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Template talk:Philosophy topics

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Guideline for inclusion[edit]

here is the proposed guideline for inclusion: Overwhelming evidence of centrality to philosophy as demonstrable by thousands to ten's of thousands of publications in the history of philosophy.

this means, most things in philosophy aren't on this list. most things are referred to on this list by a higher category. --Buridan (talk) 15:17, 12 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Nihilism/(Theistic-Atheistic) Existentialism/Absurdism continuum[edit]

As Nihilism begets Existentialism and Absurdism in a major continuum in Continental Philosophy, I propose Absurdism to be linked for navigation under 'Schools' (a very good article already exists; see chart below contents). It is a major reaction to the previously predominant Nihilism, distinct from Existentialism, put forward by two giants, Camus and Kierkegaard. (Camus, for example, considered Existentialism to be a form of "philosophical suicide" - see 'The Myth of Sisyphus'.) Also, I suggest Existentialism be divided into separate Theistic and Atheistic articles considering the amount of material; readers could then navigate further according to their tendencies.

Nemo Senki66.213.22.193 (talk) 00:04, 4 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]

I see where you are comming from, but if schools are similar enough we try to only list one. Otherwise this list would ballon in size. For example, there is perhaps an important difference between theistic and atheistic existentialism. However, for the purposes of a mere template, I think it best that we only list them collectively as existentialism.
As for, absurdism. I have no opinion on its inclusion. - Atfyfe (talk) 01:44, 16 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Classic five?[edit]

I just added Jurisprudence to the template, and it was taken away, reasoning being that we should keep the classic 5 as they are. I don't agree with this. I learnt that Jurisprudence was part of the classic '6'. Other people believe that there are only THREE major philosophy topics: ontology, epistemology and logic. The fact that "of law" redirects to "jurisprudence" should confirm the fact that Jurisprudence should be put under branches. BurningZeppelin (talk) 13:33, 31 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

you were mislead, there are only 5, jurisprudence is a subsection of ethics/political philosophy which deals with law.--Buridan (talk) 17:19, 1 August 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Can't it be argued that ethics and aesthetics can fit in under metaphysics or ontology? And plus, there is no political philosophy in the main branches BurningZeppelin (talk) 11:19, 13 August 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Isn't political philosophy (and the philosophy of law) just a subsection of ethics? As they all concern questions: how should we act either as an individual or a society? C mon (talk) 11:31, 13 August 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Since when has there been an orthodox set of core philosophic branches? It seems equally legitimate to claim that there are only two (epistemology and metaphysics), three (+ethics), or four (+aesthetics), or five (+political philosophy), or six (+logic)... I really can't agree with including 'Jurisprudence' as a core branch of philosophy, but I am also skeptical about Buridan's (overly) definitive statement "you were mislead, there are only 5". That being said, let me stress that I think the 5 we have listed are what we should stick to. - Atfyfe (talk) 03:20, 16 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]
traditionally, political philosophy is under ethics, classically there are 5. can't really change that in history, you can argue it is different today, but ehh, 5 works fine and it stops us from having everyone's favorite tree branch.--Buridan (talk) 12:49, 16 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Point well made Buridan. - Atfyfe (talk) 02:30, 30 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Which is in the Online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's Unabridged Table of Contents. Carol Moore 19:04, 23 August 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc {talk}

