that. --VentDuNord (talk) 10:56, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

  • There is maybe an issue of whether the Frankfurt School proper is bounded in time and personal acquaintance, whether it continues to and beyond the "second generation" at University of Frankfurt? But if so, Honneth is a reasonable addition. More so, possibly, than Helmut Reichelt who has been placed into the Template as a Notable Theorist but is mentioned nowhere in the Frankfurt School article. AllyD (talk) 09:16, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
  • I just noticed that Honneth was in the Template until an edit in January this year: [1]. AllyD (talk) 09:21, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Yes, I believe I might have been the one who removed him. Note that the article starts with the earliest theorists and ends with the work of Habermas. The problem with the term "Frankfurt School" is that its meaning and scope may vary according to different sources. It is not necessarily synonymous with "critical theory", which could be seen as the philosophical tradition left by the Frankfurt School. If the FS was synonymous with critical theory, then a lot of other theorists, including Axel Honneth and Seyla Benhabib, would also have to be included. However, I believe the "Frankfurt School" is mostly seen as referring to the earliest critical theorists and would hence exclude Honneth. Correct me if I'm wrong. --m3taphysical (talk) 19:46, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
  • I also believe you are right concerning Helmut Reichelt. He seems to belong to the second/third generations of theorists. Perhaps it would be best to remove him. --m3taphysical (talk) 08:27, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
  • I think that Honneth should be brought back into the article, but not as a member of "second" generation, but rather as the main figure of the third generation. Honneth draws severely on the communicative turn of the second generation, but has also emphasised that communicative relations are not the prime starting point for social and critical theory. As to the "shcool"-issue I also find it reasonable to maintain the idea of an ongoing "Frankfurth School". When you visit the Philosophy department in Frankfurt, there is a clear self-understanding of belonging to a common school. Certainly (and this has been so already since Habermas) with very emphasized relations with other schools. But you cannot be appointed to the department, if you claim that "social critique" is unimportant (I agree certainly that the Frankfurters do not have exclusive rights on this focus) --ejvindh (talk) 19:23, 29 June 2010 (UTC)


I am dubious about the value of the whole "works" category tree as it intersects with the philosophy category. I think I may propose to delete it, as it is completely the same as Category:Philosophical_literature. Are there works that aren't also literature (which cannot merely be placed noncontroversially under literature)? The intention of the literature category originally was to contain all of this stuff. Is there some point to this before I make that proposal? Greg Bard 22:58, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

I did make that proposal: Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2010_June_18#Category:Philosophical_worksGreg Bard 22:52, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

Category rename/change proposals

An editor from the mathematics department made this proposal. Greg Bard 18:39, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

Proposed deletion of Nontheism

Bibliography about Intelligence for Wikipedians

I have posted a bibliography of Intelligence Citations for the use of all Wikipedians who have occasion to edit articles on intelligence and related issues, some of which I see are in the scope of this WikiProject. I happen to have circulating access to a huge academic research library at a university with an active research program in those issues (and to another library that is one of the ten largest public library systems in the United States) and have been researching these issues since 1989. You are welcome to use these citations for your own research and to suggest new sources to me by comments on that page. I would especially appreciate hearing about more sources that take a philosophical perspective or that broaden the discussion of intelligence to include nonhuman intelligence. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk) 21:19, 30 June 2010 (UTC)


Greetings, everyone at WikiProject Philosophy! I am here to inform you that a proposal has been made to modify your barnstar, here. You are invited to participate in the discussion! Thanks for taking time to read this notice. Kayau Voting IS evil 01:31, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

Philosophical works CFD

Hello, this is a notice for this WikiProject in regards to a current category for discussion. The category Category:Philosophical works and its subcategories are currently nominated to be merged. Your comments are welcome, and the discussion can be found here. Thank you. — ξxplicit 21:12, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

WikiProject Theology

I'm restarting this previously stillborn WikiProject. If you're interested, please join. There are still some very basic tasks which need doing, such as building the WikiProject page, and tagging core articles using the recently created Template:WikiProject Theology. Many thanks ! Claritas § 20:09, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Confirmation bias is now a Featured Article

Confirmation bias, which is rated as mid-importance for this wikiproject, has passed FAC. This brings the total number of FA-class philosophy articles to 46. MartinPoulter (talk) 12:01, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

History of painting

This project claims History of painting within its area, so I am posting here for outside opinions. There is a disagreement on the History of painting talk page regarding the number of images within the article. I believe the majority of the 400 images need to be removed while other editors believe the article is fine as it is. Opinions appreciated. --auburnpilot talk 17:01, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Categories for discussion

Greg Bard (talk) 20:19, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Please help on new item related to Heidegger!!

Newly created article on U.S. Heidegger editor & translator Jesse Glenn Gray needs help. He met with Heidegger and I think was lede editor on Heidegger for Harper & Row. Was friend of Hanna Arendt, who wrote fairly extensive intro on his most significant work "The Warriors." I've long suspected this memoir concerningn WWII influenced various writers and filmmakers whose work concerned Vietnam War.

Calamitybrook (talk) 06:42, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for contributing the article; I have tidied it up somewhat. Skomorokh 06:52, 8 July 2010 (UTC)


I've just discovered that I worked on Fan loyalty (AfD discussion). So I think it only just that the burden of working on Loyalty (AfD discussion) be shared around a little. Feel free to muck in. There's lots to say. I've just read that Hegel thought loyalty to be unjustly founded, whereas Bismark boasted that it was a virtue that was peculiarly German. I'm sure that there's more in the same vein. If everyone does a paragraph each, we might have a good stub soon. Uncle G (talk) 05:03, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Portoesque logic prodded

I have just placed a prod tag on Portoesque logic, in case anyone here would like to review this action. Sławomir Biały (talk) 12:34, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

PROD was removed, opened an AfD. BrideOfKripkenstein (talk) 02:37, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

Ongoing removal of philosophy content

There is an on-going issue of mathematicians removing philosophy content from logic articles under the pretense of NPOV. Let me state for the record that coverage of content that is important to philosophers is not POV pushing, it is academic subject matter. Currently, there are a few of them pushing their view at Proposition (more evidence of this phenomenon at Tautology (logic)). In the proposed MOS there is provision for attempting to cover the "meta-perspective" (i.e. distinctions such as the type-token distinction are accounted for). This, it seems to me to be eminently responsible. However this is diametrically opposed to the philosophy of these editors. It is demonstrably their goal to remove any meta-perspective. This situation cannot stand. At some point we need to approve the MOS, and enforce it.Greg Bard 21:52, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

