Category talk:Philosophers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
WikiProject Philosophy (Rated Category-class)
WikiProject iconThis category is within the scope of WikiProject Philosophy, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of content related to philosophy on Wikipedia. If you would like to support the project, please visit the project page, where you can get more details on how you can help, and where you can join the general discussion about philosophy content on Wikipedia.
Category page Category  This category does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.


See Wikipedia:Notability (people); Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons; Wikipedia:Categorization of people

Wikipedia:WikiProject Philosophy recommends that:

For the purposes of this category, a philosopher is someone who satisfies two criteria:

1. s/he has been identified as a philosopher in several reputable encyclopedic publications (e.g. MacMillan, Stanford, Routledge, Oxford, Duden... other relevant German/French/other sources could be named here).

2. s/he has been identified as a philosopher in several articles published in reputable journals of philosophy (e.g. ...)

Notable dead philosophers should pass the test of criterion 1 to be non-controversial for inclusion in philosophical lists and categories. In the case of notable living philosophers, criterion 1 can be replaced by criterion 2.

In the case of controversy, discussion among editors and WP:CONSENSUS is encouraged. Opinions can be sought at wipipedia:wikiproject Philosophy.

The preceding is my suggestion. What do others think? Universitytruth 22:54, 18 July 2006 (UTC)


Why all the subcategories? john k 19:16, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Because philosophy is all about definition and distinction. --Oldak Quill 19:40, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I've been working on some category shifting to prepare for articles on new philosophers, I think it will be easier to navigate this way. Lucidish 21:12, 13 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Any news? Should we be moving philosopher entries out of Category:Philosophers and into its (proper) subcategories? Toby Woodwark 21:38, 2004 Jul 23 (UTC)
On that, I have no opinion. It doesn't exactly hurt to have them both in their appropriate subcategories and the main category. I couldn't honestly decide whether or not to remove them from the main category (Philosophers) or not, but it seemed like a minor aesthetic thing. All philosophers ought to be in their proper subcategories, though, there's no question about that... Lucidish 02:00, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)


Why do we have a subcategory for British philosophers if we have separate categories for English and Scottish philosophers? Can we do away with British if we want to retain distinctions, or forget about English/Scottish/ etc? (British has the advantage of including Welsh philosophers, for which there is not yet a category, or classifying philosophers for whom the nationality is not clear.) -- Simonides 07:12, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)

That was probably just somebody's mistake, go ahead and dump the British category imho. Lucidish 18:54, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Most of these "philosophers" certainly didn't call themselves that[edit]

When Grace Hopper was living, she did not call herself a philosopher. Certainly these people have accomplished great things, and certainly many of them can be called thinkers. Is "philosopher" now an honorific for them? Ancheta Wis 07:34, 22 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Yes. Lucidish 21:29, 22 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Collaboration guidelines[edit]

The project for January is to:

  1. locate and standardise as many philosophical biographies as we can find,
  2. place them here on Category:Philosophers,
  3. standardising, adding, and interlinking the Philosopher infobox, Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Philosophy/Before Dec 2005#Philosopher Template
  4. set project standards for biographies of philosophers Wikipedia:WikiProject Philosophy/readability#Biographical articles

Philosopher template[edit]

Folks, I suggest that we use the Template:Infobox Philosopher as it appears at David Hume as our model. Here it is, for your contemplation:

David Hume
David Hume.jpg
David Hume
Era18th-century philosophy,
RegionWestern Philosophy
SchoolBritish Empiricism/Scottish Enlightenment
Main interests
Metaphysics, Epistemology, Mind, Ethics, Politics, Aesthetics, Religion
Notable ideas
Problem of causation, Is-ought problem

Guide for using this template[edit]

Just copy and paste it into your favourite philosopher's biography, then modify its contents to suit. Banno 21:14, 5 January 2006 (UTC)


When an image is absent, the template looks a bit odd (see J. L. Austin). Since this is likely to happen with a large number of the biographies, a solution is needed. Creating an alternate template without the image seems a cumbersome solution. Is there a generic single-point image that we can use in order to remove the uglies? Banno 21:32, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Ilmari Karonen was able to fix this problem - ans sot the Wikiproject philosophy is eternally in hos debt. Banno 00:59, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Ilmari also fixed the template so that if no date is recorded for a death, it remains invisible - see FI John Searle. Banno 01:16, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Alphabetization and pruning[edit]