which does not qualify it to be added to this list. if it were a school of philosophy, widely recognized by professional philosophers today or widely recognized before, then sure. however, it is just one of many political ideologies/philosophies.--Buridan (talk) 09:58, 24 August 2008 (UTC)[reply]
  • Libertarianism is listed in Online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's Unabridged Table of Contents[2] with a long article here.
  • To be consistent you also would have to eliminate liberalism and Marxism. It was because they were there I added it. Why are they included? It seems to me it's all or nothing. Carol Moore 13:04, 24 August 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc {talk}
actually no, liberalism and marxism are both widely studied schools of philosophy. you can find them in almost every philosophy curriculum. libertarianism hasn't reached that level yet, in fact, for the most part, libertarianism in most philosophy is just another form of liberalism. --Buridan (talk) 14:03, 24 August 2008 (UTC)[reply]
That may be your unsourced personal opinion, but it seems that the above description of what can go in this template would be a firmer guideline. As a good guide for what does belong, consult the Online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's Unabridged Table of Contents[[3].
Moreover, The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy also has a big article on libertarianism.
Robert Nozick made libertarianism respectable in academia and I could provide a list of self-identified libertarian academics who bring the subject up in classes and probably teach courses.
Doing a quick wiki search I find that:
sorry, you can source whatever minor reportage that you want. the standard for inclusion in the template are quite clear, and libertarianism and until your list above gets above around 1000 items from widely recognized significant philosophy sources and departments, you aren't going to be close to meeting the template level. a good guide is not an encyclopedia, as the template cannot hold everything from every encyclopedia. Libertarianism and other minoritarian topics will just have to survive being part of the larger page on topics of philosophy.--Buridan (talk) 16:32, 24 August 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Marxism is not similar to libertarianism or liberalism. It is not just a normative theory (about what ought to be), but also an explanatory theory (about what is) that has had a great effect on the philosophy of the social sciences for instance. C mon (talk) 14:47, 24 August 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I don't want to take Marxism out, just want to put libertarianism in.
The question is, which one?
So please opine on which one you think belongs in the template. If there is no clear opinion that one of the three does, I'll seek a third opinion, for starters. Carol Moore 21:16, 26 August 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc {talk}

none belong, the standard is thousands of respectable mentions. in other words, a school of philosophy. for most of history libertarianism was just liberalism, so.... if you put it in, i'll take it out and then i'll refer to project philosophy for consensus and it will stay out as that is where the template originates. --Buridan (talk) 21:57, 26 August 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Why Eastern and Western philosophy on the top?[edit]

this looks like the two are a fundamental, all-philosophy spanning (!?) bipolar pair (?), which isnt realy the case?! is is appropriate to give those terms such prominence? then putting history (starting with ancient history) below it really distorts reality completely. It also appears to represent a supposed self-contained, finalized system which isnt really the case? can this be represented more progressive? Thanks. (talk) 16:07, 25 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

I agree. Allow me to suggest that we change this template to be solely about Western Philosophy (and therefore also change the title at its top). Eastern and Western Philosophy do not interact very much, so it isn't required that they exist on the same template. Furthermore, it doesn't appear that we (the current editors of this template) have a wealth of knowledge about Eastern Philosophy and what schools have been important enough to include. - Atfyfe (talk) 02:28, 30 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]


Philosophy schools are predominantly Western. There's no Confucianism, Taoism, Brethren of Purity, Madhyamaka, Yogacara, Vedanta, etc. --Mladifilozof (talk) 21:36, 5 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]

The entire list of school is arbitrary and sometimes bizarre. I'd remove it completely until its discussed here and then reworked. Srnec (talk) 02:15, 11 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]

It's no arbitary, it is only Western. --Mladifilozof (talk) 15:35, 7 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]

What about ontology in this template? Could someone please explain me?[edit]

Hi everyone,
Could someone please explain me why ontology is not mentioned in this "Philosophy topics" template?
Please reply here and not in my discussion page.
Thanks for your attention.
Maurice Carbonaro (talk) 10:02, 5 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Ontology is usually considered a sub-branch of Metaphysics. - Atfyfe (talk) 02:32, 30 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Ok, no problem, I understood it myself. Sorry for bothering you.[edit]

It's me again,
Okay, I got it myself. Ontology and cosmology are the two main metaphysics branches.
And metaphysics is mentioned in the template with the other 5 main branches:

  1. Aesthetics;
  2. Ethics;
  3. Epistemology
  4. Logic and...
  5. (Metaphysics).

Have a nice day.
Thanks anyway.
Maurice Carbonaro (talk) 10:08, 5 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Hi, I'm wondering if Kyoto School should be included in the template, on the section "Schools". Kyoto School is a japanese philosophy movement which adopted western philosophy and applies them to reformulate eastern morals. --Andersmusician NO 18:07, 19 February 2009 (UTC) I don't think it rises to the level as the rest of them, does it. --Buridan (talk) 18:26, 19 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]

well, it has it's own entry and inside it says it is a philosophy movement, started in late XIXcentury, they apply western philosophy to eastern ethics I think.--Andersmusician NO 23:48, 20 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]

