Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Philosophy/Archive 14

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Disputed table

An illustrative table is construed as "overall bad editing" at Talk:Counterargument#Coatracking.

The value, utility and necessity of the table are each demonstrated by the terse diff which accompanied the blanket deletion of the illustrative counterexample table -- QED.

It appears not to be generally understood that for a given argument, there is often a large number of counterarguments, some of which are not compatible with each other. If this table is incompatible with our project goals, this thread will help clarify the point. The table presents the views of a Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on China's (and Taiwan's) assertions assertions on territorial sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands.

Rebuttal in prose

It is only since the 1970s that the Government of China and the Taiwanese Authorities began making their own assertions on territorial sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands, which constitute Japan's inherent territory .... Until then, they had never expressed any objections, including to the fact that the Islands were included in the area over which the United States exercised the administrative rights in accordance with Article 3 of the San Francisco Peace Treaty.[1]

Rebuttal by counterexample

There is a description of "the Senkaku Islands, Yaeyama District, Okinawa Prefecture, Empire of Japan" in the letter of appreciation dated May 1920 sent from the then consul of the Republic of China in Nagasaki concerning the distress which involved Chinese fishermen from Fujian Province around the Senkaku Islands. In addition, an article in the People's Daily dated 8 January 1953, under the title of "Battle of people in the Ryukyu Islands against the U.S. occupation", made clear that the Ryukyu Islands consist of 7 groups of islands including the Senkaku Islands. Moreover, for example "The Republic of China New Atlas" published in China in 1933 and "World Atlas" published in China in 1960 treated the Senkaku Islands as part of Japan.[1]

Illustrative table
The table below presents counterexamples as a type of counterargument. The cells of the table are rebuttals to foreign policy position of the People's Republic of China.[2] In the context of a disagreement about the sovereignty of a small group of islands in the East China Sea, the examples in the table are contradictions of a 2010 statement by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu, who told reporters: :"The Diaoyu Islands [the Chinese name for these disputed islands] have always been Chinese territory since ancient times, and this is the fact that nobody can ever change. China owns indisputable sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands. The Chinese government’s will and determination to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity is firm and unshakable."[3]
The examples in the table are insufficient to resolve the full array of underlying issues which are implicit in the spokeswoman's comments.[4] That is conceptually different than refutation of the underlying thesis,[5] because the scope of rebuttal is limited by the thesis or statement to which the counter-argument is a response.

Table: Senkaku Islands and Senkaku Islands dispute
Japanese counter-arguments[1]
Counterargument 1 Counterargument 2 Counterargument 3
琉球群島散佈在我國台灣東北和日本九洲島西南之間的海面上,包括 尖 閣 諸 島 、先島諸島、大東諸島、冲繩諸島、大島諸島、土噶喇諸島,毎組都有許多大小島嶼、大隈諸島等七組島嶼, 總計共有五十個以上有名稱的島嶼和四百多個無名小島, 全部 陸地面積爲四千六百七十平方公里。
Article in People's Daily, MOFA provisional translation of 1st paragraph: "The Ryukyu Islands lie scattered on the sea between the Northeast of Taiwan of our State (note: China; same in the following text) and the Southwest of Kyushu, Japan. They consist of 7 groups of islands; the Senkaku Islands, the Sakishima Islands, the Daito Islands, the Okinawa Islands, the Oshima Islands, the Tokara Islands and the Osumi Islands.... The Ryukyu Islands stretch over 1,000 kilometers, inside of which is our East China Sea (the East Sea in Chinese) and outside of which is the high seas of the Pacific Ocean."
尖 閣 諸 島 ..... Senkaku Shotō
钓鱼台群岛 ..... simplified Chinese
釣魚台群島 ..... traditional Chinese</ref> ]]
Support Statement Type Support Statement Type Support Statement Type
Description of "the Senkaku Islands, Yaeyama District, Okinawa Prefecture, Empire of Japan" in the letter of appreciation dated May 1920 sent from the then consul of the Republic of China in Nagasaki concerning the distress which involved Chinese fishermen from Fujian Province around the Senkaku Islands.[6] Letter Partial image of newspaper article: "Struggle of the people of the Ryukyu Islands against U.S. occupation" (琉球群岛人民反对美国占领的斗争), People's Daily (人民日報), January 8, 1953.[6]
*NOTE: In second character cluster of the second line of the published text, see Japanese kanji characters identifying Senkaku Islands (尖 閣 諸 島 Senkaku Shotō?)[7]
Article World Atlas published in China in 1960[6] *NOTE: At A, see Japanese kanji characters identifying the Senkaku Islands (尖 閣 諸 島 Senkaku Shotō?); and at B, see maritime boundary between Taiwan and Japan Map
Response 1 Response 2 Response 3
Rebuttal and refutation of Chinese irredentist statement, see MOFA at Q&A, Senkaku Islands, Q4/A4.3[6]

Rebuttal and refutation, see MOFA at Q&A, Senkaku Islands, Q4/A4.3[6]

Rebuttal and refutation, see MOFA at Q&A, Senkaku Islands, Q4/A4.3[6]
4. MOFA, Q&A, Senkaku Islands, Q4
5. The positions of the parties in a dispute are noteworthy, but they must be clearly marked as such -- in this instance, the position of the Chinese, and a rebuttal using Chinese-published counterexamples.
6. Gertz, Bill. "Inside the Ring: China-Japan Tensions," Washington Times (US). September 15, 2010.
7. Compare venire contra factum proprium (No one may set himself in contradiction to his own previous conduct); and MOFA, Q&A, Senkaku Islands, Q4
8. MOFA, The Basic View on the Sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands
9. In context of Chinese text, one crucial place name is printed in Japanese kanji -- Senkaku Shotō
琉球群島散佈在我國台灣東北和日本九洲島西南之間的海面上,包括 尖 閣 諸 島 、先島諸島、大東諸島、冲繩諸島、大島諸島、土噶喇諸島,毎組都有許多大小島嶼、大隈諸島等七組島嶼, 總計共有五十個以上有名稱的島嶼和四百多個無名小島, 全部 陸地面積爲四千六百七十平方公里。
Article in People's Daily, MOFA provisional translation of 1st paragraph: "The Ryukyu Islands lie scattered on the sea between the Northeast of Taiwan of our State (note: China; same in the following text) and the Southwest of Kyushu, Japan. They consist of 7 groups of islands; the Senkaku Islands, the Sakishima Islands, the Daito Islands, the Okinawa Islands, the Oshima Islands, the Tokara Islands and the Osumi Islands.... The Ryukyu Islands stretch over 1,000 kilometers, inside of which is our East China Sea (the East Sea in Chinese) and outside of which is the high seas of the Pacific Ocean."
尖 閣 諸 島 ..... Senkaku Shotō
钓鱼台群岛 ..... simplified Chinese
釣魚台群島 ..... traditional Chinese
10. MOFA at Q&A, Senkaku Islands, Q4/A4.3
11. See 4th page of the digitially archived copy of the People's Daily, 8 January 1953

This small article has enhanced significance in the argumentative dialogue which is essential to the continued success of our collaborative editing project.

The term "counterargument" is highlighted at WP:Dispute resolution in the pyramid-shaped graphic of a "hierarchy of disagreement" based on the essay "How to Disagree" by Paul Graham.

If my writing is unclear or inadequately presented, please ask questions.

What I'm looking for is (a) agreement with explanations why this is an excellent table in the context of Counterargument; or (b) disagreement with explanations which help me to understand what I do not. --Tenmei (talk) 18:32, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

I have to agree with 'the other guy' here. This seems mostly unrelated to the subject at hand. CRGreathouse (t | c) 20:59, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

The Wikipedia article creep paradox: meta-examples and intentional contexts

Can you resolve the Wikipedia article creep paradox in WP:Article creep? Can you even well define it? Is that list one example, or the number of examples in the list, or the number of examples in the list plus one? A start to a resolution was made by distinguishing examples from meta-examples, a la the Frege church ontology. Does the notion of meta-examples there introduce an intentional context? PPdd (talk) 02:11, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

I don't see the connection between the creep paradox and the Frege-Church thing (but I don't know Frege-Church, only the WP article). Isn't the creep paradox just one of those infinite list problems. For example, if we are going to say anything with certainty about the class of real numbers, we must know all the numbers that belong to that class, if we know all the numbers that belong to that class we should be able to list all the numbers that belong to that class, but the numbers that belong to that class are infinite, therefore, we can not list them, therefore, we can not be certain about anything that is said about the class of real numbers. I think Zeno's “Achilles and the tortoise” is the same sort of thing.--Logicalgregory (talk) 04:52, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

