Announcement: New Rules for the PF Philosophy forum beginning January 1, 2011

  • #1
Math Is Hard
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Rules for the PF Philosophy forum beginning January 1, 2011

Beginning in January, we are implementing a theme for the Philosophy Forum. These new rules were developed in the spirit of making the Philosophy forum of PF a more academically-oriented discussion place. We are looking to get away from the Philosophy forum as an "anything that pops into my head" discussion section, and similar to the homework help forums, require effort from those posting new topics.

There are three guidelines:

1) When starting a new topic, you must reference a published philosopher or researcher who has worked on the topic. The idea is to focus the topic along the lines of a specific area of research or school of thought.

ex. In A Treatise of Human Nature, What did David Hume mean when he said, "Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them"?

Also, when discussing the philosophical implications of some piece of scientific work, references are required for both the underlying scientific content as well as the resulting philosophical discussion.

ex. The research of Benjamin Libet suggests that our decisions to act occur before our conscious awareness of them. Isn't this a serious problem for the idea of free will?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Libet


2) If you do not have a reference, you may state your question in the form of "This is the topic I am investigating. Can you recommend resources?"


ex. I am researching human moral instincts for a paper for my class. Where can I find more information on this?

3) Requests for help with standard definitions and terminology are perfectly acceptable.


ex. I am trying to understand the difference between epistemological and ontological questions. Can you advise?


Note: All the same previous rules will still apply to both new posts and replies. Symbolic logic questions should be placed in the appropriate Homework Section or the Set Theory/Logic/Probability/Statistics subforum.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
EnumaElish
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I applaud these rules and suggest a similar set of rules for Social Sciences, History & Humanities.
 
  • #3
cobalt124
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A definite step forward, what I've come to expect from PF, thanks.
 
  • #4
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Fun - after understanding it was a joke

I must admit I first thought this was seriously meant :mad: and was on my way suggest corresponding rules regarding anything in this "Physics Forum" - for instance when suggesting a new kind of dish for dinner you must name a reknown cook having suggested something aquainted.

Then I understood (blame my limited sense of humour) it was just a misplaced joke -
aimed at the section "Fun, Photos & Games" at position "Science Jokes". :rofl:
 
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  • #5
Math Is Hard
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I applaud these rules and suggest a similar set of rules for Social Sciences, History & Humanities.
A definite step forward, what I've come to expect from PF, thanks.
Thanks for the encouraging feedback. :smile:

I must admit I first thought this was seriously meant :mad: and was on my way suggest corresponding rules regarding anything in this "Physics Forum" - for instance when suggesting a new kind of dish for dinner you must name a reknowned cook having suggested something aquainted.

Then I understood (blame my limited sense of humour) it was just a misplaced joke -
aimed at the section "Fun, Photos and Games" at position "Science Jokes". :rofl:
No joke. The new rules go into effect January 1 and apply to the Philosophy Forum exclusively. These rules were not created capriciously, but took months of planning, and are in response to years of complaints about the quality level of the PF Philosophy forum. This is being done in an effort to serve the members here who want to maintain a serious discussion place. I realize the new policies are very restrictive, but it's a starting point, and we can adjust later on as needed.
 
  • #6
Math Is Hard
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One other thing I should mention: we also plan to do a mass-locking of all existing threads in Philosophy when the changeover takes place. We have many,many threads that don't meet the new (or even current) criteria, and necroposting has always been a problem. It's easiest just to do a clean sweep with the locking, and we have done this in the past concurrently with a rule change.

There are a few current threads that meet the new guidelines and may be worth keeping open, however, so we will individually unlock these as needed.
 
  • #7
Char. Limit
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Can we please use similar rules for the P&WA forum?
 
  • #8
Ivan Seeking
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Can we please use similar rules for the P&WA forum?
That would be more appropriate for political science discussions in the social sciences. P&WA is not a formal discipline like Philosophy. What's more, it is relevant to current events, which means that in many or most cases, it isn't possible for there to be papers available, much less papers available for free.
 
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  • #9
Ivan Seeking
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Political philosophy [as a formal subject] can be discussed in the philosophy forum.
 
  • #10
Evo
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Can we please use similar rules for the P&WA forum?
I would love similar rules for P&WA. People should show a knowledge of what they're talking about and that they are aware of current events, and not with a blog as their only source. It is currently a rule that claims must be cited with valid, mainstream sources.
 