I really don't see that this is a mathematical logic versus philosophy thing; It seems to me that you are presenting a particular view (that propositions are sentences) as uncontroversial and obvious when in fact the opposite is true, the status of propositions as truth bearers or as the meanings of sentences (and indeed, whether such things as propositions even exist in the first place) is a hot area and is by no means settled. Can you provide a source to back this claim up? BrideOfKripkenstein (talk) 23:15, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
B of K, the content including the term "sentence" I am perfectly open to using the most general "statement" or something involving all possible terms like "statement (also proposition, or sentence)." The term "sentence" was not the big issue, because there will be no problem arriving at something. The type-token distinction and other meta-issues are important however. If people got the wrong idea, then deletion of the type-token distinction should be restored along with whatever agreed upon term.Greg Bard 17:48, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
Ok then, I guess -- but I don't see how Type/Token distinction really bears on this; sentence types versus sentence tokens is orthogonal to the question of whether a proposition is a sentence (I maintain they're not) but as long as you're willing to concede that I guess we're in at least some measure of agreement. Strawson at least preferred the term 'statement' to 'proposition' if I recall. BrideOfKripkenstein (talk) 18:47, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, the claim that a proposition is "an idea, concept or abstraction" is very odd to me. The competing lede (which claims that a proposition is either a sentence or the meaning of a sentence) is much more common in the literature, philosophical or otherwise. Phiwum (talk) 02:05, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
I notice that Greg Bard's sole citation to justify his change in the lede does not say that a proposition is an idea, concept or abstraction. On the contrary, on p. 45 of the 1973 edition of Metalogic (as found on Google Books), we see:
"A proposition ... is a sentence expressing something true or false. It is an abstract thing; its tokens are strings of words."
So, the cite does make the claim that a token of a proposition is a string of words, but this is true just because the author defines a proposition to be a kind of sentence and sentence tokens are strings of words. Phiwum (talk) 02:57, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
I see that the same phrase occurs on the Syntax (logic) and Symbol (formal) pages and was once added to the Theorem page. It seems to me that Greg Bard has a particular affection for labeling these syntactic objects thus. I'm sure I don't know why. Phiwum (talk) 03:05, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
It should be no surprise to see a similar class of objects similarly described. I have stated my reasoning sufficiently in the introductory paragraph. The SEP refers to the type-token distinction as an important distinction. In these cases identifying that an object is an idea rather than physical object is to provide a precise and clear definition. It is telling readers what it is on a fundamental level. This is what we should be doing. It helps to avoid POV issues whn done correctly. This is why the meta-perspective is important.Greg Bard 17:48, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
The type/token distinction may well be an important notion when one discusses propositions, say. But it does not follow that the opening paragraph on an article about propositions should claim that they are ideas, concepts or abstractions rather than the far commoner definition: they are kinds of sentences or the meanings of kinds of sentences. This is my point.
By all means, mention the type/token distinction (perhaps not in the lede, though I have no strong opinion). But unless you can find a single citation that says "ontologically" a proposition is a concept, then you should drop this idiosyncratic presentation. (And even a single citation doesn't suffice to change the lede, when countless authors use the already discussed meaning.) Phiwum (talk) 19:06, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

come on....I truely Belive that all knowleaged is impotant nomatter what the conscept or idea is. It is a vital part of our existace, with out the small things we cant have the bigger more complex things.... becuz..everything is made up from the same conscept, from that is were more idaes, conscepts, resources, and everyting else comes from. if we dont have the power, then we create it, thus takeing something in return as an equal... if we have the perception to know the outcome and its consequences, and in turn ther consequences' consequences...when the bad outcomes outway the good outcomes, only then do we have the right to take someting and make it seem like it nevered existed.GrimInsight NickHolcombe (talk) 21:23, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

I can't argue with that.Greg Bard (talk) 21:32, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
Maybe this is helpful: User:Morton Shumway/Proposition (Quotes). --Morton Shumway (talk) 14:38, 16 June 2010 (UTC).

Teleological ethics

Hello everybody, I have seen a number of strange things on the pages concerning ethics here. Most I can sort of handle myself, however, there is a page that needs to be redone completely because the very title is incorrect: consequantialism. This is a different word for utilism, not for teleological ethics. I have placed a quote on the talk page by the way. Anyway, I would like to have some help because it will require quite some work. Also somebody to discuss the matters with before fixing things that are not as broke as I might think they are. Is anybody willing to talk things over with me? I'll do the work myself if you are short on time (as I can image unfortunately). --Faust (talk) 13:12, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

I'm not quite sure which problem you are pointing to: there was an article on teleological ethics, but now serves as a redirect to consequantialism. SO is the intent to recreate the teleological ethics article? - Bilby (talk) 14:06, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Most of the article on consequentionalism is actually on teleological ethics. There are a number of quite drastic cuts and pastes, not to mention renames involved. And I haven't even named the question of correct information. So, my intent is to first select what exactly is teleology and separate this from the consequentionalism. Then we can make an introduction to consequentionalism (utilism) and link to a more elaborate page if needs be. How well know are you in ethics? --Faust (talk) 14:39, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Three marks of existence

Anyone want to try and rewrite this? It's shocking in it's current state, as far away from NPOV as you could get. --Cameron Scott (talk) 20:23, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

RfC on Christ myth theory page name

Comments would be appreciated at an RfC about the best title for the Christ myth theory. See the discussion here. The article is about the theory that Jesus of Nazareth did not, or probably did not, exist as an historical being. Should it be moved from Christ myth theory to, for example, Jesus myth theory? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 23:19, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

Italics permissible in titles of articles on books?

See the ongoing RfC at Wikipedia_talk:Article_titles#Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment:Use_of_italics_in_article_titles. Wareh (talk) 18:36, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Edit war Jacques Derrida lead section

There is a yawning impasse with several editors warring over this inevitably vexed issue. As if JD were reminding us all of the impossibility of the text. Could any neutral editor with an interest in post structuralist thought help here, it is just revert after revert and this warring is discouraging otherwise competent editors from contributing. N.B. Please do not post below if you are one of the warring editors as it will simply extend the same arguments into a diferent arena --Artiquities (talk) 06:16, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

Max Weber - Featured article review

I have nominated Max Weber for a featured article review here. Please join the discussion on whether this article meets featured article criteria. Articles are typically reviewed for two weeks. If substantial concerns are not addressed during the review period, the article will be moved to the Featured Article Removal Candidates list for a further period, where editors may declare "Keep" or "Remove" the article's featured status. The instructions for the review process are here. Tom B (talk) 18:39, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

RfC on Logos

An editor has proposed a complete rewrite of Logos, an article of interest to this project. Please see Talk:Logos#Proposed Re-Write. -- Radagast3 (talk) 13:21, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

RfC on in-text attribution

Fresh eyes would be appreciated on an RfC about whether, in using in-text attribution for sources on the Historicity of Jesus, we should include whether that source is an ordained minister or similar. See Talk:Historicity_of_Jesus#RfC_on_in-text_attribution. Many thanks, SlimVirgin talk|contribs 17:04, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Actual infinity

The article Actual infinity could use some help... a lot of help, really. I'm not even sure where to classify it within Category:Metaphysics. It's also in Category:Philosophy of mathematics which is probably fine, though I don't think this is a particularly mathematical topic.