I don't think the creep paradox is well stated at Wikipedia article creep paradox. Let me try: As everything in the universe is connected to everything else, all articles in the wikipedia will become infinitely long (whatever, the subject of a Wikipedia article and whatever is said in a Wikipedia article, there will always be something else of relevance that can be added). This is called “article creep”. In order to stop article creep we shall have a policy against article creep. In order to implement the policy we will draw up a list of all types of article creep. The list of the types of article creep will be infinite.--Logicalgregory (talk) 05:29, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
Partial response - You bring up an interesting matter, "Are all paradoxes equivalent to 'The Clown's First Tautology'?" (The Clown created God, and gave birth to herself when she shat her own self out on the seventh day following six days of menstrual constipation, in order to shut up the little girl infinite regressionist's potential question, before she could ask , "but mommy, if the Clown created God, then who created the Clown?" This also explains the numerologically significant lucky number "7" for the number of days in a week, and why both the menstrual and lunar cycles are nice multiples of it (28). As to the rest of your observation, note that "the only really interesting philosophical topics can be reduced to jokes", the First Law of Philosophical Significance. I'm still pondering for a total response... :) PPdd (talk) 20:07, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

A hole in this project

A significant number of countries in the world are spanish speaking. Yet citation of journals from these countries is rare. Información Filosófica is a journal that has been around for 65 years, but is now up for AfD. Does anyone have an explanation for the paucity of citations of Spanish language journals by English language ones? PPdd (talk) 19:59, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

I'd Like to Change the Objectivity-Science Article

Hi, I'm a newbie. I hope you'll forgive me if I started off on the wrong foot.

I was motivated to sign in and change the above article because, frankly, it is embarrassingly bad.

I agree 100% with all the criticisms in the top box at the Article

The section on Philosophical problems with scientific objectivity is irrelevant to the subject. It discusses a book on the history of science and Popper's hypothesis-falsification philosophy. Its inclusion is clearly designed to advance a political theory rather than to enlighten the reader.

The section The role of the scientific community does not properly place objectivity in the context of the various scientific methods.

The section Deliberate misrepresentation is on the entirely different subject of fraud. Again, its inclusion is clearly designed to advance a political agenda.

The section Objectivity in experimental set-up and interpretation appears to introduce a theory of psychology in objectivity - but offers no supporting evidence and does not say why it is relevant to the main subject. Again, its inclusion is clearly designed to advance a political viewpoint of science.

The section Objectivity in measurement is a statement of the obvious. While I appreciate that this does not necessarily make the section redundant, it could be far simpler and clearer.

But the worst part is the beginning. The article dives straight into a confusing discussion on measurement which contains most of the original research and unverified claims referred to in the top box.

I suggest that this article needs to be re-written, beginning with a simple definition of objectivity.

I further suggest that we should support the merging of this article with Objectivity-Philosophy. That way this article could be re-written in a short paragraph or two.

I would be happy to do this work, but I think (given the nature of the Article at present) I will need some backup to ensure that my edit stays up.

What can I do to get support for and edit? --Stephenrwheeler (talk) 02:03, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Maybe the article is not very good, but what improvements do you exactly have in mind?
As to the proposed merger of Objectivity (science) into Objectivity (philosophy), you should consider that philosophy and science do conceive sufficiently different of the notion "Objectivity" to justify different articles.
Kuhn's book is not just a historical 'story' of science, but a perspective from the Philosophy of science on what some might call the 'historical logic' of science, which is a rather relevant topic if you think about (philosophical) theories of the progress of thought or knowledge. Popper's book is a reaction to the concept of verification as in logical positivism, and constitutes a rather important idea on how science operates.
Measurement in general, more concrete e.g. the representational theories of measurement, plays a rather strong role not just in the applied sciences, but in theory of science and particular scientific theories. Even for most scientists there is not much 'obvious' about it.
So-called biases that have been investigated in psychology do actually play an important role in science practice, as they do in methodology etc. etc.
You have given no hint as to which political agenda you do see followed (and in which way) in this article. However, some of the inclusions you reduce to alleged agendas are of central importance to the concept of objectivity in science.
I don't quite understand whether you have in mind a reduction of 'scientific objectivity' to 'philosophical' (whatever they are) ideas. I think that if you want to remove content, you should actually state the reason why to do so (indeed, e.g. the section on fraud might not be substantial for the concept, but it might encyclopaedically be important for the lemma e.g. as a differentiating factor ("not everyone can just claim and pretend")). If you would like to try and expand or clarify on the ideas in the article, I'd say you're welcome. Morton Shumwaytalk 02:58, 7 March 2011 (UTC).

Citation templates now support more identifiers

Recent changes were made to citations templates (such as {{citation}}, {{cite journal}}, {{cite web}}...). In addition to what was previously supported (bibcode, doi, jstor, isbn, ...), templates now support arXiv, ASIN, JFM, LCCN, MR, OL, OSTI, RFC, SSRN and Zbl. Before, you needed to place |id={{arxiv|0123.4567}} (or worse |url=, now you can simply use |arxiv=0123.4567, likewise for |id={{JSTOR|0123456789}} and |url=|jstor=0123456789.

The full list of supported identifiers is given here (with dummy values):

  • {{cite journal |author=John Smith |year=2000 |title=How to Put Things into Other Things |journal=Journal of Foobar |volume=1 |issue=2 |pages=3–4 |arxiv=0123456789 |asin=0123456789 |bibcode=0123456789 |doi=0123456789 |jfm=0123456789 |jstor=0123456789 |lccn=0123456789 |isbn=0123456789 |issn=0123456789 |mr=0123456789 |oclc=0123456789 |ol=0123456789 |osti=0123456789 |rfc=0123456789 |pmc=0123456789 |pmid=0123456789 |ssrn=0123456789 |zbl=0123456789 |id={{para|id|____}} }}

Obviously not all citations needs all parameters, but this streamlines the most popular ones and gives both better metadata and better appearances when printed. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 02:24, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

terms nous, intellect, intelligence, mind, understanding - disambiguations, redirects, maybe even merges?

I started a discussion about the above mentioned subject. But please respond here.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:00, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

B-class review request: Karl Marx

I've finished major work on this article. Before a WP:GA nomination, I'd like to invite interested projects to do a B-class review. Please post any reviews on the article's talk page. I'd appreciate any assistance with prose copy-editing (I am not a native speaker of English). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 23:21, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Argument#"World-disclosing" arguments - proposed deletion of paragraph

I have suggested that the new paragraph Argument#"World-disclosing" arguments does not enhance the article amd should be deleted - see talk page Talk:Argument#World-disclosing arguments : proposed deletion of paragraph . Opinions of other editors invited at Talk:Argument#World-disclosing arguments : proposed deletion of paragraph — Philogos (talk) 02:19, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

delete The editor began by insisting the lead of appeal to nature must adopt that self-contradicting ambiguity. When I recommended the editor would benefit from reading the validity section in argument, they promptly inserted their POV in that article. I haven't verified, so I'll WP:AGF and assume the philosophers were in a whimsical mood, but as a WP:FRINGE challenge to well defined terms, it's WP:UNDUE weight, and perhaps a few words in the reason article would be more than sufficient? Machine Elf 1735 (talk) 08:15, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
keep "The editor began by insisting the lead of appeal to nature must adopt that self-contradicting ambiguity."
I did no such thing. I consistently re-worked the wording, removing a word that was objected to ("content") because it was seen as somewhat misleading, then I re-worked it again, and provided a reference.
As for the article actually under discussion here, I have provided further explanations and references. See the talk page Talk:Argument#World-disclosing arguments : proposed deletion of paragraph.
It's a fringe challenge to which well-defined terms? Walkinxyz (talk) 08:18, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

ArbCom decision on Monty Hall Problem: Decision theory

The arbitration on the Monty Hall problem is of interest to philosophers specialized in decision theory, philosophy of probability, philosophy of action, philosophy of science, etc.

The proposed decision contains wording about "complex Bayesian solution" of special concern.