This section needs some serious reorganizing. Many philosophers need to be re-alphabetized by their last name (for example, "Howard Bloom" should not be under "H"). Then there's the matter of pruning. "Contemporary philosophy", last I checked, was not the name of a philosopher. noosphere 05:40, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

I'm going through the individual philosophers and add the sort keys to sort by last name. Most have them now, but still more to do. Also, I'm removing all of the individual bio articles from the main category and recategorizing them to subcategories. – Doug Bell talkcontrib 04:14, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Definition of philosopher[edit]

I hate to ask, but some discussions concerning whether Goethe is a philosopher are taking place on another page. That led me to the German wikipedia, where the main page for category:philosopher[1] contains a number of specifications on who is included in the category. I think it could be helpful to develop such guidelines here as well. Universitytruth 16:56, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Here are the four criteria for inclusion, as per German wikipedia (followed by a translation/suggestion for making it useful for English wikipedia):

Die Person ...

1. hat Schriften veröfftlicht, die in der Fachphilosophie diskutiert werden (oder wurden);

2. wird in einem einschlägigen Fachlexikon aufgeführt oder in der DDB als Philosoph bezeichnet;

3. ist einer breiteren Öffentlichkeit bekannt für Wirken/Schreiben bzgl. Philosophie als Weltweisheit und/oder Lebensform, wobei mindestens eine auch in der (sonstigen) Philosophie diskutierte Frage (z.B. Was ist das gute Leben?) thematisiert wird ggf. auch nach in der Fachphilosophie nicht angewandten Methoden;

4. hat einen Lehrstuhl im Bereich Philosophie an einer Universität inne. (Kann alleine u.U. nicht hinreichend sein).

The person...

1. has published writings that are (or have been) discussed in academic philosophy (e.g. philosophical journals);

2. is listed in a philosophical lexicon or is named a philosopher by the DDB (could be Library of Congress in our case);

3. is known to a wider public as someone who writes about philosophy / worldly wisdom, who writes about at least one question that is normally thematized in philosophy (e.g., What is the good life?), even if this involves methods not used in academic philosophy;

4. holds a professorship in Philosophy (may not be sufficient for inclusion)

Comments? Universitytruth 17:02, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Library of Congress? I don't think so. Banno 21:11, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
Banno, what would be your positive suggestion in this case then? Universitytruth 21:30, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
Excuse my facetious remark. Being a philosopher is more a question of being a member of a family rather than satisfying certain explicit criteria, and for that reason any definition will be controversial. But for reasons of practicality, you make a very valid point, and I think your criteria are good, provided that they are used inclusively rather than exclusively. By that I mean not just that anyone satisfying at least one criteria should be included; but also that anyone who does not satisfy more than one should not be excluded. So, for example, Rand could be included on the basis of criteria (3), even if she did not satisfy (1)
Two points present themselves. Which list, or lists, should be used for the purposes of (2)? And more generally, three of the four points are to do with academic philosophy - is this too much? Banno 22:47, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
You open up a huge can of worms (not to say Pandora's box) if you include Goethe as a philosopher. In that case, you would certainly have to include Giacomo Leopardi, perhaps Dante and even Dostoyevski and Tolstoy, not to mention Jesus Christ, Mohammed, etc., etc...