"Applied Philosophy" or "Philosophy of..."[edit]

I changed "Applied Philosophy" back to "Philosophy of" both (1) for stylistic reasons (it is shorter and makes the template have less width), and (2) because these are branches of philosophy known by the title "philosophy of x" which makes "philosophy of" more appropriate. Usually, when someone uses the phrase applied philosophy they mean something like applying philosophy to actual problems (as applied ethics does for abortion, capital punishment, etc.). - Atfyfe (talk) 02:12, 28 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Then it is probably best to separate some sections (the one which you think) of them into "Applied Philosophy", while others to "Philosophy of." Because they are some philosophy that are "applied" e.g. Anarchism (a Political Philosophy) does utilize philosophy, like Capitalism to economy problems such as rents and loans and if I am not wrong Walmart probably uses Political Philosophy methods to achieve their Nationalism goals. Don't quote me on this one, because this is a very sensitive topic that will conjure up way too many unnecessary arguments.
Anyhow I won't touch on this template for now, I'll let you Wikipedians folks decide, because currently I think everyone knows "a lot of Philosophy navigation" require expert attention. And sooner or later I think somebody is going to have to develop a clear navigation similar to Template:Computer Science, though I am not saying you have to use the same approach or methods to categorize them. But if somebody don't create it, I believe a lot of articles is just going to get AfD, TfD and get place WP:OR. -- (talk) 06:28, 29 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Almost all of the articles in that subsection are titled "Philosophy of ..." Therefor it is logical to title the subsection group in that way.
The topics can be "applied" regardless of how they are titled. The philosophy of education can be applied, but we aren't currently discussing renaming the page to "Applied educational philosophy".
Please establish some sort of agreement before making that change again. Thank you. -- Quiddity (talk) 17:09, 29 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think I was clear earlier. There are named branches and unnamed branches of philosophy. On the template the named branches fall under the label Branches (Epistemology, Metaphysics, etc.), while the unnammed branches fall under the label Philosophy of since that is how they are generally refered to.
So for example, "Philosophy of Language" is just as much a branch of philosophy as "Epistemology". Only "Philosophy of Language" never got its own unique name as epistemology did. If epistemology had not been given the name that it was, it would probably be known as "Philosophy of Belief" or "Philosophy of Knowledge" today.
As for "Applied Philosophy". That term is usually reserved for when you apply any particular branch of philosophy to a problem of ordinary life. For example, "Applied Philosophy of Language" might be examining a Supreme Court case to see if the Justices had misinterpreted some law due to a philosophical misunderstanding how language works. Another example would be "Applied Ethics" which relies on philosophy to try an solve contemporary ethical and policy issues like abortion.
Consequently, nothing going by the name "Applied X" needs to be included on this template since "Applied X" refers to when you take one of the branches that are included on the template and apply them to ordinary life problems.
Okay, you raise an interesting point. Is there a way we can make it clear that all the items listed in the "Philosophy of" section are just more branches of philosophy? Could we change the "Branches" section to "Core Branches"? What if we do something like this:
Core Branches | Aesthetics · Ethics · Epistemology · Logic · Metaphysics
Other Branches | Philosophy of Action · Biology · Chemistry
I don't like the labels "Core" and "Other" but I'm not sure what else to call them.
Or maybe we don't need to do this at all. Ideas? Also, User:, do you have any other ideas.
You seem to think there needs to be other revisions made. - Atfyfe (talk) 02:24, 30 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Maybe "Classic Branches" and "Other Branches"? Or what about this all as one group:
Branches | Aesthetics · Ethics · Epistemology · Logic · Metaphysics  · Philosophy of Action · Biology · Chemistry
- Atfyfe (talk) 07:33, 30 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I currently don't have any ideas yet, but beforehand lets eliminate all the -ism that is only about political philosophy. Because that field already has a lot of infoboxes and I am sure, those follows will be more than happy to speed up the speed of cleaning up templates. Category:Political science terms (for speedup referencing).