Also, it may be useful to be aware of the language regarding original research versus exposition using secondary sources, which is also discussed on the WikiProject Mathematics's talk page. Sincerely,  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (Discussion) 12:21, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

I'm forever grateful to WP mathematicians for their uncanny ability to write math articles I can read. However they do it, it's fine by me.—Machine Elf 1735 19:30, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

Aha! Effect

Would a WikiProject Philosophy editor review Aha! Effect for accuracy and whether it is correctly named? See Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/User:Psyc3330 subpages for related history. Thanks, Cunard (talk) 05:38, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Please also review Executive dysfunction (also from the same MfD). Thanks, Cunard (talk) 09:55, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Did you intend to ask this at WikiProject Psychology instead? None of these really have much to do with philosophy. Speaking as a neuroscientist, though, I can tell you that I believe both names are okay, although as an American I personally would have used executive disfunction. Looie496 (talk) 16:51, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for the correction and input. I've posted at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Psychology#Aha! Effect and Executive dysfunction about these two articles. Cunard (talk) 22:39, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Evolutionary psychology RFC

I have started an important RFC here regarding how to integrate the criticism of Evolutionary psychology into the article about that topic, and about how to define the topic itself either narrowly or broadly. Please participate.·Maunus·ƛ· 02:10, 20 March 2011 (UTC)


An editor has asked for a community reassessment of this article to see if it still meets the good article criteria. The discussion is at Wikipedia:Good article reassessment/Al-Kindi/1. Jezhotwells (talk) 00:44, 23 March 2011 (UTC)


The usage of Instant is under discussion, see Talk:Instant. (talk) 06:32, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Proposal for potential broadbased wikipedia religion and philosophy online "meeting"

Yep, that is a long headline. Anyway, the idea is that, starting around the first of April, there might be some sort of broadbased discussion of the religion related content here. A basic page for some ideas of such a meeting can be found at User:John Carter/Religion meeting, although I do intend to create a wikipedia space page for the meeting, or maybe move the existing page. Anyway, it is my hope that there would be one month of general discussion of the topic, and then later a second month for specific ideas and or actions which might or might not be taken up for, perhaps, the next year, with maybe another meeting following a year later.

Anyway, having gotten all the exposition out of the way, I was wondering whether the members of this project believe it might make sense to expand the scope of the meeting to include philosophy as well. Ethics and religious philosophy are both I think "overlap" territories of the two projects, and I don't think it would necessarily hurt to have parties involved in both subjects involved. Thoughts? John Carter (talk) 14:47, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

This is interesting to me as I will be auditing a PhD seminar on secularism and modernity in the next few months. I think it is a very good idea to include those interested in philosophy in a discussion on religion, since they have been entwined for much of their respective histories. And the centrality of ethics in many religions is indisputable, as you correctly point out. The philosophy of religion is something I have less experience and interest in, but I'm sure there are others who do share that interest. If they have something to offer, great. Thanks for proposing it here.
Political philosophy is another area that is interesting right now with regards to religion, since the political claims of religion have made a resurgence in the last decade, and it is a question how political philosophy should respond to this (apparently) obtrusive and unexpected development.
Walkinxyz (talk) 21:14, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Free election

The usage of free election is under discussion, see Talk:Free election (Polish throne). (talk) 04:00, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

The Barnstar of Notability in Philosophy

The Barnstar of Notability in Philosophy

The Barnstar of Notability, For seminal ideas in philosophy, like creating the concept of "notability" in Wikipedia article space. "There is something new under the sun" is true if there is something new under the sun. PPdd (talk) 09:36, 31 March 2011 (UTC)


No article on Land Effect or on Robert M. Yost

Yes, that's what it looks like, but what does it feel like?

Above is the SINGLE Barnstar I gave to Logicalgregory, for being the first to conceive of the concept of Notability at WP, on this very talk page. If you are the typical philosopher who wears a red contact lens on your left eye and a green lens on your right eye to work, and if you also have vertically oriented eyes (like a spider), or equivalently, if you rotate your head 90 degrees, you will see the section headers - "The Barnstar of Notability in Philosophy" above as a single image in 3-D. This works because the infinitesimal perspective point at which Descartre located your humuncular soul in your pineal gland is actually a vertical “bi-point”, and is related to the “Land Effect”, and. Robert M. Yost of UCLA. Yost showed the class the Land Effect in his undergraduate Metaphysics, Epistemology, Philosophy of Mind class. He then went on to tell the class about how, in the 1960’s, he was legally given increasingly large megadoses of LSD in a government funded experiment at UCLA, but he noticed no effect at all, no matter how much they gave him. Yost went on to explain how Land invented the Polaroid camera, then went to work for the CIA, which funded the UCLA LSD experiment on him. And if you were stimulated by this to wonder "What is it like to be a bat?", ask Logician Lewis Caroll's Cheshire Cat - "Alice:'I see nothing', Cat:"'My, you have good eyes'". Here, here, does anyone here hear WP:Silence? PPdd (talk) 10:35, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

"What is it like to be a bat" I read that shortly after it was published in 1974. Takes me back to the time when philosophers wrote interesting and amusing papers - not like the boring, by the numbers, and uninformative papers one gets in the journals today. --Logicalgregory (talk) 03:52, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
The Nagel pic is a subtle joke. He isn't talking about how me (a bat) can undertand what it is like to be you (whatever), but its an ethics lecture. PPdd (talk) 05:14, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

First childhood memory

Logicalgregories frank admission of his age above, stimulated me to ask who remembers their first philosophy book.
Since this is a talk page of a WikiProject, not a chat room, if you list your first memory, you then should apply it to how others might improve Wikipedia.
My first one was Hans Riechenbach's The Rise of Scientific Philosophy, when I was about 12 or 13 years old. I don't remember anything in it, except that it made me want more, and that he starts off with an extensive quote of Hegel(?), after which he points out that if the reader is mystified, but after reading it over and over, can speak the laguage, even though he or she doesn't really understand what they are saying, it's because it is utter nonsense. I therefore propose merging all Hegel related articles to be subsections of the nonsense article. (Incidentally, I just missspelled Hans Reichenbach, but my misspelling produces 1,850 results on Google, so I am not alone. (It only produced one result on Google Scholar.) PPdd (talk) 05:31, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Reality check

(Misquoting T.S. Elliot) Leave your empty forms in ivory towers and participate in Reality! The article sucks (like vacuum of a box filled to the brim with nothing). But this WikiProject rates it as "High importance", and the Version 1.0 Editorial Team rates it as a "vital article". Check it out. The nothing article is also lacking, so check it out, too (checking an empty box does not always mean its then full). PPdd (talk) 16:32, 9 April 2011 (UTC)


I've listed this article here because I am hoping to get this up to the status of a Good Article but I need major helping doing so. The article is in really bad shape and needs some major work on it. I wish I can get some editors to work on it and maybe help me because I honestly dont think I can get to GA standards on my own. We can have a standard article for other wikipedia projects to translate from seeing how all of them are not up the standards that we have.

Thanks, The Egyptian Liberal (talk) 04:26, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

What is the word for a sentence that is true because it is stated? Its similar to "autogenic".

  • What is the word for a sentence that is true because it is stated? For example, my business card says "World's Greatest Braggart". "I am speaking to you." Curry's paradox, "If this sentence is true, than A."
  • Is there an article about this? PPdd (talk) 03:16, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Self-evident? Machine Elf 1735 19:00, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Sounds similar to a performative verb. Have you tried the reference desk? - 2/0 (cont.) 04:43, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

You are either looking for the term "autological" which describes a word that describes itself (i.e. the word "short" is a short word and therefore autological, whereas the word "long" does not describe itself, and is therefore not autological, but rather heterological.) or you are looking for the term "self-fulfilling" statement (e.g. "This is a formal written notice."). Greg Bard (talk) 21:30, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

Request for input in discussion forum

Given the closely linked subjects of the various religion, mythology, and philosophy groups, it seems to me that we might benefit from having some sort of regular topical discussion forum to discuss the relevant content. I have put together the beginnings of an outline for such discussion at Wikipedia:WikiProject Religion/2011 meeting, and would very much appreciate the input of any interested editors. I am thinking that it might run over two months, the first of which would be to bring forward and discuss the current state of the content, and the second for perhaps some more focused discussion on what, if any, specific efforts might be taken in the near future. Any and all input is more than welcome. John Carter (talk) 15:30, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

One of the proposals made on the above linked to page is a proposal for, maybe, a joint mythology-philosophy-religion newsletter, maybe similar to the monthly newsletter of the MILHIST project. I do think that, maybe, sending such "news updates" to members of the various projects might help stimulate some more activity, and, maybe, help bring more attention to highlighted articles and topics if they are mentioned there. Also, as indicated there, I have made a specific section for content which we think might stand for new material in either journals or articles, like underdeveloped topics or topics which have recently been controversial. If there were to be a newsletter, maybe, just maybe, we might be able to perhaps get an A-Class review going, and maybe a few other things. Anyway, despite the name of the page (I had to choose one, and I tend to be more active in religion) any input of any kind, on the topics above or any others, is more than welcome. John Carter (talk) 18:25, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

What is the "MILHIST" project? Is there a link to it?--Logicalgregory (talk) 02:19, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