This may not be such an enormous problem though: since categores were designed to help people find things,I don't think they have to be very rigid. More inetersting is the problem of which infobox to use in such cases: the philosophy infobox, the literature infobox, etc.. The above criteria are far too flexible for me if we were dealing with a question of what I personally think should be the definfition of philosophy. But they are fine for the purposes of helping people find interesting connections. How many people know that Leopardi wrote extensively (though not partcualrly orignally) about moral philosophy, the meaning of life, the (non)existence of god, empiricism, materialism and so on? I would not call him a philosopher becasue his ideas are almost wholly borrowed from Rousseau and others, he is completely asystematic and random in his observations, etc, but he certainly "philosophized" a great deal indeed. There's nothing else to call vast parts of the Zibaldone. --Lacatosias 10:37, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

In the absence of further comment, I have combined two of Universitytruth's points into one, and unilateraly adopted them as the criteria for philosophership. Banno 06:55, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

I was hoping for further comment, but meanwhile have tweaked the criteria I proposed and Banno nicely edited. Reading over the Talk page, I see that Banno's suggestion is to be more inclusive than my recent tweak would have it. I wonder what people think of my suggestion, that fulfilling two criteria should allow someone to be considered a philosopher without controversy, and that fulfiling one criterion might need to involve discussion among editors, but would not immediately exclude someone. I have to admit that I am inclined not to regard Goethe as a philosopher, though he was clearly an intellectual. This involves no value judgement at all. It's just that he doesn't seem to satisfy criteria suggested in WP:LIST, namely that a relevant publication would say "X is a philosopher." In the case of writers of whom publications say "While X was not a philosopher in the technical sense, his/her works...", I think one has to be very careful about categorizing. These thoughts are meant not to be a meanie and 'exclude' people, but rather to ensure that lists and categories of philosophers (a special subgroup of writers and thinkers) don't turn into lists and categories of people who write. Universitytruth 12:28, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

I tend to agree with Banno's comments above. Your criteria is good for the list you are editing, but not necessarily ideally. There are plenty of good philosophers who are no longer listed in the publications you cite, and many of those publications will give varying opinions as to who is a "philosopher", and who isn't. Amerindianarts 14:30, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Introducing systemic bias[edit]

On thinking about this a bit more, it is clear that the criteria as stated introduce systemic bias. Firstly, in most of the world, a professorship is a chair, or head of a university Department; but in the US and Canada it is only a lectureship. But since I cant imagine someone who holds a chair not also meeting the criteria for publication, the simplest thing to do is to remove that criteria.

Secondly, relying on the Library of Congress introduces an obvious bias, as would relying on the Philosopher's index. Furthermore, neither is openly accessible.

So I've reduced it to two criteria; one for academic philosophers, and one for popular philosophers. How does that look? Banno 22:06, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Well, it seems WP:LIST is evolving. The most useful paragraphs there (IMHO) have been moved to the Talk page. Other items that are not official guidelines yet, but seem useful to me, are the following. I think they can help us in this Category discussion as well:

Each item on a list is an individual fact and requires an individual source.
Each item needs its own citation allowing that item to be traced to a published source which confirms that the item belongs on the list.

So perhaps the second point should be stressed. I will now try to tweak the guidelines at the top of this page, in this direction. Universitytruth 15:05, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Banno, you raise excellent points. I think the way to deal with bias is not to limit ourselves to one encyclopedia, say, but rather to state that a reputable publication (it can be McMillan, or Duden in the case of a German philosopher, or something else in the case of a Russian one, etc.) must have identified X as a philosopher. Do you think that would take care of the bias? Universitytruth 22:57, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Judith Butler a philosopher??[edit]

I propose getting rid of the proposed inclusion of the Judith Butler article in the Philosophy project. According to Martha Nussbaum, Butler is a rhetorician and a sophist, and not a philosopher. Anyone support that she is not a philosopher, in the tradition sense?—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Kmaguir1 (talkcontribs) .

She is simply not an analytic philosopher like Nussbaum. That doesn't mean she isn't a continental philosopher. Since Heidegger, analytic philosophers have been accusing the continental tradition of not doing "proper" philosophy, while continental philosophers have accused analytic philosophers of being boring. Wikipedia, as far as I know, doesn't privilege one tradition's claims over the other.--Agnaramasi 00:37, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Um, I have no difficulty labelling Heidegger a philosopher. He's one of the best of the 20th century, in fact. If there ever was a lover of wisdom, it's Heidegger. Arendt, Habermas, Derrida, Lyotard. Great. The Foucauldian line is more complicated--I think he's more of a historian, and a poor one at that, but he does make philosophical changes, he goes back and forth, and shows attempts of at least caring about issues relating to wisdom. Thus, while he is politically involved, and follows the Nietzschean line that politics is morality, his work could be considered important by those who do not subscribe to his pet political causes. I'm not sure that can be said about Butler. I think that instead, you have to come with a particular political belief, and if you don't, the work is inaccessible. Thus, I agree with Nussbaum's labelling. She is really is more of a literature figure who borrows the work of other philosophers so liberally that it seems not influence but instead footnotes to the prior politics. -Kmaguir1 03:09, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