Actually, even a good philosophical (not historical!) reference would be great.

CRGreathouse (t | c) 01:10, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Legalist vs. legalist

Any views on this would be appreciated. Thanks. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 11:02, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

Edit-warring imminent at Morality

A controversy over the definition of amorality in relation to morality seems to have caused an edit war where one user has called for multiple bans despite the fact that WP:3RR appears to not have been broken. I have decided to stop editing the article for now, posted an RfC already, but think this needs greater immediate attention, especially with multiple complaints filled at ANI. If anyone can contribute consensus to the definition of amorality, they are encouraged to read and post to Talk:Morality. Thanks. -- (talk) 15:22, 7 September 2010 (UTC)


I've created a template for Wittgenstein, which can be seen at here if anyone would like to contribute.

The Rhymesmith (talk) 09:09, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

Looks really great! Are there any specific points I should judge? Btw: I think I am going to read "Some Remarks on Logical Form". Thanks for the list, which made me check it out! --Faust (talk) 08:07, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Morality and teleology

Hello everybody, I am trying to add two things that are (in my opinion) unjustly withheld by two editors. On the morality page it is only a reference, that I have had to reference, but still seems not enough and on the teleology page it is a general explanation of teleological ethics as opposed to deontological ethics, which I have severely referenced but is also not accepted by these users. In both articles a retracing of our steps is being undertaken. The request for references is continuously being restated while I have already done so. Perhaps more voices can solve this issue without letting it escalate even further. So, I would like to ask for some help in this. --Faust (talk) 07:57, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

And deontology

As one of the other editors engaged with Faust on Talk:Morality I would like to second the request for outside involvement, and further request third opinions on our discussion at Talk:Deontological ethics, which appears to be closely related to his discussion at Talk:Teleology (in which I am not currently involved). --Pfhorrest (talk) 00:58, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Aesthetics articles have been selected for the Wikipedia 0.8 release

Version 0.8 is a collection of Wikipedia articles selected by the Wikipedia 1.0 team for offline release on USB key, DVD and mobile phone. Articles were selected based on their assessed importance and quality, then article versions (revisionIDs) were chosen for trustworthiness (freedom from vandalism) using an adaptation of the WikiTrust algorithm.

We would like to ask you to review the Aesthetics articles and revisionIDs we have chosen. Selected articles are marked with a diamond symbol (♦) to the right of each article, and this symbol links to the selected version of each article. If you believe we have included or excluded articles inappropriately, please contact us at Wikipedia talk:Version 0.8 with the details. You may wish to look at your WikiProject's articles with cleanup tags and try to improve any that need work; if you do, please give us the new revisionID at Wikipedia talk:Version 0.8. We would like to complete this consultation period by midnight UTC on Monday, October 11th.

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Epistemology articles have been selected for the Wikipedia 0.8 release

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Philosophical literature articles have been selected for the Wikipedia 0.8 release

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Philosophy articles have been selected for the Wikipedia 0.8 release

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We would like to ask you to review the Philosophy articles and revisionIDs we have chosen. Selected articles are marked with a diamond symbol (♦) to the right of each article, and this symbol links to the selected version of each article. If you believe we have included or excluded articles inappropriately, please contact us at Wikipedia talk:Version 0.8 with the details. You may wish to look at your WikiProject's articles with cleanup tags and try to improve any that need work; if you do, please give us the new revisionID at Wikipedia talk:Version 0.8. We would like to complete this consultation period by midnight UTC on Monday, October 11th.

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Intelligent design

I've just started to work on this featured article to try to bring it up to current FA standards, and to try to present the philosophical arguments for and against ID, preferably using uninvolved academic sources. It is an article with a troubled history because of the strong POVs involved. I'm looking for any editors who might be willing to help with the writing and with finding philosophy sources, in particular editors with formal training in academic philosophy who are able and willing to write up arguments and counter-arguments carefully and neutrally. Anyone willing to help, please let me know on the article's talk page or on mine. Many thanks! SlimVirgin talk|contribs 15:31, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

Might I ask which parts are in dispute of being a POV? --Faust (talk) 08:24, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

I believe the lead could definitely use a "less is more" approach. It hammers certain points over and over. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 17:59, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Use of the term "metaphysics"

I have proposed to move this redirect to "spiritualism" rather than "metaphysics."Greg Bard (talk) 15:43, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

I've asked WP:PARA about the name of the article. I think there's broad agreement that Conduit (metaphysics) is an inappropriate name. CRGreathouse (t | c) 01:23, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Banality of Good and Evil

The citations in this article are horrible. The two sources have never written anything before and are dubious at best. Judderwocky (talk) 19:29, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

which article?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 11:26, 17 October 2010 (UTC)


Please see: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Corporate behaviour. The article is said to be a part of this project. Borock (talk) 15:59, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

God gene

There is an article God gene, which deals with a gene which correlates to predisposition to spirituality. It is a popular press topic with little scientific backing so not very encyclopaedic. However, the topic about the human predisposition to search for metaphysical answers is central to several works of some philosophers, such as late Shopenhauer and Nitsche, if I am not mistaken, so I was hoping if someone could give the article a look and give it a check (e.g. terminology etc) and add a brief section linking to philosophical lines of thought? Or if it is too rubbish, add a warning tag. Thanks --Squidonius (talk) 06:52, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

AFD relevant to this project - Jessica Feshbach

Ongoing AFD deletion discussion for this article, at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Jessica Rodriguez (3rd nomination). Thank you for your time, -- Cirt (talk) 09:37, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Major philosophers of the 20th Century on the main Philosophy article

The brief section on |"contemporary" (i.e., 20th century) philosophy in the main Philosophy article has been the subject of disagreement which does not appear to be going in any constructive direction. Since the three editors involved so far (I am one) are at loggerheads and one is now making 3RR noises at another, I implore other knowledgeable editors to advise. I strongly suggest reading the |relevant Talk page discussion. Thanks. 271828182 (talk) 07:26, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

Edmund Montgomery

Need some help. The Wiki page Edmund Montgomery has been mostly neglected since it was first up in 2006. I have been able to add much to it, in the way of biographical data and listing his papers. However, detailing the significance of his body of work is somewhat beyond my expertise to handle. The content of sections "Medicine" and "Philosophy" existed before my contributions, and could use expertise. Maile66 (talk) 11:13, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

merging practical argument with argument

There is a merge tag on the article Practical arguments that has been there since the GW Bush administration. I don't really know the difference (or if there even is a difference), so I'd appreciate if people who actually know something about Philosophy would comment on the talk page. Thanks, D O N D E groovily Talk to me 01:26, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Purpose of agnostic neutralism

I'm just bringing attention to the talk I started here. Are we to suppose "atheism" strictly refers to strong atheism and not simply a lack of belief when discussing agnosticism?