Sorry about that. I was referring to Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/News, which is the regular newsletter of the Military History project. It is probably the best organized of all the WikiProjects, and wikipedia has been called the best military history site on the web because of their work, so I'm thinking they're a reasonable model to follow. The Philosophy project could potentially do a similar newsletter on its own, as could religion and mythology for that matter, but personally, given the significant overlap between the three, I thought that maybe having some sort of joint newsletter might be both less work and, potentially, help bring more attention to some of the topics which don't get as much attention. John Carter (talk) 18:56, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
P.S. One of the things being proposed in the meeting is that we might in time write some letters to some relevant journals asking for additional information on topics which we can't find sufficient information or sufficient current information on. If there are any such topics relating to philosophy any of you know, please feel free to list them, and then, maybe next month, we can figure out which journals to send the requests to. John Carter (talk) 20:02, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
I was interested in your mention of "new material in either journals or articles" and "get an A-Class review going". Could you elaborate? If you are interested in setting something up to go beyond the no original research limitations of Wikipedia, then perhaps we can talk further. There are other places in the Wiki-foundation where original research can be conducted and published.--Logicalgregory (talk) 07:32, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
One of the sections of the meeting page, Wikipedia:WikiProject Religion/2011 meeting#Topics poorly covered in reliable sources is specifically to indicate specific subjects which we cannot find much information or much current information on. The meeting, intended to be for two months, was initially to spend one month gathering data and another acting on it. Regarding this particular subject, come next month, when all the subjects are added, I and maybe some others are going to try to determine which are the journals which are most highly regarded and most directly applicable to the subjects, and write them a letter or e-mail which we hope gets published indicating that we as editors of wikipedia would be very appreciative if material relevant to the subjects would be published, so we could include it in our articles. The A-Class review proposal could be seen as another attempt to copy the Military history project, which does have a specific project-based A-Class review, independent of GA and FA, to determine which articles receive that article assessment rating. I haven't been at all active in the Military history A-Class reviewing process myself, but at least some years ago I was one of the more active editors in the Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography A-Class assessment process, and think that it might be beneficial if we had maybe some sort of similar process here. My hope would be that these "reviews" might be made by some people who have some familiarity with the subject, which isn't necessarily the case for GA and FA candidates, and that the review might help high quality articles get a bit more attention and input in their final stages of development. John Carter (talk) 20:05, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

The "argument" argument

Philogo has been arguing with me and Linsabreeny over on the argument talk page. There are a couple of issues of substance here.

First, he insists that an "argument" in logic and logic alone be the topic of the "argument" page, and even though he admits that logic is also a branch of philosophy, he says he has never heard of a philosophical argument. I believe that arguments in the sense that the article is discussing them can be both logical (that is, employed in everyday discourse, scientific discourse, philosophical discourse, etc. but with specific logical features), and "philosophical" (in the sense of structured, rational argument on important general themes) and that it does us no good here to take sides and say certain arguments are either "logical" or "philosophical."

I have included wording to that effect in the topic sentence of the article and the lead, so as to avoid forking articles for "logical arguments" and "philosophical arguments." Since argument, rational argument, is the medium of philosophical exchange, and since logic is also (but not only) a branch of philosophy, I think this change helps.

(Currently, there is a redirect from rational argument to argument, and there is an important article on "argumentation theory" that is not about logical or philosophical arguments per se, but rather "the interdisciplinary study of how humans should, can, and do reach conclusions through logical reasoning.")

However, Philogo demands that any discussion of argument on that page be confined to formal logic, and therefore any discussion about what the point of an argument is, or its source of validity (e.g. logical truth vs. justification vs. some pragmatic test), or its approach or philosophical method of reasoning, is out of place.

Second, Philogo seems to believe that if an argument can be classified as "deductive" or "inductive" (or presumably some of the other argument types on that page) there can be no more relevant logical features to be explained about it.

Charles Taylor, in his Philosophical Arguments, disagrees – including with regard to transcendental arguments (which are misleadingly named, and not really "transcendental" in any sense). So does philosopher of science Ian Hacking, as well as Thomas Kuhn, John Dewey, George Herbert Mead, Edmund Husserl, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Martin Heidegger and many, many others who have influenced or been at the centre of 20th century philosophy.

One of the leading critical theorists today, Nikolas Kompridis has published a book that discusses some of these logical features in depth. It also discusses a wide range of modern philosophical arguments and forms of argument, all the way back to Kant and Hegel. The book is called Critique and Disclosure – as in Kant's seminal Critiques and Heidegger's concept of "world disclosure", an idea which Heidegger considered his own most important contribution to modern Western philosophy.

Using terminology from Heidegger, and other sources that share the same terminology (including dozens of other primary and secondary sources), Kompridis has called a family of these arguments "world-disclosing" (in the ontological sense of "world" – i.e. bearing on conditions of intelligibility). The notability of this subject is indicated in a review of the book published here.

I created a section on "world-disclosing" arguments, that Philogo has been deleting in spite of two editors including myself currently being against such deletion, and in spite of it being extensively sourced and constantly developed.

Philogo believes that a majority view from February (consisting of himself and Machine Elf) supports his deletion of this section, while Linsabreeny and I strongly disagree.

The section has changed considerably since then, including in response to Philogo's own criticism.

Philogo has, in my opinion, been exhibiting behaviour that very strongly suggests a sense of ownership over the page. In my opinion, his criticisms have greatly improved the content I have been adding, but he has refused to comment on the changes, and instead has engaged in a slow edit war by continually deleting it.

If someone could please help out with this, especially on the issues of substance (1. the topic of the "argument" page, i.e. logic vs. philosophy; and 2. the inclusion of a section on "world-disclosing" arguments), it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Walkinxyz (talk) 10:41, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

It's about your section on world-disclosing argument which doesn't need it's own world disclosure article if you insist on including it in the argument article. I agree with Philogo that you should put it in your world-disclosing argument article—just summarize it briefly and link—apparently you and your associate would rather edit war over it. I've had enough abuse from you that I'd be happy to stay out of it if you could stop dragging my name into it, thx—Machine Elf 1735 14:44, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
I suggested the deletion of this paragraph both here and on the argumenttalk page, and proceeded as agreed - i.e. to delete it. I suggested it be inserted into the article world disclosure in which it may be more relevant. Walkinxyz has declared his intent to "edit war it" but has not siad what he means by that. — Philogos (talk) 03:50, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't think you're following what is happening. I have not said anything about an intent to "edit war it." Although Linsabreeny did. Indicating that you don't have "agreement." STOP warring over this. Walkinxyz (talk) 00:03, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
It was indeed Linsabreeny not Walkinxyz who wrote "This seems crazy to me and i will edit war and dispute it.": my apologies. I would be grateful if you would not ascribe views to me: the views are expressed here and the article's talk page. Original discussion on this talk page restored below. — Philogos (talk) 04:24, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
You mean like the view that you've never heard of a philosophical argument?
From the talk page: "Opposed: I know of no use of the term "argument" in philosophy distinct from its use in logic." Your knowledge or lack thereof is not relevant. The sources that I provide – which are not books on "logic" – ARE.
There should be no problem including a topic definition as including "logic and philosophy" even if what you say is true. You are exhibiting an attitude of Ownership and destructive behaviour that is strong evidence of bad faith. User:Walkinxyz (not logged in).

Long story short: Philogo's actions and arguments were not reasonable here, eg. after a pause, he quietly wiped all Walkinxyz's cited and discussed work -in an edit marked minor. I personally think an editor caught doing that should apologise and shuffle off discretely rather than come back with more non-philosophy.

Also, bear in mind that MachineElf followed Walkinxyz here from [a previous article|Appeal to nature]] where he did little else but test Walkinxyz's and my own patience also. So then he thought it entirely appropriate he should get involved with this dispute too.

I'm pretty much out after my previous experience (with m.e.) , except for warring when necessary (no wasted discussion and certainly bloodless), and contributing links and diffs to a proper review of this situation in the wikiproject - if it might ever muster one. If you are an intelligent wikipedian or an admin?, all this is more your concern than mine.

Whatever Walkinxyz managed to make out of the hassle (much of his new content is currently precariously threatened by article subject having been restricted to "logic") - his neighbours have not been helping him at all.

Lisnabreeny (talk) 23:40, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

How sad, still randomly telling pathetic lies about me for no reason? Seems the matter's been settled over at argument for some time now... If you weren't so uninterested in contributing to the encyclopedia, I've no doubt you'd have gotten yourself blocked by now with your admittedly mercenary tactics.—Machine Elf 1735 23:33, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
Not settled. Silenced and stubbornly blocked. "Compromise" on argument was forced, not reached through genuine discussion. MachineElf and Philogo are most astonishingly not receptive to the reasons of other editors, or to significant major themes in modern philosophy. Indeed, it is surprising that they don't consider such destructive attitudes a waste of their own time. It is certainly a waste of ours, and a scandal for the WikiPhilosophy project as a whole. Walkinxyz (talk) 01:27, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
At my Talk (Lisnabreeny), The editor MachineElf, who accuses me of "randomly telling pathetic lies" -writes: " Please do not attack other editors, as you did on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Philosophy. If you continue, you may be blocked from editing Wikipedia. Another unprovoked personal attack.Machine Elf 1735 23:44, 14 April 2011 (UTC)" , -Best Regards: Lisnabreeny (talk) 20:53, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

Philosophy of perception lede

I consider the recent rewrite of my recent rewrite rather unfortunate. Those interested in the field, please see my remarks: Talk:Philosophy of perception#Lede rewrite (April 2011). Morton Shumwaytalk 13:59, 13 April 2011 (UTC).