All of that "analysis" is pure POV.--Agnaramasi 19:07, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

I think this is very simple. Look in a reputable encyclopedia or other reference work. You will often see a phrase like "Kant was a German philosopher," "Hegel was a German philosopher," "Rorty is an American philosopher." If you find Routledge, Macmillan, etc. writing something like "Butler, a contemporary philosopher" or "Butler, a feminist philosopher" or whatever, then according to WP:VER, she's a philosopher. Wikipedia is a tertiary source. Thus we don't really have to do WP:OR to figure out who is and who is not a philosopher. We just have to have clear and agreeable criteria, and then apply them. Universitytruth 14:57, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

So if I find Christian sources that say C.S. Lewis is a philosopher, or G.K. Chesterton, or Jewish sources that say Salman Rushdie is a philosopher, they're a philosopher? That's not verifiability. And what if Jewish sources explicitly deny Spinoza was a philosopher and instead only claim he is a heretic? I think this is not good policy. Firstly, Butler does not hold a position in philosophy. Secondly, while she did get her degree in philosophy, that doesn't translate professionally. That is to say, even if she is a philosopher of habit, she isn't one for her profession. She uses philosophy, and forms theory. That doesn't a philosopher make. And of course historically, this is true of a number of prominent philosophers, that they didn't actually teach philosophy, but instead theology or something. And philosophy has that general history. But even then, the question is 'ok, did this person actually do what we would call philosophy today'? And for the inclusion or exclusion of Butler, I think a debate over that is valid. Of course, we don't have the ability to judge retrospectively, so we have to ask what people will view her as. I'll open this for discussion on the Butler talk page, but I wonder where this might be debated further outside of that, as to her inclusion in the Project. -Kmaguir1 06:49, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree that WP policies don't always solve such problems for us. If you want, take a look at the talk page of List of German-language philosophers. After much much discussion, we have recently arrived at two criteria that seem to be acceptable for verifying who is and who is not a philosopher. The point is to agree on reputable, reliable sources from which to cite. (In our case, that's Macmillan, Routledge, Metzler (a German-language reference), and a few others, including the online Stanford one.) You see? You have to build consensus on what is okay to cite from in order to verify that someone is a philosopher. Try it and see what happens with Butler.Universitytruth 15:12, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
BTW, if "a Jewish source" says that Spinoza was a heretic, look at Macmillan and all the rest. Voila: it's verifiable. Spinoza is a philosopher, because Macmillan says so. That's the point of wikipedia being tertiary: we're not out to say what's true, rather, what's verifiable. See if my test works on C.S. Lewis: what do Macmillan, Stanford, etc. have to say about him? I realize that this just takes the fight to another level: you now have to discuss with people what reference works of philosophy are reputable and reliable. Why don't you try that (discussing this), and see where that takes you? I think it would be productive.Universitytruth 15:16, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
"...we're not out to say what's true, rather, what's verifiable." Universitytruth, that ought to be included in the wikipedia logo. Nicely done. Shaggorama 15:14, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

On Judith Butler, see Metzler's Lexicon of Philosophers. [2] (Scroll down to the 'Kurzbeschreibung.') Cheers, --Anthony Krupp 15:54, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Well, then I'll just go get a bunch of apologetic Christian conservatives and add them to the philosopher pool, and we'll apply universitytruth's standards. -Kmaguir1 06:14, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I hear your concerns about C. S. Lewis, etc., but I think they can be dealt with by discussing what sources are reliable and reputable, and what sources are not. For example, to determine who is a philosopher, why don't you try to build consensus around using Macmillan, Routledge, Oxford and the like? That should screen out various religious writers and others who really aren't considered philosophers. Let us know on this page how that goes. --Anthony Krupp 15:54, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