-- (talk) 08:06, 31 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Slow-motion edit war[edit]

There appears to be a slow-motion version of an edit war between Buridan and Wikinaut1980. Wikinaut keeps adding Absurdism, Egalitarianism, Individualism and Jihad to the "Schools" list, and Burdian keeps removing them. This isn't happening fast enough to trigger the three-revert rule, but it's still troubling to see it happening over and over between the same two editors. I wanted to bring this out on the talk page, in the hope that an explicit consensus on these edits will put a stop to the back-and-forth.

Other than Absurdism, which was on the list before the back-and-forth started but got removed somewhere along the way, I don't think any of the disputed items could reasonably be called a "school" of philosophy. So I'm generally supportive of Burdian's edits in this. I also think his exclusion of these items is consistent with the previous consensus about what should or should not be included. I'd appreciate it if others who monitor this template would also speak up. Thanks. --RL0919 (talk) 23:15, 31 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

actually there isn't an edit war, wish there was, that would be far more exciting. instead it happened 2x.... and the standard is pretty well set, if someone else wants to define it differently, they need to make an argument. right now what i think we actually have is someone who is new to the philosophy project trying to do what they want to a template. it is ok to try, but then you should take it to discussion. --Buridan (talk) 02:21, 1 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with RL0919 completely. -- Quiddity (talk) 17:33, 1 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I also agree. None of those belong on this template. You're right RL0919 that Absurdism comes closest, but I still don't think that belongs here. -- Atfyfe (talk) 19:02, 3 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Recent changes by IP Address ( & &[edit]

1st Set of Changes

Today some style changes were made, most of them consisted in dropping the "s" off a number of names. I've added them back in some places. Here are my reasons:

(1) The proper name of the branches and "Metaphysics" and "Ethics" have an "s" at the end. By contrast, "Logic" does not. We cannot just drop the "s" off of some of the branches for stylistic reasons.
(2) I've added back philosophy of action. It is a major branch of philosophy (as reading its entry will make clear) and it is mistaken to see it as a branch of the social sciences. I am not sure why someone would think that. If one studies what it is philosophically to have a "belief", then that's either epistemology or maybe philosophy of mind. If someone studies what it is philosophically to have an "intent" or do something "intentionally" then that is philosophy of action/philosophy of mind.
(3) I've changed the label for the link to the list of schools from "index" to "schools" since just calling it "index" is entirely uninformative.
(4) I've added "s" back to everything it was removed from in the "Philosophy of" section since "Philosophy of Economic" is nonsense while "Philosophy of Economics" is correct.

I did leave a number of the stylistic changes the same. I don't know if I like them, but maybe they are for the best. Obviously someone did think they were for the best. So I left every change that I didn't actually think involved a mistake. - Atfyfe (talk) 01:01, 10 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Okay, now I see why someone confused philosophy of action with some sociology theory. Apparently there is some theory in sociology called "Action Theory" whose Wikipedia entry is named Action theory (sociology). However, as the entry Action theory (philosophy) points out: "Philosophical action theory, or the 'philosophy of action', should not be confused with sociological theories of social action, such as the action theory established by Talcott Parsons." - Atfyfe (talk) 01:10, 10 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]

2nd Set of Changes

Many radical changes have been made over the weekend. Lots of good effort, but lots of inaccuracies:

(1) Faculty?
(2) What are called "Fields" are branches of philosophy that go by the name "philosophy of..." which is how they were once labeled. What are now called "Faculty"(?) are the core branches of philosophy.
(3) Some random schools are singled out as "Schools" while others are now called "theories"
(4) Some of the branches that happen to have "ology" in their name are for some reason separated and called "-ology"
(5) "Theory of Everything" is given a special spot on the template... despite the fact that it is a theory in physics and has absolutely nothing to do with philosophy
(6) "Transantlanticism" is added, but there is no entry for such a 'theory'
(7) A school of metaphysics ("process") is listed as a branch of ontology.
(8) 'Wisdom' is listed as a theory?