Proposed merge of Argument Form into Logical form

It has been proposed that Argument form be merged into Logical Form. Unfortunately neither article does the subject justice— Philogos (talk) 00:42, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Correction The article to be merged into is Logical form. The one with the capital F refers to a linguistics-specific term. Morton Shumwaytalk 01:42, 19 April 2011 (UTC).
You are correct. It's a little confusing, is it not, to have two articles to have such very similar names, Logical Form and Logical form. Perhaps one or other shuld be renamed as Logical Form (linguistics), Logical form (logic).— Philogos (talk) 00:09, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
What about the proposed merger?— Philogos (talk) 00:09, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
The merger would be fine, and I will comment there. However, please see WP:MERGE for technical information on doing a merger discussion. E.g. you should include rationale with the proposal on the talk page. Also, you should sign the proposal. Etc. — With respect to the similar article names, you can take a look at the help pages on article names. As far as I remember there has been previous consensus on the one with a capital F. Morton Shumwaytalk 01:06, 20 April 2011 (UTC).
If you look you will see the merge was propsed by another editor.— Philogos (talk) 02:51, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
True, sorry for that. The merger was proposed in 2009 by GregBard, and his rationale may just remain obscure. Please see the merger discussion. Morton Shumwaytalk 10:32, 20 April 2011 (UTC).
the merge was executed— Philogos (talk) 02:22, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Request for input regarding Ralph Waldo Emerson

A debate about Ralph Waldo Emerson's title has been simmering for a few days (see here). Additional comments are very much appreciated. Thanks. - Artoasis (talk) 03:49, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Request for input regarding Auteur Theory

Could somebody with better mental faculties than me help me out regarding criticisms of AT. The theory is under represented by those to whom it applies and, in my estimation, the (writers) criticisms are detracting from it's purpose and the esoteric knowledge it represents. --Filmmaker2011 (talk) 09:34, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Name of the philosopher

I've moved this to Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Humanities#Name_of_the_philosopher. Please look for it there. Skomorokh 10:30, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Ongoing discussion of Frege, Church, Russell, Death, Nothing, Color, and Humor vs. Humour

Here, here, and here.

"Church is the reincarnation of Frege". Does anyone know who first said that? Was it Carnap, Straus, Einstein, Godel, or Riechenbach? PPdd (talk) 14:35, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Much ado about nothing on the talk pages there now; Visual representations of nothingness; The elements of the empty set and the elements of a mathematics constructed from nothing without the aid of r. ad absurdum proofs; Death

Much ado about [[nothing on the talk pages there now; Discussion of visual representaions of nothingness; The elements of the empty set and the elements of a mathematics made from nothing; WikiProject Death member comments on theology

at Nothingness article now.

PPdd (talk) 04:33, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

Sockpuppet edits

A banned sockpuppeteer has been editing articles on Terence_McKenna, Omega point and Teilhard de Chardin since before Christmas. I haven't reverted any of it as for all I know their edits here might be okay but in Physics they are just weird and wrong. They are:

497glbig, 9p4gh9gkj, Antichristos, Creator666, Jsdhgsdjhg, Sage321, Systemizer, Weltherr, Wyhiugl

And they've used at least the following ips based in St Petersburg:,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Cheers Dmcq (talk) 15:29, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

At a first glance it looks like the hundreds (!) of additions to Omega Point are primarily/entirely nonsense. I haven't looked at the others yet. CRGreathouse (t | c) 20:24, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
Semi-protected Omega Point and Terence McKenna. Let me know if any evident socks manage to edit. Dougweller (talk) 16:16, 15 June 2011 (UTC)


The editor Lorem has deleted a large part of the article Metaphysics without first seeking the views of other editors. See the talk page. Vandalism? — Philogos (talk) 00:44, 17 June 2011 (UTC) — Philogos (talk) 00:55, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

I have sought editors' views at talk:metaphysics#Recent deletion as to whether the deletion should be reverted. It would be appreciated if you would epres your view there— Philogos (talk) 01:37, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

The deletion was reverted. The article however lack citations— Philogos (talk) 21:12, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Dreadful article on Hume's book A Treatise of Human Nature

Virtually no discussion of the book at all, just a CliffsNotes sort of article. Dougweller (talk) 16:06, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Yes, nothing about its importance. I think it is true to say that modern science (and thereby industrial civilization) is based on ideas first put forward in this book. Quite possibly the most important book of all time. If anybody wants a copy, there was one for sale on ebay recently; only 60,000 Pounds Sterling.--Logicalgregory (talk) 06:41, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing that out Doug!--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 07:11, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Question re: Category:Literary critics

I've posted a question on how to organize Category:Literary critics over at Wikipedia Talk:WikiProject Literature#Question re: Category:Literary critics. Please chime in. Thanks! Aristophanes68 (talk) 17:11, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

More eyes needed at Four-dimensionalism

There is a not-quite-edit-war brewing at Four-dimensionalism. Could an as-yet uninvolved editor or two take a look at the talk page discussion and article history and weigh in. The primary problem (as I saw) was a lede that was overly detailed and essaylike and one editor (Stho002) refusing to work collaboratively. In the interest of disclosure, and to stave off any appearance of forum shopping, I'd already filed a WQA but I think it's to the level of content discussion now and within the scope of this project. Thanks BrideOfKripkenstein (talk) 19:24, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Just to correct an error in the above, I do not refuse to work collaboratively, but collaboration means more than me adding something positive while the others just sit around reverting it on technicalities. Actually, I think that now we are working more collaboratively on it, but that doesn't mean it has to be "all loves and hugs", if you see what I mean?? Stho002 (talk) 02:58, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
Furthermore, my argument is in essence as follows:
  • you cannot explain anything without interpretation, you can only make direct cited quotes
  • interpretation is different to opinion, different to OR, and not necessarily in contravention of NPOV
  • in many areas, like science, interpretation isn't usually too much of a problem
  • in philosophy, interpretation is a much bigger problem
  • therefore, in philosophy, simple "quote and cite" WP articles just aren't worth the paper that they aren't written on!
  • therefore, with philosophy articles in WP, we should be guided more by whether the article explains things well, and less by robotic adherence to strict policy, as the latter will inevitably just result in poor quality articles, with all improvements being reverted ...

Stho002 (talk) 03:15, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

BrideOfKripkenstein: I have looked at the article, its history and talk page and I concur with your remarks. — Philogos (talk) 04:25, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
Sorry buddy, but you hardly count as an 'as-yet uninvolved editor' ... in fact you are part of the problem, i.e., robotic adherence to strict policy (can you pass captcha tests??) [just kidding!] ... Stho002 (talk) 05:22, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Well, I did go there only based on this request, and have no previous involvement. I do sympathize with many of your points: I too despise the typical "quote and cite" philosophy article. Take something as important as the problem of evil. That's the worst kind of "not an essay" article; in fact, it manages to evade the contemporary debate altogether and instead reports on every irrelevant and long-abandoned objection ever made. Some of our style guidelines, such as WP:YOU, are unnecessarily restrictive and disallow the kind of writing that makes difficult philosophy accessible. Take the following from SEP on temporal parts:

You're performing an amazing trick right now: you're in two places at once. How do you manage to be down there, near the floor, and yet also be a metre or two up in the air? Well, it's not so very amazing: your feet are down there on the floor, and your head is up in the air. Having spatial parts enables you to be in several different places, and to have different properties in different places: you're cold down there on the tiled floor, and also warm up there by the heater, because your feet are cold and your head is warm... [P]eople take up time as well as taking up space: you existed yesterday, and, unless reading this article is a real strain, you will exist tomorrow too. Just as you can have different properties at different places (hot up here, cold down there), you can have different properties at different times (yesterday you hadn't heard of temporal parts, by tomorrow you'll know plenty about them).

I really don't see why such writing should be considered unsuitable for an encyclopedia. But here is the deal: either we challenge these style guidelines globally, which you can do on the talk page of each policy or style guide, or we stick with them. An encyclopedia needs to be at least somewhat consistent from article to article! When it comes to style, though, I'd rather agree with what you say, "we should be more guided by whether the article explains things well, and less by robotic adherence to strict policy". And unless you want to have this highly specialized article featured on the Wikipedia front page, there is no need to enforce every single style guideline fanatically.