I just want to update everyone: Kmaguir went ahead and removed Butler from the philosophers category. I reverted back because in my view it is totally unilateral, unjustified, and POV for him to do that. Also note that Kmaguir has added CS Lewis to the philospher category. Exactly what rediculous point is he trying to prove? Can he not go away?--Agnaramasi 07:44, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

C.S. Lewis is usually referred to as a "novelist". MacMillan's Encyclopedia of Philosophy (1973) does not provide him with individual article space, but he is referred to in a couple of articles ("Immortality" and "Religion and Science") as an "apologist" and a moralist of sorts, but not as a philosopher. Of course, Butler does not appear at all, but she is new and in terms of the history of philosophy may not be verified as such in noteworthy publications for quite some time. Amerindianarts 08:52, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
C.S. Lewis described not as doing philosophy, but as "philosopher":

Here's an entire class on "The Philosophy of C.S. Lewis": Here's another course that wants to talk about the contributions of C.S. Lewis to philosophy: Another school teaches his philosophy of religions:

Anything else? -Kmaguir1 09:24, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Yes, there is. I made a positive suggestion for you above ("discussing what sources are reliable and reputable, and what sources are not. For example, to determine who is a philosopher, why don't you try to build consensus around using Macmillan, Routledge, Oxford and the like"), and it appears you've not done this. Let me invite you a second time to try and build consensus by identifying reliable, reputable reference wokrs. (The citations you mention are on the web, but does that make them reliable and reputable? If that's your only criterion, then Charlie Brown and Pooh are also philosophers.) Cheers,--Anthony Krupp 16:54, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, there's the verifiability question. And some might want to include both Butler and Lewis. If there's a class on the philosophy of C.S. Lewis, or the Notre Dame website refers to him as a philosopher, well, then, that's fine. But what I think is ludicrous is that just because someone is called a philosopher, I don't care if it's by MacMillan, Routledge, Oxford, Notre Dame, some professor, a bum on the side of the street: that does not a philosopher make. Routledge has actually published books of hers. Independent of attributions of her being a philosopher, there can still be a debate as to whether or not she really is. And so if it's verifiable that she is, then she is. But so is Lewis. And so I want a bit of a higher threshold. I don't agree that because a company or a reference book calls someone a philosopher, that that makes someone a philosopher. I mean, if Oxford or Macmillan or Routledge or Oxford called Aquinas a theologian, that doesn't mean that he is not also a philosopher. But Butler, call her what you will, she's not a philosopher, because by the definition of the word, apart from verifiability, she thwarts, detests, and does not believe in, wisdom, and does not love it. Thus, Nussbaum's attribution that she is really a sophist, and not a philosopher, I think is valid. So by Nussbaum, who is quite credentialed, I suggest taking her off the list. That's verifiable, too. I just want you to agree that verifiability doesn't fix the problem--you need another objective standard. Did I mention an objective standard about Butler? Wow. I should be shot. -Kmaguir1 18:26, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
I take it you're new here. Please read WP:VER and other wikipedia guidelines. Of course you can hold the opinion that your assessment and Nussbaum's assessment trumps the collective wisdom of the editorial boards of reputable encyclopedias, just as you can hold the opinion that red is green. You say that "just because someone is called a philosopher, I don't care if it's by MacMillan, Routledge, Oxford, Notre Dame, some professor, a bum on the side of the street: that does not a philosopher make." On wikipedia, which is a tertiary source, someone being called a philosopher by a reliable reputable publication does indeed a philosopher make. You don't have to like that, and yes of course, that does remove the problem to another level (what is a reputable and reliable source). But then the appropriate thing to do is to discuss it at that level. Thus, I would submit that any lover of wisdom should reasonably be expected to prefer Macmillan to the bum on the side of the street. Don't you? I would submit that you cannot take someone off a list "by Nussbaum." If you do so, you could be considered as someone who is disrupting wikipedia. If you want to get blocked, that's of course your prerogative. Whether you should be shot is not a question I feel competent to address. Cheers,--Anthony Krupp 18:56, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
The articles in these reference books are written by philosophers, often as a synopsis or condensed version of a major work they published. So, getting listed in these publications would seem to be to a degree peer acceptance and recognition of contribution to their discipline. It may be true that calling Aquinas a theologian "doesn't mean that he is not also a philosopher", but being a Philosopher doesn't necessarily mean that one is a theologian, just as being a theologian does not mean you are a philosopher.Amerindianarts 18:52, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, see, you hit the nail on the head. What is a reputable and a reliable source? I think that that is open to debate. I again think that just because it's peer-reviewed and philosophers say she's a philosopher, that that's not enough--we'd have a great many philosophers in the world. I agree MacMillan is preferable to some bum on the side of the street, but also that MacMillan is not dispositive. Again, CERTAIN philosophers write CERTAIN books published by CERTAIN people that include CERTAIN people--seems like the essence of a closed community. Are there people with just one religious position (atheism) or just one political perspective (leftism) or the like represented, or is there a good variety of liberal and conservative, atheist and theist, or the like? So let's do what you say--let's discuss the reliability and the reputability of these publications from a variety of sources--given Routledge published one of Butler's books where she says "sex outside of marriage may indeed open us up to a new idea of community", I think that's a very interesting debate to have. Let's have a debate about that here, and have you call the sources that endorse this stance by publishing it REPUTABLE--that's all I want you to do. If you're going to rely on publications, bring out the big guns--but make sure they're not all leftist atheist feminists, and bring the stats from the editorial board to prove it or the like, just so we have some material to discuss about reputable, and who holds who to be reputable. The complicity of the academic community in buckling under to feminists as philosophers, this is a direct result of the academy having accepted feminism. And I reject that. Surely I can find people opposed to feminism, and thus by extension the attribution of "philosopher" to someone who works with only that focus in mind, and not larger issues of more metaphysical significance. I don't think that people should be included as philosophers whose lone attachment to the discipline of philosophy is that they're feminists, and that academics have accepted that, and so they're philosophers. If I'm a Nazi, and academics accept that, am I philosopher just by writing things surrounding my Nazi membership as a political stance? In Butler's case, the politics is greater than everything. -Kmaguir1 19:34, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
Krupps' point of list criteria is the ultimate point at Wiki. Macmillan (1973) lists Aquinas as a "theologian and philosopher", e.g. and I would have no problem verifying his status as a philosopher. But The terms "theologian" and "philosopher" are conjunctive, distinquished, and not synonomous. Religion is not synonomous with philosophy, and religious studies is not synonomous with philosophic studies. I hate to put it in so many words, but---being considered a philosopher within the circle of religious studies does not a philosopher make. You need secular verification.Amerindianarts 19:38, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