Agnosticism correctly (as expected) notes it's not a stance of belief, but certainty. The neutralism article seems to fail to acknowledge that by assuming the spectrum of belief is theism<->agnosticism<->atheism, which is incorrect and contradicts other pages (and correct definition).

I don't understand what this position is attempting to clarify, and I think it should be removed; it's no different from an agnostic (weak) atheist, which is already covered. Thanks, GManNickG (talk) 04:15, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

I don't really understand what you're saying (possibly a failing on my part), but I agree with your conclusion that the article should probably be deleted. I'm glad you brought up the point here so that if there is any reason to save the article the knowledgeable editors of this project can speak up for it. CRGreathouse (t | c) 02:34, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. What I meant was to expand on that the article supports itself as a position by defining atheism in a way that contradicts what we've (correctly) defined it to be in the atheism article; it treats atheism only as positive atheism, instead of both positive and negative atheism. And then it says "This position means 'I care (so I'm not apatheistic) but don't know if "God exists" is true, or if "God doesn't exist" is true, and don't subscribe either way.", which is just weak agnosticism/negative atheism. It assumes the spectrum of belief is a 1D line of theism-agnosticism-atheism, when it's really a 2D plane of belief-nonbelief and certainty-uncertainty. Hope that clarifies. GManNickG (talk) 02:52, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree with everything I understood, which was admittedly only about half of what you wrote. Maybe I'm just tired. In any case it doesn't look like anyone's pushing to keep the article, which does seem to wrongly redefine several terms. CRGreathouse (t | c) 03:36, 5 November 2010 (UTC)


The facts of Gottlob Frege's antisemitism that provoked an expression of shock and indignation on the part of the Frege scholar Michael Dummett, also provoked a yawn on the part of a wikieditor who has persistenly blocked attempts to restore the Dummett quote, see talk: Gottlob Frege. Tkuvho (talk) 21:25, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Yesterday the editor in question compared Frege to Shakespeare. Tkuvho (talk) 12:29, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Mind body dichotomy or problem?

The title of the article on the mind body dichotomy has been changed to Mind-body problem. This was done with the only explanation that it's "far better" known as this. I think this is wrong, but am not knowledgable enough to revert. Anyone wish to weigh in? BashBrannigan (talk) 22:24, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

I have no problem with the move. It does appear more prevalent in the literature:google. However, be mindful to use proper title format.Greg Bard (talk) 00:13, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Comment "Mind-body problem" is probably the better known term; Beyond prevailing usage, I wondered for a bit which of 'problem' or 'dichotomy' was the less loaded and POV term. I think 'problem' is actually more neutral. If, for example, you hold that there is no dichotomy between the mind and the body (I guess that would be a form of type identity?) then there's no 'problem'. And Greg's correct about the current form being the preferred title format (though the en/em dash thing threw me for a moment). BrideOfKripkenstein (talk) 00:49, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

Psychoanalytic theory

I am a little dubious about the recent removal by User talk:Woland1234 of

I am a little less dubious of removing psychoanalysis from philosophy of mind. That was probably appropriate. However I am not a big continental type, so I am wondering what the group thinks about these others. I am pretty sure that there is some degree of consideration of psychoanalysis in the field of aesthetics by philosophers.Greg Bard (talk) 17:38, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

I can't imagine why Romanticism had its template removed. On the others, I tend to think the reverse: that psychoanalysis might well belong to philosophy of the mind, but the various psychoanalysis topics don't seem to need the categories/templates listed. CRGreathouse (t | c) 19:19, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
I took a course in aesthetics (i.e philosophy of art, not interior design) and we did, in fact, study Freud, Lacan and things like anamorphosis, Objet petit a and gaze. I don't really see to much relevance to phil of mind though.Greg Bard (talk) 20:03, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Of those, my aesthetics course (naturally, a philosophy class) covered only gaze. But I'm not suggesting putting phil of mind back in, just saying that I could see it being there. I'm much less sure about the psychoanalysis. What do reliable sources (e.g., Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) say? CRGreathouse (t | c) 21:12, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

The Prince has been worked on

I've done some work on the above just recently. Would someone like to re-grade it? I believe it is still on "Start".--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 17:02, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

WikiProject cleanup listing

I have created together with Smallman12q a toolserver tool that shows a weekly-updated list of cleanup categories for WikiProjects, that can be used as a replacement for WolterBot and this WikiProject is among those that are already included (because it is a member of Category:WolterBot cleanup listing subscriptions). See the tool's wiki page, this project's listing in one big table or by categories and the index of WikiProjects. Svick (talk) 20:48, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Quality control, philosophical sources vs. other

How does quality control work here? I'm trying to convince some layperson that the so-called "bare assertion fallacy" is not a fallacy and incoherent as formulated. But he keeps insisting that it is on the grounds that some college writing book, produced by non-philosophers for high school students, lists it. See the discussion. What the hell? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:27, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

I've fixed your link, and will continue this discussion on the talk page. Please keep your arguments civil; there's no reason for the weaseling you're doing, like "some layperson" or "some college writing book". That's just shy of "some idiot" and "some stupid writers writing for ignoramuses". Your argument, if correct, will stand on its own - don't unnecessarily attack people or put them on the defense. (Also remember to sign your comments; consider registering!) GManNickG (talk) 05:17, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes GManNickG, I would hope so, and yet nobody has bothered to read my argument. In response to my argument the other user posted a link to the book in question. So if people are going to appeal to books, then those books must be subject to criticism. And that, my dear, is an awful book. (talk) 05:47, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree, the book doesn't seem too knowledgeable on the subject. So what I've done in the meantime is edit the page to reflect this, and removed the extraneous material on it so we can focus on the core issue. Posting here to get the attention of other people who care about the philosophy was the right thing to do, but keep in mind this is all within a day; you should give people time (several days) to get to the discussion and catch up before concluding nobody is reading it. :) In any case, I think this ends our meta-discussion, so I'll see you on the talk page. GManNickG (talk) 06:07, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree that the term "layman" is a poor choice above. Generally speaking the best approach on Wikipedia is to be very careful about assuming either high or low knowledge. Basically none of know each other. The rationality of your explanations is what Wikipedians will generally be looking at, not your CV.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:01, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Metalinguistic variable

An anonymous editor; who is obviously a sockpuppet of the regular crowd that is hostile to the fields of philosophy, and logic insofar as philosophers study it; is on a campaign to remove "logic" as one of the relevant academic fields from Metalinguistic variable. There is a credible, reliable source plainly supporting this fact which he or she is baldly ignoring. Any attention to the issue would be appreciated.Greg Bard (talk) 23:59, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