However, Wikipedia is different from those other encyclopedias since articles here are anonymous. If a SEP article contains a non-trivial proposition without attributing it to anyone, you know it is the interpretation of the author of the article. You cannot do that on Wikipedia! Here everything unattributed must be neutral, obvious and uncontroversial. You need to take interpretations directly from the secondary literature, present it without adding any further significant interpretation, and properly attribute it to the person who made that interpretation. This is a point where compromise is not possible. You cannot ignore Philogos's citation requests. They wouldn't add such requests if it were obvious to them. While it is easier to complain from the sidelines, the burden is on the person who wants to add material to comply with content policies. Most importantly, when you find these requests unreasonable, you explain why it is unreasonable and you may ask here for second opinions, but you do not call that editor "part of the problem" unless your goal is to be kicked off Wikipedia as quickly as possible. Vesal (talk) 10:11, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

The edit history looks too frantic, too frequent critical 'feedback' or 'instruction' and 'protection' of the article, and then resulting energy wasting discussion. Unless there is something urgently bad added to a "start class" or similar article, experienced wp editors should not intervein immediately, daily or hourly, as someone invests their time effort and experience to improve it. Let them a respectful amount of space to get somewhere, as much as you wish your experienced or considered input to be ultimately respected. In good time take the article forward yourself if possible, eg. checking if there are cites and adding them yourself before demanding them. This is often easier to do than requesting it done and explaining at length why it is crucial. The comment about getting "kicked off Wikipedia" for complaint is a bit harsh. I have been maligned by an editor here, eg called "a pathetic persistent liar" etc, and a previous administrative incident review about the conflict ended without a single admin comment - it was simply archived. I have also been slightly rude to Philogo about a mistake where he wiped another editor's discussed contribution to an article in a single edit marked minor. I considered apologising for tone, but not with no admission of the error, and in this area of WP at least there seems to be a vacuum of actual moderation. Certainly civil standards are much much preferable, but frustration at unchecked problem behaviour can quite fairly produce outbursts. It is something to watch out for here, for your own tranquility rather than supposed WP process. Lisnabreeny (talk) 12:34, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Without more citations it is not possible to verify most of the article. The article provides just three references, as below, and only the firat uses the term Four-dimensionalism which does not appear in the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy.
  1. Sider, Theodore (1997). "Four-Dimensionalism". Philosophical Review (Oxford University Press) 106 (2): 197–231.
  2. "The Unreality of Time". Wikisource. Retrieved 2008-12-15.
  3. "Time". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2002-11-25. Retrieved 2008-12-15.

— Philogos (talk) 14:58, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

It is a starting point only, and I had nothing to do with the last two of those references above, so they may actually go, and be replaced by better ones ... it due course. I must protest that Philogos has gone and rewritten the lede yet again, adding nothing of substance, after Vesal and I had both settled on an acceptable lede ... Stho002 (talk) 21:38, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

I have invited comments on the revised lede at Talk:Four-dimensionalism#revised lede— Philogos (talk) 22:19, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Once again, Philogo has reverted, without seeking consensus, the lede which Vesal and myself were both happy with, and now tries to prevent reversion of his version by insisting that we get consensus first (as if!!!) Machine elf seems to be backing him up by putting all sorts of heavy handed block warnings on my talk page ... Stho002 (talk) 01:29, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
I have not reverted the the lede which Vesal and myself were both happy with, but I did undo a revert of my edits, and requested reasons to be given on talk page, rather than simply reverting. I have given a reason for each edit to the lede. I have invited comments from editors on my revisions at Talk:Four-dimensionalism#revised lede. I there set out the lede before and after my edits for the convenience of other editors. — Philogos (talk) 02:06, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
IMHO, Philogos is out of control and being counterproductive. I have no option but to continue to undo his pointless interferences ... Stho002 (talk) 03:32, 21 June 2011 (UTC) The article will be added to and improved in due course, but I have other things to be doing as well ... Stho002 (talk) 03:33, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Stho002 has already been given a warning by another editor about edit warring in the article: see User talk:Stho002#3RR). He apparently intends to ignore that warning, but should remember the 3RR. Comments from other editors on my edits are welcome at Talk:Four-dimensionalism#revised lede. — Philogos (talk) 04:17, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
as I said, Philogos is out of control and being counterproductive: his edits are making the lede less concise and clear. I suggest we await the return of Vesal, whose opinion (and demeanor) seems more balanced, but I expect Philogos cannot wait 5 minutes without interfering again ... Stho002 (talk) 04:41, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

The revised lede was reverted three times by user: — Philogos (talk) 22:54, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Four times:
05:09, 21 June 2011 (somebody pls control rogue editor Philogo...) (Tag: references removed)
04:42, 21 June 2011 (Undid revision 435400405 by Philogo (talk) I can't stop Philogo from edit warring, I'm only an IP ...) (Tag: references removed)
04:37, 21 June 2011 (rv lede (Philogo out of control)) (Tag: references removed)
03:26, 21 June 2011 (Undid revision 435382778 by Philogo (talk) yes, please do!) (Tag: references removed)
Add them to the half dozen or so by Stho002... it's his WP:SOCK. The IP's first edit in Oct 2009 was further to Stho002's edits earlier that day. In their next set of coincident edits, the IP claimed he's "under pressure" to remove the additions Stho002 actually made. (The IP uses the same edit summary when removing the material Stho002's added to the IO2 article he created). The IP didn't participate in any discussions... they're clearly identical, and he was simply referring to his efforts as Stho002 in trying to save his IO2 article from deletion.
Here's another New Zealand IP, which Stho002 signed-off on in Nov 2008, (to take credit for shouting at Jimbo about how taxonomy is “NEVER fully objective”, no less. It's his first edit using Stho002, BTW.—Machine Elf 1735 02:39, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
This is getting mighty silly! Philogo and MachineElf are clearly trying to bait me into reverting the article so they can entrap me with the 3 revert rule ... but I will keep reverting it, for as long as they keep reverting it for no justifiable reason ... Stho002 (talk) 04:09, 22 June 2011 (UTC) I edited as an IP because their constant and unjustified reverting doesn't make my account history look good, as they well know ... I'm perfectly justified to edit as an IP (it is only sockpuppetry with multiple accounts) ... Stho002 (talk) 04:11, 22 June 2011 (UTC) Machine Elf  is now stooping to the low tactic of dredging up irrelevant issues from 2008! Stho002 (talk) 04:15, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