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  • #11
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Rules for the PF Philosophy forum beginning January 1, 2011
We are looking to get away from the Philosophy forum as an "anything that pops into my head" discussion section, .
Okay, then to cull the kooks, why not start a forum specifically for 'anything that pops into my head', but give it definite topic threads that must be addressed to and cannot be deviated from without creative rationalization(or if you will, a storyline), no matter how kooky that storyline is.
Perhaps an idea for a thread: "The Wheel: How Was It Invented?" and let anyone post anything, but every post has to describe how the poster surmises/guesses/theorizes/daydreams/postulates the wheel was invented.
You have to make room for it somewhere, otherwise you are just 'man will never fly' self packaged within increasingly elaborate wrapping paper.
Remember, Isaac Newton's math stuff was a back burner issue for him. He really was quite 'spiritual' in the work that was of primary interest to him.
Personally I wonder if the achievement of a C+ spacecraft-with-no-time-dilation will be achieved not with a complicated collated ordering of multi-caveated models but with a short quick succession of silly jokes that paint the clear mechanical image in anyone's head.
If this post gets me banned I don't see it as any great loss for either party. Sticking noses so close to grindstones may occlude the inspirational scent of flowers.
The scent of BS can also be inspirational, heh
Build a forum called 'The Latrine" and you might be surprised at how many stand in line just to get a whiff of the flowers growing round it... or just to read the hilariously lewd things scrawled on the wall. Lots of fertilizer therein; but in it's place.
Herein high hats? Lest the laughter of babies ring instead to your ears as willful scornful jeers?
 
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  • #12
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ecsspace, the forum needs to maintain standards. There is a reason personal theories and speculation isn't welcomed.

The moment you open a place for people to put, well, what ever they fancy you open the place up to a whole host of crackpots. This only serves to lower the standards of the forum. There are plenty of other forums out there for things like you suggest.
 
  • #13
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ecsspace, the forum needs to maintain standards. There is a reason personal theories and speculation isn't welcomed.

The moment you open a place for people to put, well, what ever they fancy you open the place up to a whole host of crackpots. This only serves to lower the standards of the forum. There are plenty of other forums out there for things like you suggest.
Then maintain the standards as you are doing, but create one specific forum for those ideas that fall way outside your standards. Incorporate one loony standard and then define what and where it is by example. Where it belongs through a process of inclusion rather than exclusion.
If there is a specific place for it within your forum, then you won't lose business to the loony forums. Makes sense that if you gather all the fruits and nuts then the loony forum guy will be left wanting. It's like opening the plastic surgery wing at the hospital. The money you make in that one wing pays for all the work you do elsewhere. (hint: ad space in the loony forum?) This way you can have your utopia and eat it too. Not to mention having a place to go slum. Having to avoid future instances of heavy lifting, like the Jan 1, 2011 redefining of the philosophy forum rules.
How many times has that happened?
Isaac Newton took quite seriously many of the topics that are outside of the standards. Don't any of you wake up screaming at the prospect of some newly revealed modern day Isaac Newton showing up on Letterman and when Dave asks why it took so long Isaac 2011 replies, well, I tried this really great place on the internet called Physics Forum but they kept waving this book of rules at my monitor... I don't know Dave, I guess they all watch Leno?
Not to mention the loonies you may convert...
 
  • #14
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Firstly, GD is the "place to go slum".

As before, there are many places you can go to discuss personal theories and speculative ideas, but PF isn't it. There are rules specifically designed to ensure all discussion that takes place on the site falls within "mainstream".

That is what makes the site of high value and quality.

The moment you start allowing people to post all kinds of crap on here, regardless of where, you invite the crackpots and the standards drop (it all appears in Google after all) and not everyone realises they aren't viewing 'the main site'.

And for the record, you can't convert the "loonies" (aka crackpots), that's one of the things that makes them what they are.
 
  • #15
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Firstly, GD is the "place to go slum".
And for the record, you can't convert the "loonies" (aka crackpots), that's one of the things that makes them what they are.
Isaac Newton was a crackpot, but it was not the only thing he was, and what lay in the balance of his character has been of tremendous value to the rest of us. If you exclude all crackpots, you may miss the chance to inspire by your example in one of them the brilliant observation that hides amidst their cracked pots. I think another term is 'diamond in the rough'. Build a hole into where the rough may tumble within earshot.
I doubt that anyone here would go so far to suggest that they are possessed of their own light that shines so bright that it will cast no shadow. We're all a little bit crackpotted? You may discount discussion of divine intervention or influence...but better the devil you know?
The rigor of your discipline may inspire one of those crackpots, having never been exposed to it;
some example that there is the possibility of an implicit mathematical order to the universe.
(I like to believe there is).
Einstein's quote was redacted by the press: "God does not play dice with the universe.. his game is mumbletypeg."
 
  • #16
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but better the devil you know?
No.
The rigor of your discipline may inspire one of those crackpots, having never been exposed to it;
Crackpots are routinely noted to disregard anything that doesn't conform to their beliefs. They won't accept any evidence that goes against their claims - people who claim to have built over unity devices, despite the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics and defend this claim to the end.