In the 1973 paper bound edition of Hunter's book the term metalinguistic variable is indeed mentioned on page 13. There (in the answer to exercise 7) it reads: "'A' and 'B' here are metalinguistic variables, belonging to the metalanguage of the language L." However, metavariable is the more common term (I find it—but not the former—in several encyclopedias of logic. I think that metasyntactic variable is jargon and has never been a term in the strict sense in logic or computer science. If you think about it, it does not make any sense—it is a variable in a metalanguage (so meta- or metalinguistic variable would be fine), but neither is it from some metasyntax, nor does it stand for some syntactic thing. It is understandable (for historical and social reasons) that both lemmas redirect to metasyntactic variable, yet it has to be acknowledged that the latter term is not used in logic, nor is it used by Hunter. Since the article is on metasyntactic variable I see no reason not to remove the reference to logic. The better solution however would be to make metavariable the main article, have the other two link to it and add a section on metasyntactic variable (and ignore that lots of net culture people would be unhappy). Best, Morton Shumwaytalk 19:18, 26 September 2010 (UTC).
A movenotice inviting discussion has been put up, suggesting to rename the article "metasyntactic variable" to "metavariable". Please see the discussion there and take part in the process. Morton Shumwaytalk 10:35, 28 September 2010 (UTC).
Movenotice has been up for about a month now, so anybody who took part in the discussion or is willing to contribute now please do now as the change should be made in near future. Best, Morton Shumwaytalk 16:46, 8 November 2010 (UTC).

The situation was sorted out like this: the computer science aspects are covered in an article "matesyntactic variable". The logical aspects are covered in "metavariable (logic)" which will probably be moved to "metavariable" shortly. Best Morton Shumwaytalk 12:44, 20 November 2010 (UTC).

WPBiography work-group missing?

Similar to WikiProject Biography/Military, WikiProject Philosophy/Philosophers is a joint task-force/work-group of this WikiProject and WikiProject Biography. Should there not be a |philosopher-work-group=yes parameter for the {{WPBiography}} template also then? I have also crossposted this post as the issue needs to be discussed in both quarters.__meco (talk) 22:32, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Two questions on citing the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

I initially wanted to ask where in WP:PHILO's manual of style (if any) is the proper citation form for websites like the SEP. I still do, but in looking I also note the SEP's preferred citation style which I know I, for one, haven't been following consistently in terms of the information required (specifically the authors of each article, listed at the bottom of their pages). That should probably be noted somewhere w/ at least a link to that page. Thanks! BrideOfKripkenstein (talk) 19:27, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

We do have a Manual of style of sorts, however it has not been through a formal process of approval by the group. I would love it if people would look it over and begin a discussion about it. There is also a temple specifically for citing the SEP.Greg Bard (talk) 19:37, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Note: that template shouldn't be used to cite/reference the SEP, only to link to it from the External links sections of articles (I wrote the template). BOK, I'd recommend adding as much information as {{cite web}} allows; this would perhaps exclude the address but that is rather useless in an online context anyway. Skomorokh 19:41, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Thank you both for your (prompt!) responses; I'll look into cite-web for starters. BrideOfKripkenstein (talk) 20:18, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Salut philosophers!

Hey Wikipedians, I'm looking for advice on how I can help build up philosophy articles on Wikipedia. I'm a bit lacking in inspiration, but am willing to help with both pesky cleanup, citation-hunting and the like. I've got access to a major academic library in the UK and have a Master's degree in philosophy, plus I've written some philosophy stuff at Citizendium, which I still contribute to. Is there anywhere I can list myself for potential mentoring or editing tasks or somewhere where people can put up "hunt me citations on x" type tasks that need access to academic libraries and databases related to philosophy? Sort of like Wikipedia:Reference Desk but with a bit less "hurr durr what's yer opinion?" questions and a few more things I might be able to productively help with? ;-) –Tom Morris (talk) 19:14, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Greetings Tom,
Please do add your name to the roster and welcome. The best advise on how to help the project of improving philosophy articles is stated on the main project page under "getting started." Other than that perhaps you could take a look at the articles about which you are most knowledgeable and interested and improve or otherwise raise issues there and on this talk page. The navigation template has links to pages that everyone should look into on occasion also. Greg Bard (talk) 04:09, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

What's it called?

I'm sure there's a name for preferring mistaken activity to inactivity.

I'm thinking about this specifically in the context of historical alternative cancer treatments: people chose to undergo useless and often directly harmful treatments, because 'doing nothing' (or in modern times, doing only treatments with proven efficacy) was intolerable. I'd like to be able to link to a relevant Wikipedia article or two. Any suggestions? WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:45, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

A Greater Paradox

I have just proposed the article A Greater Paradox be deleted because I am unable to verify it, the image is nothing to do with the ostensible subject, the single reference looks wrong, and the whole thing looks dodgy to me. I'd welcome someone either confirming that the article's subject is real, or confirming that the deletion proposal is sensible. Thanks for listening. RobertGtalk 14:44, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

It looks like a hoax for more or less conclusive reasons: 1) Stephens is not mentioned as an author elsewhere; 2) Phrasing: "several philosophical and multi-cultural documents", "writing a hypothetical thesis"; 3) Quotation does not look 19th century to me; 4) Single referenced source without specified page numbers; 5) Source not quoted with the title found under ISBN, which is not in English; 6) very unlikeliy to have been included in any Great Books program; 7) in spite of claimed notoriety since 1920, no additional info to be found via google; 8) Complete content added by a single person; 9) History showing a deletion by a user claiming to know the person who did this as a joke. Best, Morton Shumwaytalk 03:20, 24 December 2010 (UTC).
I went ahead and boldly deleted it, since this seemed to me the likeliest way to avoid others wasting any more time on it. Morton Shumway (above) and Antandrus (talk · contribs) both agreed with my assessment. Thanks for your input. RobertGtalk 08:36, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks! Morton Shumwaytalk 01:16, 25 December 2010 (UTC).

Criticism of Islam

Criticism of Islam is not developing very well and is poorly written IMO compared to other "Criticism" articles. It needs help. Thanks. Student7 (talk) 19:52, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

Index of philosophy articles

The article index has a large number of links to disambiguation pages, most of which have few or no philosophical entries. For example, dablinks says that Index of philosophy articles (I–Q) has 127 dab pages.

I'm not sure if this page is maintained manually or by bot, but it would be nice if these could be cleaned up -- disambiguation pages removed and replaced, as needed, by zero or more articles from that page.

