School:Philosophy/Message board/Archive

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The Wikiversity vote has finished. What now? (Alex beta 17:28, 1 November 2005 (UTC))


Please make sure to follow the current format of this page to keep it organized. Please sign the board with a screen name or some method of contact information. --Destrogal 14:51, 28 September 2005 (UTC)


Is anyone going to be posting anything on Karl Popper or J.L. Austin, primarily regarding Popper Selections and/or Sense and Sensibilia, respectively? I think it'd be nice to get some good deductivist philosophy in here.

On a side note, I'd be willing to write something on Induction (possibly Hume vs. Russell vs. Popper), and probably (if I can re-scan some notes) the "criteria of falsifiability". Sound like a plan? --Jjlongoria 2:01, 11 Feb 2006


I noticed that someone has started using the department's main page as a sort of message board. Yes, we need a message board, or maybe more than one, but, no, it shouldn't be done on the main page. So please use this space to say hello and what to say how you can contribute to and gain from the Wikiversity philosophy department. Perhaps eventually the technical people will get some kind of proper message board software installed. You can also ask questions about philosophy if you must, but please make a bit of effort to do your own research using Wikipedia and a search engine first.

Courses vs Text books[edit]

Hey team. I think that the reason many people find it overwhelming to write courses, is that they are writing text books. Rather than writing everything there is to know about a particular topic, try splitting each area into 10 (or however many) parts, each with its own focus and developement. Write a brief introduction on what the problem is, give a few answers from various philosophers (perhaps supported by a few quotes), then give suggested short answer/essay questions. If you have the time, add some links for the student for the student to investigate various solutions themselves. --Abc123 06:38, Jun 29, 2005 (UTC)


I think this is a very good idea. I hope this concept takes off. Ereinion 01:26, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)


I greatly admire how the courses are structured in the School of Mathematics, so I have been thinking about the courses here and I believe that we could group them into different categories. For example:

  • Analytical philosophy
    • Logic
    • Philosophy of Language
    • Philosophy of Mind, etc.
  • The history of Philosophy
    • The history of Ancient Philosophy
    • The history of Medieval Philosophy
    • Eastern Philosophy, etc.
  • Individual philosophers
    • Plato
    • Hume
    • Hegel, etc.

And so on. Please let me know what you think. (Alex beta 21:31, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC))


This is a great idea, I'm currently studying philosophy at undergraduate level, and I'm hoping to do some work on the courses here over summer. Talking about the way the courses should be structured, I think you should probably include a History of Modern Philosophy (Descartes through Kant), 19th Century Philosophy (German Idealism primarily), and 20th Century Philosophy (which will have to be a brief run through of different trends). There should probably be some general grouping of topics in Continential Philosophy, or though such is very difficult owing to its diversity, but even if there were just something like a introduction to different movements that would do (e.g. Phenomenology, Hermeneutics, Structuralism, Post-structuralism, Transcendental Empiricism, etc.). --Killed-the-Cat 10:18, Jun 19, 2005 (UTC)

I agree completely. However, I think it would probably be better not to include the title of courses if we are then going to leave them empty. I am quite annoyed when I walk into one of the schools and find exciting titles for empty courses. (Alex beta 11:13, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC))
This is a very good point, perhaps we should have a planned courses page that is separate from the actual courses? --Killed-the-Cat 09:38, Jun 29, 2005 (UTC)

More on courses[edit]

We should probably write courses on individual philosophers (for example "Wikiversity:Plato", or "Wikiversity:Hegel") which could be linked directly from the courses page and from the different histories of philosophy. This way, you would be able to study a particular author you are interested in, and the course could also be reached at the right time throught the study of the history of philosophy. Perhaps we should move pages like "Wikiversity:The_Ancient_Greeks:The_Milesians:Thales" to pages like "Wikiversity:Thales". After all, I doubt there will be any other pages on Thales in the Wikiversity. Please let me know what you think about this. (Alex beta 20:50, 17 July 2005 (UTC))

I would rather see the current courses bulked out before embarking on others. I think we should focus on building things up in each course, so that our credibility is improved.
I agree wholeheartedly. I was not suggesting that we should start writing new courses on individual philosophers now. I was just saying that I believe that the modules on individual philosophers should be named "Wikiversity:Author's name".(Alex beta 10:59, 25 July 2005 (UTC))
I fixed this issue see the Ancient Greek Philosophy Discussion Page --Destrogal 14:51, 28 September 2005 (UTC)

Over Speculation[edit]

I worry about two things, over-specialisation of the courses and an overemphasis on factual learning. I think we should create courses that 1) ask students questions and grab their interests, and lead them to other source on the internet and print. And 2), when students ask questions, to harbour a supportive environment for growth. Remember that each of these sections have been covered over and over on the internet (and print sources). I see the role of Wikiversity and the School of Philosophy to open people's eyes to those sources. We don't need to spend hours reproducing information that is already available. Abc123.