LOL, bait you? News flash, you've 3RRed more than once and we had been kind enough not to report you. On your talk page you admit you didn't know using IPs to “to deceive other editors, disrupt discussions, distort consensus, avoid sanctions, or otherwise violate community standards – sock puppetry – is forbidden” so we need to determine what your sock puppet accounts are. Especially since you don't intend to stop, despite numerous efforts from multiple users (i.e. “baiting you”): “At any rate, editing as an IP is the only way to stop other bad editors from deliberately making one's account history look bad, by making numerous unjustified reverts and heavy handed warnings”.
FYI, the so-called “heavy handed” warning about 3RR from me was just a standard template... which, you summarily dismissed and went on to commit an additional 5 reverts.—Machine Elf 1735 17:35, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
You are full of rhetoric! What I actually "admitted" was that I was under the impression that sockpuppetry didn't apply to IPs, because I only read the lede of the policy page on this, and it clearly says accounts. Furthermore, as I said I edited as an IP not to deceive, distort, etc., but purely to stop further unjustified rvs being logged on my account history. So, go on, block me for defending myself ... I bet you can't ... Stho002 (talk) 01:25, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
You're a real comedian, I was just being polite when I repeated what you said: that you weren't aware you couldn't “deceive [other editors], distort [consensus], etc.”, (basically, avoid 3RR in violation of community standards), by making 4 more reverts in addition to the one you made while still logged-on after receiving a mere warning from me about your existing 3RR violation.
Crazy as it sounds, what's hilarious is that you think wantonly violating 3RR is no biggie because we are “bad editors” who are “deliberately” trying to make your edit history look “bad”, (consensus offering no justification whatsoever for continuing to revert you). Naturally, you believe it's unfair that your efforts to thwart such malice directed at your person's edit history, should be recorded in said edit history. However, you took no steps to prevent that from being the case... (like not reverting 5 more times). It was merely some kind of happy accident that you got logged-off.
I'd wager no one took your bet, but I didn't say we had been kind enough not to “block” you, I said we had been kind enough not to “report” you. You're an admin on Wikispecies, (with a long history of abusing your tools in support of your WP:TENDENTIOUS edits), so no doubt you can plainly see I'm not an admin. Report yourself, and throw the book at you; give yourself the comfy chair.—Machine Elf 1735 06:43, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, I do see history repeating itself ... back in 2008, when I started contributing to Wikispecies, there was initially a few people who suddenly started to show their true colours, and that had to be battled through (admittedly, my first attempts to battle them were, in retrospect, laughable, but 2007/2008 was a bad time for me personally ...) Anyway, three years and 200,000+ edits later, things have settled down, those troublemakers all spat the dummy and left, and I facilitated a useful collaboration between Wikispecies, ZooKeys (Pensoft Publishing) and Species-ID (a consortium of professional entomologists/bioinformaticians based mainly in Europe), so now we routinely link to each other's sites, and all benefit from the increased traffic. So, it would be nice to hear a balanced assessment of the situation from you, instead of all this blatant bias ... perhaps then we can work together? Stho002 (talk) 07:07, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps if you had wanted me to take your suggestion that “we can work together” seriously, you might have refrained from calling me a “vandal” when you reverted with your IP—your third revert yesterday. You can, at least, be WP:CIVIL can't you?
I'll put this as politely as possible in the interest of “a balanced assessment of the situation from [me]”. The “consortium of professional entomologists/bioinformaticians based mainly in Europe”,, is a community-owned wiki (on which you're a bureaucrat) that that hosts a project of yours, TNZOR, according to your Wikispecies User:Stho002 page. I'm sure Species-ID (and their service-sponsor, Biowikifarm) are lovely wikis, and notable in their field(s), along with your TNZOR project, but it's easy to run into WP:COI issues—which I'm not saying are a problem—but you probably ought to read the entire page on that one (not just the WP:LEAD) before you go any further with that train of thought. In the future, you should definitely avoid using that wiki as an WP:RS here on WP, especially for a subject on which you've been the sole contributor there.
I hope you have been a net-positive at Wikispecies. In any case, I'm sure you are a lovely person. The urban dictionary tells me that “spat the dummy” is a childish temper tantrum, as if an adult spat out their pacifier. Truly a testament to your upstanding character... but you might want to try unhitching the story about how you've been persecuted by others, elsewhere, from your accusation of “blatant bias” on my part. Whereas I know the latter to be false, it makes it difficult to take you at your word regarding the former, (much less assume the “we can work together” overture was in good faith). The sooner you're ready to put such incidents behind you, the better it will be for everyone.—Machine Elf 1735 12:12, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Well I hope that rant had some meaning for you, because I am left scratching my head what it was all about? When all is said and done, I just want to improve a few metaphysics articles on WP ... but when it gets instantly reverted back to the previous crappy version, and other editors start trawling through my internet past, back to 2008, being sarcastic (i.e., 'In any case, I'm sure you are a lovely person'), and resisting change seemingly out of sheer bloodymindedness, I have to wonder wtf is going on? Stho002 (talk) 23:53, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

BrideOfKripkenstein.: At your suggestion I took a look at this article, shortened the lede, made a few suggestions and proposed a new lede. It appears to me, however, that it is difficult for editors to assist with this article without being subject to personal abuse and for their edits to be summarily reverted. The lede states In philosophy, four-dimensionalism may refer to either eternalism or perdurantism. It quotes Sider (Sider, Theodore (1997). "Four-Dimensionalism". Philosophical Review (Oxford University Press) 106 (2): 197–231. as using the term to mean perdurantism. (Sider's actual words are

Persistence through time is like extension through space. A road has spatial parts in the subregions of the region of space it occupies; likewise, an object that exists in time has temporal parts in the various subregions of the total region of time it occupies. This view — known variously as four dimensionalism, the doctrine of temporal parts, and the theory that objects “perdure” — is opposed to “three dimensionalism”, the doctrine that things “endure”, or are “wholly present”.

— Sider, Four Dimensionalism, Philosophical Review 106

No text is cited to verify the use of the term to mean eternalism. If the term four-dimensionalism refers to either eternalism or perdurantism, and we have articles on both: eternalism and perdurantism, and, for good measure, temporal parts then this article appears to be redundant, a point already raised on the discussion page. — Philogos (talk) 23:59, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

As for Philogo's point (above), I can only reiterate that the topic is itself very unclear terminologically and even conceptually, so the WP article cannot be any more clear than the topic. It may help (or make things worse) that I have now added the following paragraph and references to the article:

The term four-dimensionalism is often used without specification of exactly what is meant. Often, it is used in the context of the issue of personal identity over time. For example, Robinson (1985: 299-300) stated that 'the m[ultiple].o[ccupancy]. view, as canvassed below, is not my first choice amongst approaches to fission cases. I prefer the four-dimensionalist account (itself an m.o. analysis) presented with exemplary clarity by David Lewis in 'Survival and Identity' '. Unfortunately, Lewis (1976), at least in the first edition of this book, does not appear to use the term four-dimensionalism at all! Muis (2005) offers an explanation of the terminology which (fairly) clearly equates four-dimensionalism with perdurantism (by using the term 'four-dimensional' in relation to perdurantism only), not eternalism, but does so in an opening paragraph that mentions all four -isms (i.e., eternalism vs. presentism, endurantism vs. perdurantism), stating that 'in analytical metaphysics, there are three, closely related, debates about time and the nature of change and persistence' [my bold], the third debate being A-theory vs. B-theory of time (see below). Therefore, it appears to be very difficult to disentangle the issues or work out any firm terminological distinctions. It is unclear if all the literature exactly follows the terminology of Muis (2005).

  • Lewis, D. 1976: Survival and identity. Pp. 17-40 in Rorty, A.O. (ed.) The identities of persons. Berkeley: University of California Press. Google books
  • Muis, R. 2005: [Review of] Four-dimensionalism: an ontology of persistence and time. By Theodore Sider. Ars Disputandi, 5 ISSN: 1566-5399 PDF
  • Robinson, D. 1985: Can amoebae divide without multiplying? Australasian journal of philosophy, 63(3): 299–319. doi:10.1080/00048408512341901

reply to Vesal

>However, Wikipedia is different from those other encyclopedias since articles here are anonymous< I disagree! Articles here are not anonymous! The edit history is preserved and accessible. It shows who did what. Edits can be "somewhat anonymous", if the edit is by an IP or an account that doesn't reveal their "true identity" on their user page, but can be "no way anonymous" if "true identity" is revealed (something I must get around to doing on my user page here). There is actually no significant difference with "those other encyclopedias" in that regard. If anything, WP is less anonymous, as you can't tell exactly who wrote what sentence in a typical encyclopedia... Stho002 (talk) 21:30, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

>You need to take interpretations directly from the secondary literature, present it without adding any further significant interpretation, and properly attribute it to the person who made that interpretation. This is a point where compromise is not possible< Again, I disagree! The rule is self-defeating. In philosophy, when someone (P) publishes an interpretation of Q, P's interpretation typically stands just as much in need of interpretation as Q! You can't break out of the circle and say here is P's interpretation, unless you either (1) just quote P directly, or (2) interpret P. If we go for (1), then WP becomes just "Wikiquotes", and the quote will typically be so difficult to interpret that it is useless (see clarification below). Hence, (2) is the only real option. Stho002 (talk) 22:42, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Clarification: the only way to interpret P is in context of everything that one knows about the topic, but you can't cite everything that you know about the topic! Hence, an interpretation in philosophy is uncitable (except perhaps in a PhD thesis with a huge bibliography). The reader of a WP article on philosophy just needs to be aware that what they are reading has, of necessity, a rather significant component of interpretation, which, as I pointed out, is not the same as opinion, bias, etc. Stho002 (talk) 22:50, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