CRGreathouse (t | c) 21:49, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Call for comments on recent debates concerning Philosophy article

There is a debate between myself and User:271828182 concerning several points on the Philosophy article and discussion is not progressing well. A compromise should be possible, I think, but things are stuck with compromise proposals being reverted. I think third parties might be able to help a lot in order to bring some common sense and perspective to discussion. Does anyone have a moment?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 20:30, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

The debate covers a lot of ground, is there any particular issue that you would like third parties to comment on? --Logicalgregory (talk) 02:50, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

What are the several points?Philogo (talk) 19:25, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Rapid attention and refactoring needed

I've identified several sources by credentialled experts. There are probably more. Some rapid refactoring to replace the top-of-the-head content with no sources with a good verifiable stub supported by expert sources is needed. Unfortunately, I don't have the time for another philosophy article kerrzapp. But I've cited the sources for you to just grab the wikitext for, in the AFD discussion, so you can build upon what I've done. Uncle G (talk) 14:44, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

GA review of Stoicism

Hello! I have been reviewing the article Stoicism, which has been nominated for GA. I have placed the review of the article "on hold" because there are some changes that need to be made to the article before I can pass it. I have notified the nominator as well another user who has made significant contributions to the article, but neither of them have been active on wikipedia recently. I was hoping another editor who is familiar with this topic could help this article along. The article is in fairly good shape, and I'd hate to fail it because of minor details. Please see the article's review page for more information. Any help would be appreciated! --Tea with toast (talk) 20:17, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Addressed. Skomorokh 16:52, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Requesting help with Robert T. Craig (scholar)

I created a new BLP article on the communication Theorist Robert T. Craig (scholar) and additional assistance would be appreciated.Coffeepusher (talk) 04:21, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Duplication of content and general confusion

Please see Talk:Entailment#Duplication of content. - dcljr (talk) 19:55, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

See Talk:Entailment#Merger proposalPhilogo (talk) 21:13, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
logical implication and logical consequence have been merged into Entailment Philogo (talk) 11:49, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
The lede of the merged article Entailment has been re-written; The body of the article requires editing to remove duplications, inconsistencies &c..Philogo (talk) 19:23, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
I disapprove of this organization. The overwhelmingly prevailing term in the literature for the concept is "logical consequence." "Entailment" and "implication" are forms of logical consequence. This is how I organized the categories. I just don't understand you philogo. You seem to be pretty well read on these topics, but you haven't noticed this? Please look at the titles of journal articles, chapters of books, etcetera and reconsider. Can anyone else given an amen here please?Greg Bard (talk) 19:54, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
No "amen" but you would both do well to re-read WP:OWN, which I think can safely be interpreted to cover article categorization as well. (talk) 20:21, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
That is a very presumptuous anonymous comment. If there were any real "ownership" issues they wouldn't be manifesting at the philosophy project talk page for everyone to chime in, would they? Furthermore, while I disagree with philogo, there is no notion in my mind that wp:own is a problem with him. I certainly haven't taken any action to counter philogo other than bringing it up on talk pages, so you are completely off base, and your comment requires explanation.Greg Bard (talk) 20:31, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
The proposed merge was discussed and agreed at Talk:Entailment#Merger proposal which was and is the appropriate place for such discussions: is that not correct? It should be noticed that other Project groups (Linguistics and Maths) have declared their interest in the article and they are more likely to notice comments on the article's talk page than here. The proposed merge had been discussed and supported without dissent for a long time without anything actually being done. Several editors were involved and no objections to the implemention of the merge have been raised by any of them, other than that of Greg Bard raised above (but not on the Article's talk page). There is now an anonymous proposal to rename the article, but no reasons provided for that proposal; see discussion at Talk:Entailment#Move to logical consequence As I said earlier above The lede of the merged article Entailment has been re-written; The body of the article requires editing to remove duplications, inconsistencies &c... IMHO this is the current priority. Philogo (talk) 20:15, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Defining personhood

Over at Talk:Person, user Walkinxyz and I are having a bit of a debate over how (or perhaps whether?) to define "person" in the opening sentence of the lede. I'm having a bit of trouble understanding exactly what point he is trying to make, and can't think of anything else to say in response that isn't just repeating myself, so I'm hoping perhaps someone here can lend an outside eye to our discussion and help move things along.

Thanks. --Pfhorrest (talk) 03:47, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

I think you are likely to go on forever, if you try to find an acceptable definition of “Person” by debate in the discussion pages of Wikipedia. I think an acceptable definition of a person is still a subject of debate in the literature of philosophy. I find three entire books on the subject on my bookshelf: Puccetti, Persons; Williams, Problems of the Self; and Vesey, Personal identity.
and I know of a lot more that do not appear to be cited in the article. However, I have not had time to read the article properly and will get back to you later. --Logicalgregory (talk) 12:00, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
To continue (I had to go to dinner), I suggest instead of talking about persons per sa, you talk about persons as being an area of philosophical debate (like free will and determinism). Something like “in philosophy the concept of a person is the subject of extensive discussion. There are three (maybe more if you can think of them) questions: Are persons human? (Puccetti says aliens can be persons). Are persons physical? (life after death, mind transference etc.) What is it that makes a person the same person over time? (personal identity, self identity)”. I think this approach might be easier. --Logicalgregory (talk) 12:46, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
That seems like the right approach. CRGreathouse (t | c) 17:19, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
I think both Walkinxyz and I already agree that something generally like that is the correct approach; I'm honestly not entirely clear on where our disagreement lies, it seems to me like at least one of us is almost completely misunderstanding the other, which is why I'm hoping some outside eyes could look at our actual discussion and see if they can clarify for us what's going on there.
An aside on this general approach though: I am trying to work within the constraints of some past discussions (to avoid re-igniting them).
  1. The first thing is making sure to include a mention that many people do commonly use "human" and "person" synonymously, even though few if any sophisticated definition of personhood make that identification.
"If any"? The Frankfurt essay on personhood mentions that in the first two pages! Walkinxyz (talk) 06:00, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

A debate over that identification over at Human is what brought me to the Person article to begin with, as at the time it began by stating that "A person is any particular human being" or some such, which is clearly non-neutral.

  1. The second thing is avoiding opening the article with something like "[subject] is contentious and difficult to define", as that sort of vague first sentence is reviled by certain circles here on Wikipedia and I don't want to draw their ire. Instead I am aiming to do like we did at Free will, and open with a statement of whatever narrow scraps of agreement there is between all parties, and then mention that the rest of the details are contentious.
That last point seems to be what Walkinxyz and I are both trying to do, but neither of us seems to like the other's attempt at is, and the discussion about what exactly we dislike and why seems to be getting murky so I'm hoping someone can glance over and try to clear it up.
Thanks again, --Pfhorrest (talk) 01:42, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

I have now had time to read the Pfhorrest and Walkinxyz discussion and am impressed by the amount of time and work they have put into this. However, I feel they are spending too much time on the head of the Person article when the body needs attention. Might I suggest that the head of the article be left as it for the moment and that a restructuring be undertaken on the body of the article? Perhaps when the body is improved and expanded it will be easier to see what the head should be like. --Logicalgregory (talk) 05:30, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

I would be happy with any improvements to be made to the body. The debate ongoing there now is because I object to his proposed change to the lede, and he is presenting rather detailed arguments in justification of that proposal, which I believe deserve equally details rebuttals. (I don't feel like it's been much work at all; just thinking and writing are easy and fun to do). So of course I would be happy to leave the lede as it stands; but I don't know how Walkinxyz would feel about that, since he dislikes it how it is.
I'm curious to hear what suggestions you have for improving the body. Bear in mind that we already have some articles like Personal identity (philosophy), and we wouldn't want to duplicate the contents of those. I almost feel like this article should be renamed "Personhood" since that seems to be its main subject; and maybe put a summary-style article at Person with summaries of Personhood, Personal Identity, etc?
Also, I'm not too familiar with how wikiprojects work but a part of me feels this discussion should be happening at Talk:Person rather than here. --Pfhorrest (talk) 07:28, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Yep. Best to put there, and put here, "there is a discussion at Talk:Person about the definition of person and outside help would be useful". PPdd (talk) 01:28, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

As I said, I don't think there would be much of a problem if the article was just about philosophy, so making Person into a summary article with links would be one solution. However, if we want to produce an article that is comprehensible to people with no knowledge of philosophy and who might only be using English as a second language, then the task is more difficult.