I hope this does not come accross as an attack, because it is really not meant to be. I mean it as a way to relieve us of the burdon of a gigantic workload. Make sense? Abc123.


I’m relatively new to philosophy (as well as wiki-anything), and I’m not sure if this is the right place to post this, but I was wondering about the comment posted on the introductory page,

“When I talk about Pegasus, what I am saying is clearly false, yet no one will assert that Pegasus cannot fly. That is because Pegasus can fly. That means that when we say "Pegasus flies", we have said something that is both true and false. What's up with that?”

I guess I don’t understand this. How is it that when you talk about Pegasus, what ever you say is false? If I were to say “Pegasus is a flying horse”, it would, in fact, be clearly true. Also, how is “Pegasus Flies” false at all? --Fyügo

You are probably right about this not being the right place to post this kind of question. However, there is still nowhere to post questions like this in the school of philosophy, so... here goes:
The question of truth and falsity depends on the theory that you are defending. I assume that the text you are quoting means something like this: anything you say about Pegasus is false because pegasus does not exist. "Pegasus is a flying horse" seems to imply that such a flying horse exists (in a naïve theory of language, perhaps).
I would suggest that you read the following articles on the subject (if you have not already done so): Bertrand Russell's "On Denoting" and Quine's "On what there is". (Alex beta 21:34, 27 July 2005 (UTC))
Excellent question. Thanks for pointing out how badly I got the point accross. I will answer your second question first. Try reading my reworded comment. It should help explain how "Pegasus flies" can be false.
When I talk about Pegasus, I talk about an object that does not exist. This means, nothing that can be said about Pegasus which is true, because there is no Pegasus to make sentences true. i.e. For "Pegasus flies" to be true, there should be a winged horse named Pegasus that flies. Therefore what I am saying is false. Yet there is a sense in which we all understand "Pegasus flies" to be true. No one will assert that Pegasus cannot fly. That means that when we say "Pegasus flies", we have said something that is both true and false. What's up with that?
To answer your first question, "How is it that when you talk about Pegasus, what ever you say is false?"
There is no such thing as Pegasus to make sentences true. In other circumstances, when we say, "There is a computer before in front of me", what makes this true is the computer that is in front of me. There are many philosophical issues here, as we can be as abstract, convoluted and nit-picky as we want. The keyboard, for example, is actually under part of me. And, in my case, my actual computer is below me and to the side (now that I think about it). The only thing that can actually be said to be in front of me is my monitor. Yet, I still consider "There is a computer before my very eyes" to be true.
To go back to Pegasus, think about what it means to say that "Pegasus flies" is true. Why is that statement true? Presumeably, because we made it true, by creating a myth with a mystical winged horse named 'Pegasus'. Now, that means truth depends on what we think, rather than the way the world is in reality. It also means that, as you you say "Pegasus cannot fly" (and believe it), you are saying something also true. Then, it is true that Pegasus both can, and cannot fly. Hope that helps. --Abc123 21:07, July 28, 2005 (UTC)
Alright, here's the real point to my question. Both of you said that Pegasus does not exist. But Pegasus does exist. It isn't possible to make any statements at all about something that doesn't exist, because if it truly did not exist you would have no knowledge of it. It is true that Pegasus doesn't exist in the physical world as an animal of flesh and blood, but Pegasus does exist in literature, movies, and our imagination.
And to Abc123's point, when I say "Pegasus", I'm referring to a specific concept of a flying horse that somebody created as a myth. It is part of Pegasus' nature to be able to fly. If someone were to believe that "Pegasus cannot fly", they've created an entirely new Pegasus, separate from the original, meaning the truth of the statement "Pegasus can fly" depends on which Pegasus it is referring to.
Also, it would be possible to make a message board, on, for example. --Fyügo
Just to be terribly nit-picky, as Pegasus is a rocket which does launch from the wing of another airplane, it does exist. Yet, there is some degree to which that is also a false statement, particularly when one adopts the Eastern view that there is no reality only that which we call 'reality.'-Nathan Eckenrode

Need a new head[edit]

b:User:Alex beta seems to have left the land of all things wiki, and his blog now redirects to advertising. Hope he's OK. Still in the meantime I think you ought to nominate someone else to be acting head. One of their first jobs should be to reply to the professional philosopher on b:User talk:Alex beta who is thinking of making some major wikiversity contributions. --Cfp 15:40, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Department of Philosophy I've started a Department of Philosophy on w:Wikiversity. Koavf 17:36, 20 August 2006 (UTC)