I don't care whether someone is leftist (Adorno), conservative (Gehlen), feminist (Butler), anti-feminist (you), atheist (Russell), Jewish (Mendelssohn), Jansenist (Pascal), Protestant (Leibniz), or whatever when considering whether they are a philosopher for the purpose of wikipedia. (I'm attaching these adjectives to these names from memory, so sorry if I'm wrong about one of them.) I do the work of verifying whether they are listed as philosophers in the standard reference works. That doesn't mean I consider them all to be good philosophers. It means that I am capable of bracketing my opinions and realizing that wikipedia is not my personal soap box.

A positive suggestion: please get off of your own soapbox and go edit an article you find interesting. Start an anti-feminism page if that makes you happy. Or get involved in an article on sophism, or pseudo-philosophy. Another wikipedia suggestion I've seen, by the way, is that it's a good idea not to edit about topics that get your temper going. Best, --Anthony Krupp 19:59, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

User Kmaguir1 wrote "If you're going to rely on publications..." Again, please read WP:VER. There is no "if." That is what one does at wikipedia. Cheers, --Anthony Krupp 20:02, 5 August 2006 (UTC)


This is an utterly stupid discussion. The category here isn't "really swell philosophers" or "philosophers universally liked by their colleagues" (the latter presumably empty). The question is as simple as this:

  • Butler received her Ph.D. in Philosophy from Yale University in 1984
  • Or if you must, look at the back cover of the Gender Trouble where Routledge adds the category "Philosophy" to the title (I haven't specifically checked the other books, but I presume it is likewise).