I was thinking that it might be possible to develop a template for cases such as this. My idea (which I have not worked through) would be to divide the articles into two sections based on the the distinction between connotation (sense, sinn) and denotation (reference, bedeutung). The first part to deal with what the word person means, the second to deal with instances of reference. The first section of the first part could deal with the etymology and lexicography of the term; the empirical study of its use in literature. The second section of the first part could be the philosophical analysis of the concept of a person; the analytic study of the term. The third section could be special meanings for the term, such as are found in law. The Second part would be concerned with what counts as a person, an alien? a computer? a brain dead human body? The development of a template (be this for the person article on its own or more generally) would have to be a group effort. I have no interest in doing this alone. --Logicalgregory (talk) 08:44, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

(Aside - Did you just say sinn=sense=connotation=meaning and beteutung=reference=denotation=instantiaion=concept=counts-as?) PPdd (talk) 01:35, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
I really appreciate that those working on Wikipedia's philosophy project are taking an interest in this. I do agree that we have been spending a lot of time on the lead, and I would say for my part this is because it sets the context needed for the rest of the article, and there are substantial issues that need to be addressed in how such an important subject is thematized. For my part, I am learning a great deal.
Pfhorrest's idea that we make the opening a statement of what we can agree on, is a good one. And I am still trying to persuade him of the merits of my introductory description, because I think that he misinterpreted it originally and overreacted by changing it.
As for the body, I really like Logicalgregory's suggestion for how to structure the article. But I would be wary of the (somewhat contradictory) suggestion that we turn the Person article into just another specialized philosophy article. There is too much at stake in the debates in broader society to do that. At the same time, the recent suggestion that it be merged with the "people" article goes too far in the opposite direction.
Of course there is a very important place for philosophy on this subject and, unfortunately, the "Personal Identity" article does not do the literature justice. A "Personhood (philosophy)" or "Person (philosophy)" article might be good, but only if someone with the relevant expertise wants to dive in.
What I would suggest is that the philosophy section in the person article cover the most salient division in the philosophical debates over personhood first – that is, the naturalistic-empiricist (i.e. Descartes -> Lock & Hume -> Strawson, Parfit) and non-naturalist / phenomenological views (i.e. Heidegger -> Merlau-Ponty -> Frankfurt, Taylor). Then go into some more esoteric views.
What interests me most is actually the second part of the article (what counts as a person), but I would cast it in terms of the contemporary debates around personhood (rather than abstract thought-experiments), especially given that people will probably decide to search for the article based on those debates – e.g. the corporate personhood stuff, the abortion debates (specifically Susan Bordo's fascinating essay "Are Mothers Persons?") and the promise or threat that "transhumanists" bring to the subject. And this is something I am willing to spend some time on, both independently and in cooperation with others. Walkinxyz (talk) 06:00, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
If the term "person" is ambigous (as shown in Person (disambiguation) it may be pointless in having an article which is not about one of the different senses of the term but attempting to be about all sneses simultanously. The assumtion/implication is that all senses of the term have something in common; is there any reason to make that assumption?Philogo (talk) 03:32, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Good question. I would say that what they have in common is an impact on our common understanding; and also the understanding of researchers and social scientists, who are concerned with diverse problems and involved in divergent pursuits, but whose work nonetheless affects each others' disciplines and the lives of ordinary people in general. To use a separate but related example, when someone like Rodney Brooks at MIT uses a definition of living things as "machines whose components are biochemicals", it affects more than just the field of robotics. It affects product design, legal regulations and debates in many other other spheres. So yes, I think there is some value in having an article that is about, if not "all the senses simultaneously", then at least "several senses, independently and in relation to one another, in context". Walkinxyz (talk) 04:31, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
A series of overlapping sets do not necessarily all have something in common, but they have more in common than a disjoint series. Finding a commonality is WP:OR and WP:Synth. PPdd (talk) 01:52, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

I have proposed a new structure for the main body of the Person "article". This is in a new section in the discussion page of "person". Hopefully this can start a group discussion.--Logicalgregory (talk) 07:41, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

User:Pfhorrest, regarding your opening question, "WP:Wikipedia is not complete", or some such expression, is a guideline or policy. So if you just sit it out until the techological Singularity takes over all consciousness, the problem will go away, maybe not in platonic space, but here, since there will only be one editor left for a consensus first sentence definition, "I" think (no internal debates, please). You might also want to consult the initial U.S. Consitution, where you can find out what 3/5 of a person is. PPdd (talk) 21:37, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

If the term "person" is ambigous (as shown in Person (disambiguation), (a) if there are reliable sources where it is argued that they all have something in common, then the article should set out the argument citing the sources (b) otherwise it is pointless in having an article which is not about one of the different senses. The belief of an editor that they have something in common is neither here nor there unless they themsleves are a reliable source with publications that can be cited, otherwise the aticle becomes OR. Philogo (talk) 23:57, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
Should this discussion be copied to the article’s talk page? Here is a definition that deals with Pfhorrest’s initial talk page alien being, mind-merge, and fetus as partial person examples (which might be jokingly summed up as “3/5 of a Singularity that fell asleep”) – “an individuated unit of consciousness, or formerly active but still potential consciousness, which is recognized by the user of the term as being a unit by its cognitive capacities, which recognition changes depending on the context intended by the user of the term.” But as with any definition, the above definition can again be extended with additional qualifiers, ad infinitum.
MOS’s “define in first sentence” is a guideline. What goes in as the “definition” should be determined by the intended audience of the encyclopedia. A definition so technical that an ordinary user would be lost after one sentence has little value in an encyclopedia.
There will always be a problem of WP”synth and WP:OR in any philosophy project defining first sentence. Logicalgregory’s suggestiong to build the body before the head seems good. (Building the head based on what is in the body means that a person is determined by what is in the body, not the head … oh well, I guess the definition will not apply to persons who are bodyless heads.) PPdd (talk) 01:16, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm copying this section over to be a subsection at Talk:Person, where additional comments should go. PPdd (talk) 01:54, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