So far, all you have tried to do is justify allowing all sorts of non-sense discussions in PF. Like I've said, there are places for that and if you want it, go there instead.

PF specifically draws the line in this regard.
 
  • #17
jtbell
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Then maintain the standards as you are doing, but create one specific forum for those ideas that fall way outside your standards.
We once had a forum like that: the Theory Development forum. About five years ago, we decided it didn't fit with the rest of PF and replaced it with the moderated Independent Research forum.
 
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  • #18
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No.


Crackpots are routinely noted to disregard anything that doesn't conform to their beliefs. They won't accept any evidence that goes against their claims - people who claim to have built over unity devices, despite the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics and defend this claim to the end.

.
Actually, my point was that one of those guys may have something on the back burner that
really works, but most of us will never know it because we stop looking when he starts howling
his protests to the 2nd law of thermodynamics.
I am also guilty of turning a deaf ear to magnet / free energy guys, whoever.
Agree, there is only so much of our time and energy to go around
and you gotta draw the line somewhere.

thanks, adieu for now.
 
  • #19
ZapperZ
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Actually, my point was that one of those guys may have something on the back burner that
really works, but most of us will never know it because we stop looking when he starts howling
his protests to the 2nd law of thermodynamics.
This is pure speculation not backed by any kind of evidence. I too can make such speculation, but I have evidence - none of these internet crackpot has ever produced any significant advancement in physics knowledge - EVER! That's my evidence.

And considering that they've overran most of the forum on the 'net, you cannot say that they haven't had their chances of being heard. Yet, what have they done for us lately?

Considering that forums that cater to such thing are in such high abundance, complain that PF does not cater to them is like complaining about the presence of one vegetarian restaurant among a sea of steak houses. You want steak? Go elsewhere where there's plenty of them. Why would you complain about the lone vegetarian restaurant?

Zz.
 
  • #20
lisab
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This is pure speculation not backed by any kind of evidence. I too can make such speculation, but I have evidence - none of these internet crackpot has ever produced any significant advancement in physics knowledge - EVER! That's my evidence.

And considering that they've overran most of the forum on the 'net, you cannot say that they haven't had their chances of being heard. Yet, what have they done for us lately?

Considering that forums that cater to such thing are in such high abundance, complain that PF does not cater to them is like complaining about the presence of one vegetarian restaurant among a sea of steak houses. You want steak? Go elsewhere where there's plenty of them. Why would you complain about the lone vegetarian restaurant?

Zz.
Hmm. I prefer to think of PF as a fantastic steak house in a sea of vegetarian restaurants, but to each his own :wink:.
 
  • #21
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Philosophy is a royal waste of time, and will never be even remotely a science, and even consecrated philosophizers are more often than not complete crackpots, so whatever ... Enjoy the rules
 
  • #22
Redbelly98
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Philosophy is a royal waste of time, and will never be even remotely a science, and even consecrated philosophizers are more often than not complete crackpots, so whatever ... Enjoy the rules
It's not a science, but it is an academic discipline. And there's a difference between being a waste of time for 99.5% of our members vs. a waste for 90-95% of our members. If is can be worthwhile for 5 to 10%, then it's worth having guidelines that make it so.
 
  • #23
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It's not a science, but it is an academic discipline. And there's a difference between being a waste of time for 99.5% of our members vs. a waste for 90-95% of our members. If is can be worthwhile for 5 to 10%, then it's worth having guidelines that make it so.

The trouble with philosophy is that it doesn't brings anything on the table IMO. So much brainpower lost for random taught and questions without answers during the centuries, which would have been much better spent in whatever hard science , engineering disciplines , life sciences.

Probably 90% of the philosophy, even in academia, is crackpot with no base whatsoever in any science. It's "luft".
 
  • #24
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DanP, you seem to share the same views on philosophy as me.

I find contemplating the question of "do we really exist" and all that stuff to be a complete and utter waste of brain power. But it's down to the person.

My biggest problem is with the language. Everywhere in this forum you get a relatively standard level of language used and yet the moment you enter philosophy it's like someone swallowed a dictionary (this applies to everywhere, not just on PF).
 
  • #25
personally, i do not like the rule change. the way it is now, the forum should at least be moved up to the other sciences section. at least not in the pf lounge, beside games and relationships.

and the name of the forum should be changed to "discussing known philosophers, cuz anyone who is not known has no right to have a philosophy of his own".

while there may be some posts that are somewhat "crackpot" (they can be deleted), there are also many other threads that have some real thought behind it. this is the pf LOUNGE.
 

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