If you're unable to contribute within the Wikipedia guidelines, you should not contribute. WP:V is non-negotiable: it's one of Wikipedia's core policies. CRGreathouse (t | c) 15:33, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Then a core WP policy makes it impossible to create metaphysics articles that can be understood, as opposed to being mere compilations parrot-fashion quotations. Verifiability surely does not apply to explanations or illustrative examples??? So, what you seem to be saying is that bad policy (or at least bad interpretation of policy) is non-negotiable??? Hmmm ... Stho002 (talk) 21:27, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
If your issue is with a core policy, maybe you should be bringing up your objections in WP:V to try and change WP:V instead of insisting on violating currently establish policy? JonPF (talk) 17:04, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
It is not clearly a violation of that policy ... the policy is being interpreted overly strictly to suit agendas ... Stho002 (talk) 01:07, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
WP:V states: All quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged must be attributed to a reliable published source using an inline citation . WP:NPV states: Editing from a neutral point of view (NPOV) means representing fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views… these opinions should not be stated in Wikipedia's voice… watch out for structural or stylistic aspects that make it difficult for a reader to fairly and equally assess the credibility of all relevant and related viewpoints
Here are some quotes from your explanation section’s first paragraph that are in violation of WP:NPV “I prefer the four-dimensionalist account”, “offers an explanation of the terminology which (fairly) clearly equates four-dimensionalism with perdurantism”, “related, debates about time and the nature of change and persistence' [my bold],” The whole section is difficult to read, and is written like an essay in first person.
Also, much of your “Explanation” section doesn’t meet the WP:V criteria, for example: “there are three, closely related, debates about time and the nature of change and persistence' [my bold], the third debate being A-theory vs. B-theory of time (see below). Therefore, it appears to be very difficult to disentangle the issues or work out any firm terminological distinctions. It is unclear if all the literature exactly follows the terminology of Muis” this is your opinion. It might be true, it might be something that would be worthwhile to talk about in a philosophy class. But it has no place in WP if it doesn’t meet WP:V standards.JonPF (talk) 15:15, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Eh? I have written nothing in the first-person. I have not once said 'I ...' anything. You are quoting things above that I was directly quoting from published sources who did write in the first-person! Stho002 (talk) 23:28, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
You are making my point, if I can't tell what is and isn't a quote after reading it sevral times it's written poorly JonPF (talk) 15:18, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Is it my fault if you can't read standard conventions like single quotation marks? Stho002 (talk) 01:17, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
So sorry to point these things out so often, but perhaps you could make fewer counter-factual claims? You do write in the first-person plural for no particular reason:
Consider the proposition: there was an American president called Reagan. What are the truth conditions? According to presentism,  we  cannot say! According to eternalism,  we  can say the following: there is an American president called Reagan, in the past.  We  can only say that, if the past exists. How can Reagan exist in the past if the past doesn't exist?  We  can understand "was" in terms of "is" and "past", but only if the past exists. The past is understood as a time before the present. If you can understand the idea of someone existing in the present, and you understand the idea of a linearly ordered sequence (i.e., time), then you can understand the idea of someone existing in the past! It is just a simple set theoretic model of time. "Was" just means "is" at some point before the present (i.e., at some point before, or "less than", one's current coordinate on the time line). What is unclear, however, is that just because  we  can understand (model) time in this eternalist manner, does that mean that reality is really like that? Does the past really exist, and what does that mean, anyway? Or, is the model just a formal device which is useful to adopt for some theoretical purposes? Applying the model to the future does, however, seem to raise issues relating to determinism and free will.
“The past is understood as a time before the present.” I bet the readers know that, don't you think? Anyway, I had to reread the quote JonPF mentions several times myself... it's not clearly presented. The single quotes are easy to miss and it just waffles on for awhile... FYI—Machine Elf 1735 01:37, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
I assume that by "counter-factual" you just mean "false"? I just don't want to get mixed up with the notion of counterfactuals in philosophy. Anyway, I accept that when writing that particular example, I said 'we' a few times (book the firing squad without delay!), and the 'we's could be reworded out. However, nobody has actually tried to do that. All that they have done is to remove the whole passage altogether! It is easy ... 'We can understand "was" in terms of "is" and "past"' becomes '"Was" can be understood in terms of "is" and "past"'. But if that is all you are worried about, then I suggest that you are fiddling while Rome burns ... Stho002 (talk) 01:54, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
No, then I say false, otherwise, I try not to speculate on the Land of Make Believe. Yah, firing squad, funny. I imagine, if someone could actually source and salvage, without it being WP:SYN, that fixes the problem, by definition. Yes, all I've done is try to remove the WP:OR (the whole paragraph) and restore the preexisting paragraphs in that section, which clearly explained the concepts. Why would I rewrite it for you? Why wouldn't I start over based on sources? (assuming an example is required, in addition to the preexisting material).
Anyone old enough to read knows their past from future. It's not even interesting, much less eternalism, if that's it supposedly is? It sounds more like presentism, the “common sense” view. I'm sure salient examples can be found in the literature.
Yah, “fiddling while Rome burns”... I don't have a clue what you're talking about. Neither does my horse. Cheerie bye.—Machine Elf 1735 06:36, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
I think you must have Caligula in mind, but I was speaking of Nero. Still, I'm sure you are in a stable relationship ... Stho002 (talk) 01:17, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
Now this issue is very important: WP:SYN is simply the most badly worded and misunderstood bit of policy in the whole of world wide wiki land! What it should state is that it is unacceptable to link statements together as a rhetorical device, so as to imply (connote) conclusions that go beyond the premises. What it actually forbids is any kind of synthesis whatsoever! It actually forbids logic! It reduces WP to a list of direct quotations. That is all we can do according to WP:SYN ... Stho002 (talk) 07:59, 24 June 2011 (UTC) Furthermore, not only does the policy forbid more than it intends to forbid, but it fails to prevent what it intends to prevent! To illustrate this, look at the first example given on the policy page:

>A simple example of original synthesis:

>The UN's stated objective is to maintain international peace and security, but since its creation there have been 160 wars throughout the world.

>Both parts of the sentence may be reliably sourced, but here they have been combined to imply that the UN has failed to maintain world peace. If no reliable source has combined the material in this way, it is original research. It would be a simple matter to imply the opposite using the same material, illustrating how easily material can be manipulated when the sources are not adhered to...

But, you can imply the same conclusion, without combining anything, purely by sequencing, thus:

The UN's stated objective is to maintain international peace and security. Since the creation of the UN there have been 160 wars throughout the world. ... Stho002 (talk) 03:49, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Less important, but still worth mentioning, is in relation to your comments to what I wrote about eternalism vs. presentism, like your comment above, where you say 'Anyone old enough to read knows their past from future. It's not even interesting, much less eternalism, if that's it supposedly is? It sounds more like presentism, the “common sense” view'. All that this demonstrates is that you simply haven't been able to understand what I have written, so your reaction is to remove it ... Stho002 (talk) 08:06, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

I offered a suggestion, and was told that the current parties to the dispute like their own versions better, so maybe more eyes are not needed after all. Rick Norwood (talk) 14:22, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

The “current parties” you're referring to are Stho002 in the singular. In fact, Philogos did reiterate your suggestion and neither of you have received an adequate response... precisely because people have their hands full at the moment. I hope that helps to clarify whether “more eyes are not needed after all”?—Machine Elf 1735 19:30, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
It certainly seems to me that more eyes are needed, but as Machine Elf says I have my hands full at the moment. CRGreathouse (t | c) 00:10, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
This is wrong! Certain editors clearly want to reword what I wrote, without adding anything, just so it reads in a way that suits them and makes it look like they wrote it... Stho002 (talk) 01:05, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

Stho002 (talk) has just reverted the lede again (and, for good measure removed the 'expert needed' flag). — Philogos (talk) 01:24, 23 June 2011 (UTC) — Philogos (talk) 01:28, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

Yes, that is correct! But only because Philogo changed the lede yet again, adding too much detail for a lede, and making it obscure again. Now he is busy adding lots of references, but not explaining their relevance ... again this just results in main points being lost in unnecessary detail. As for the 'expert needed' flag, that could apply to just about any article on WP, and it doesn't define what is mean't by "expert". I'm not saying that it means much at all, but I do have an MA in metaphysics, so why don't I count as an "expert" ... it is very unclear ...Stho002 (talk) 01:54, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Here are my edits: to lede [1] and to refs [2]

The additional refs are the works cited by Sider in the lede which Stho002 has reverted yet again. The addition of <nowicki> [citation needed]</nowiki> does not seem to me to be adding too much detail for a lede, and making it obscure again— Philogos (talk) 13:27, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

I was not referring to just that! Maybe it was Machine Elf who added too much detail, making it obscure again, and then you made a minor change on top of that? You know what? I don't care who it was ... somebody made it obscure again and added too much detail... Stho002 (talk) 23:41, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
He's talking about this edit, too much detail, too pedantic! LOL! Welcome to Wikipedia, I hope you like it here and decide to stay. Thanks for editing!—Machine Elf 1735 23:57, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Wrong again! I was not talking about that in particular. I can't be bothered tracking the history (better things to do), but the current lede (or at least it was current last time I looked) was a concise and acceptable lede according to both Vesal and myself. It keeps changing, and not for the better ... Stho002 (talk) 00:04, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Sure, find the diff or put a sock in it. I'm sure you do like the lede as it sits right now. It's yours.—Machine Elf 1735 00:16, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
So, I'm not allowed to prefer something that I have myself written? Interesting! In general, though, I will not be looking to you for lessons on humility ... Stho002 (talk) 00:23, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
What's your problem? I didn't say that.—Machine Elf 1735 00:28, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Then please write in comprehensible English! Perhaps you would like to explain your intended meaning of 'I'm sure you do like the lede as it sits right now. It's yours'? Stho002 (talk) 00:33, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
My bad. I got discouraged too easily. You are right, only one editor was dismissive of my effort. I'll try again. Rick Norwood (talk) 14:23, 23 June 2011 (UTC)