The Bad faith article needs help from any avaiable editor; all bad faith in philosophy content was reverted twice


The Bad faith article needs help from any avaiable experienced editor; all bad faith in philosophy content was reverted twice. HkFnsNGA (talk) 07:11, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Would you give a diff? There have been a *lot* of recent edits to that article. CRGreathouse (t | c) 20:28, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Here's[2] the diff for the revert by Xxanthippie to the NRS and "no philosophy" version (with edit summary - "Reverted 45 edits by HkFnsNGA (talk); ", compared to the recent version. The editor who did the revert is giving time for other editors to contribut under the "construction" tag, so I asked for some help here since the subject crosses so many fields of study outside my area (Sartre and de Beauvoir were influential outside of philosophy). For example, while I was at Stanford for 11 years, and I am friends with SEP chief editor, who told me he mostly wrote the SEP mathematical (realism) article, I will have to do a lot of reading to explain in plain English what "Mathematical philosopher Crispin Wright wrote that J.L. Mackie's view on mathematical realism relegates all discourse on ethics to only be about 'bad faith'." means. PPdd (talk) 20:40, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Even a review under the Wikiproject and a rating of "start class" and "importance low" would help keep the RS content, instead of reverting again to the completely NRS "law only" version. PPdd (talk) 20:49, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't like doing this, but I've semi-protected the page. Hopefully this gives you some breathing room to get the article in order.
The page is clearly within the scope of this project, though it's not terribly important or central. I rated it as Start-class, Low importance on the Talk page; hopefully even that weak claim will lend some force to the (reasonable) request to include philosophy content. (It's crazy to me that this is even an issue!)
Please don't make me regret using my 'powers'. :)
CRGreathouse (t | c) 03:41, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I wrote this article because I never understood existentialism (or phenomenology), especially bad faith, and it's split of the "I" in the cogito argument. I witnessed an interesting hallway discussion about bad faith between ethicist Philippa Foot, and, interestingly, Alonzo Church, about bad faith (Fregean intentional contexts, etc.). I found a curious and interesting similar dicsussion in SEP's (mathamatical) realism article, which I summed up (with a sentence I don't really understand) - "Mathematical philosopher Crispin Wright wrote that J.L. Mackie's view on mathematical realism relegates moral discourse to bad faith.[1][2][3] Do you know who here might be able to explain what I just wrote? PPdd (talk) 04:38, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure. While I have background in both math and philosophy, I have never studied the philosophy of mathematics. That quote seems much more about ethics, though, than bad faith per se. CRGreathouse (t | c) 17:25, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
I have the same math and phil but not much philmath problem.
Thanks for reviewing the article. I would have rated it start class based on numerous subsections with only a single sentence. I could have written it without subsections, but I think each merits expansion. I actually read all of the sources to write the article. So when I read it, it is intelligable to me. Were there other reasons for rating it start class? Is the article intelligable? Did I get the flow from one section to another correct, so that one leads into another, even though they are very diverse fields? PPdd (talk) 21:21, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
It has a lot of sections because, as you said, they merit expansion. So the article has a long way to go, hence Start class. I don't think it's a bad article, just a lot less of article than it would (ideally) be.
Unfortunately I don't know anyone -- Wikipedia or real life -- with background in philosophy of math.
CRGreathouse (t | c) 00:11, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
I do know something about the philosophy of mathematics and have read two of Mackie's books (but not the one about morals). I do not think the philosophy of mathematics has got any connection with bad faith. Looks like somebody has confused Mackie's argument about realism (the doctrine that objects and events have existence independent of the mind) with arguments about mathematical realism (the doctrine that numbers have existence independent of the mind). This seems to have been brought about by a careless reading of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on realism, where Mackie's error-theoretic account of morality is compared with Field's error-theory of arithmetic. I do not believe that Mackie said anything about “mathematical realism relegating moral discourse to bad faith”, but one might say that Mackie's arguments against moral realism relegates moral discourse to bad faith.--Logicalgregory (talk) 03:13, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
It was a careless skimming. I will go back and read it. (My friend, the founder and chief editor of SEP told me he (mostly) wrote that particular article, so its about time I actually read it.) Should I nix the whole section for now? PPdd (talk) 03:21, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
I would guess that Mackie is worth keeping (an excellent philosopher in my opinion) but I have not read his work on morals. Its the connection with the Philosophy of mathematics that I think must be wrong. The SEP article says only that Mackie was using (in the context of morals) the same type of argument that Field had used in the philosophy of mathematics.--Logicalgregory (talk) 05:15, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Can you fix the sentence into something intelligable? I "wrote" it by essentially taking words out of the SEP article, which I believed was a correct procedure, but without understanding what I "wrote", like I was a Searle Chinese Room spitting out good Chinese without knowing Chinese. (In fact the whole bad faith article suffers from the same problem, since I wrote it, it likely passes muster, but I don't understand it.) PPdd (talk) 05:28, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes I can put in a quick fix by using material from the SEP article. I will need to change the heading. I need to read the SEP article properly first, but this is interesting because of the highly methodological approach taken by the author. Having read some of it, I am now of the opinion that Mackie's ideas on moral statements are important and well worth including.--Logicalgregory (talk) 06:39, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I look forward to reading your take on it. PPdd (talk) 07:10, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Quick fix done. Phil of Math removed. Mackie put in context and linked to bad faith. --Logicalgregory (talk) 09:42, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the help. The accuracy has been improved, but I still don't understand the concluding connection to bad faith. PPdd (talk) 15:54, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Just that if you believe that moral judgments are false and you make them you're making intentionally false statements, I think. CRGreathouse (t | c) 17:37, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

I will add your " , I think" to my list of tools. Pretty tricky stuff, bad faith, huh? PPdd (talk) 18:28, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
Oh, certainly tricky stuff.
One of my friends taught me that 'trick' long ago: "As long as I add, 'If I'm not mistaken' to everything I say, it's always right!". :)... I think. :)
CRGreathouse (t | c) 18:31, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
I know I am not supposed to modify other editor's comments, but I could not resist modifying your last one. Hope you don't mind. :) PPdd (talk) 19:14, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
By the way, CRGreathouse and LogicalGregory, I put you both on my userpage "helpful editors" list. If you don't want your names out there, you have my permission to edit my user page and remove your names. Thanks to both of you. PPdd (talk) 03:11, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
  1. ^ Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong, J.L. Mackie, (1977)
  2. ^ Truth in Ethics,” in B. Hooker (ed) Truth in Ethics (Oxford: Blackwell), pp. 1–18, 1996
  3. ^ “Mackie's argument for the error-theory… (Mackie's) view is that, unless more is said, it simply relegates moral discourse to bad faith”, Realism, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, [3]