LotLE×talk 11:29, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

New additions[edit]

Per VER standards, I have added Dooyeweerd, Van Til, Plantinga, Anselm and Edwards to the category. -Kmaguir1 21:41, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Ah, Calvinists. (You might check on Pierre Jurieu, Pierre Nicole, and Pierre Bayle while you're at it.) After generating so much discussion, one might think you could say more than "Per VER standards." What standards? That is, what reference works are you using to verify that these individuals are philosophers? Stating this is always helpful. Cheers,--Anthony Krupp 22:25, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't have to find "reference works", like encyclopedias. That's the standard (an)other(s) set up for this category, a standard I do not agree with, in that I do not see why other reference tools not prohibited by WP:VER should be excluded. The WP:VER standards say "publisher", which is of course not literal, in that sources must be of a print nature or anything like that--web-publishing is fine, like the web-publishing of the Notre Dame site that says Lewis is a philosopher, as long as it's not a personal web-site, which it wasn't. If you want me to go through the task of finding all of these guys I added called 'philosophers' by reputable sources, just like I did with Lewis, it'll take an hour or so, but it's such an easy task--you really want to waste my mind to get a bunch of URL's that you won't even read? I mean, it's even easier to do for all of them that it was for Lewis. -Kmaguir1 00:44, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
You're right that you don't have to find reference works (or "reference works"). I was just asking what sources you were using. I'm also trying to understand the WP:VER guideline and how it impacts on the discussion here. Maybe others who have been here longer can comment on whether the term publisher is or is not literal. Anyway, you're also right in that a footnote may not be necessary for a category, in the way that I think it should be for a list. For an example of what I think should be done with a list, see List of German-language philosophers. Cheers,--Anthony Krupp 01:26, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure if I should get involved in this, but I thought I'd at least share the two criteria that occur to me which were unmentioned in the preceding. I am, BTW, a phil prof., which helps to explain why these are the criteria which occur to me. Anyhow: 1. Is this person someone whose work would be used (not merely read) in a philosophy course? 2. Is this someone whose work would be referenced (not merely mentioned) in a professional philosophy paper? Note that in both cases, the parenthetical distinction is one of use vs. mention, wherein the former refers to a treatment of the author or source as in some way authoritative, whereas the latter refers to a treatment of the author or source as an object of study. So, in other words, we may mention American Idol, but we will not use American Idol, while we will make both mention and use of Adorno (to use an example which fits well with Americal Idol). In the same way, some of us will indeed use Butler, some Lewis, and some both. This very loose criterion is only really useful for people who are clearly working from within the philosophical tradition but in a manner which some philosophers do not wish to recognize as being philosophical. With, e.g. Van Til, the question is a different one: whether it is proper to describe the tradition they are in dialog with the philosophical tradition. I'd call him a theologian. If it's possible (as per the open question below), I'd be nice to include him within 'Calvinist philosophers', but not 'Philosophers.' After all, if somebody were to be trying to find him through categories, they'd likely look under theologians first, but if somebody were looking up Calvinist philosophers, we'd want him in there.
Sorry if this post isn't very helpful. I'm newly active in the community, and still feeling my way around. --D.Wittk 7 August 2006

Categories and Subcategories[edit]

An open question: is there a policy on having people listed in only subcategories (such as Van Til in Category:Calvinist philosophers) as opposed to being listed in both subcategory and the main category (such as Immanuel Kant in Category:German philosophers and Category:Philosophers)? This just came up on a talk page, and I thought it would be good to ask.--Anthony Krupp 01:36, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

In general, a subcategory membership is meant to replace membership in its parent, since the child logically implies the parent. But this would be clearer if the category system was more sophisticated technically. And moreover, the usage is very haphazard across WP. Nonetheless, such is what WP policy says. LotLE×talk 04:55, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

faculty pages[edit]

i should have posted that here: Category_talk:Philosophy#links_to_philosophers.27_useless_faculty_pages