As a result, I'm reverting all of the changes. I'd welcome the editor behind these recent changes to enter a discussion here on the talk page. - Atfyfe (talk) 09:10, 18 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Very much agreed. Also the stylistic changes were not an improvement, imo. Multiple levels of hide/show are not helpful - it already autocollapses, which is sufficient. -- Quiddity (talk) 20:55, 18 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]

3rd Set of Changes

You've been putting a lot of effort into your edits, but most of them I cannot understand. Could you help the other editors of this template understand where you are coming from? Is there a philosophy textbook or some sources from which your division/understanding of philosophy is coming from? - Atfyfe (talk) 09:38, 25 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Dates for the History Section[edit]

I've been trying to figure out a way to add dates to the eras in the history section, but I can't find a way that doesn't look cluttered. I also can't decide how to abbreviate the dates: 16th c. / 1500's / 16c / C16... So if anyone else has sees a great way of doing it, I'd be behind you. Here are two ways I was thinking about formatting the dates:

Ancient (-400)
Medieval (400-1500)
Modern (1500-1900)
Contemporary (1900-)
Ancient (-4c)
Medieval (5c-14c)
Modern (15c-19c)
Contemporary (20c-)

Really I think listing them as centuries rather than years works better. It doesn't suggest exactness in the way years do. - Atfyfe (talk) 17:25, 25 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Holy crap this navbox is large[edit]

15 sections?! This thing is huge and ungainly. It should probably be split into a few separate navboxes. --Cybercobra (talk) 09:49, 13 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Someone went all crazy on it. I'll revert. - Atfyfe (talk) 07:50, 14 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Re-arrangement of religion-related philosophies[edit]

I feel it is inappropriate to include the religion-related philosophies in a particular time due to the fact that they are not restricted to a particular time. They should go in a separate section like "By religion" or something like that. Iranian and CHinese philosophy should be moved for the same reason. Munci (talk) 00:12, 8 January 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I understand where you are coming from, but philosophy of religion is now a branch of contemporary philosophy. The reason the religions are connected to a specific time period is because philosophy during those time periods were dominated by religion. Listing them in a specific time period doesn't imply that philosophy of religion isn't still done today, but rather reference a time that is known for how religion dominated the philosophical scene. They are not "restricted" to those time-periods, those are just the time-periods where philosophy is best characterized by its connection to those religions. - Atfyfe (talk) 00:32, 8 January 2011 (UTC)[reply]


I've restructured the template to increase usability and reduce size. The most significant change is the merging of the "Schools of Thought" and "Historical" rows, which was done because some of the Historical entries were redundant, and some of the Schools of Thought entries could be included in the Historical one. I've also differentiated between categories that apply only to Western philosophy, and categories that can be used with all philosophies. This includes the Medieval and Renaissance categories, which are specific to Western philosophy.

Also, philosophies that are not categorized by era, are ones that originate in and can be applied to multiple eras or multiple cultures. Like anarchism, which can be found in both early Hellenistic and East Asian philosophy.--Ninthabout (talk) 08:52, 5 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Ayn Rand[edit]

I'm ambivalent on the issue, but should she be back in the template? There was a tremendous amount of debate on Template talk:Philosophy topics/Archive 1, and the result was to not include her. Has the consensus changed?--Mathematicmajic (talk) 00:39, 1 September 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Ayn Rand's (Objectivist) works have had a huge impact on Americans. A library of Congress poll in the 1990s found that Atlas Shrugged got second place when Americans were asked something to the effect of "What book has had the most impact on the way you think?" When you combine The Fountainhead score with Atlas Shrugged, they're tied for first with the Bible. She is also influential in other parts of the world. Although her philosophy is dismissed by most philosophers, it has clearly strongly influenced millions of people (her influence is certainly greater today than it was in tho 1990s). I think is enough to merit inclusion. byelf2007 (talk) 31 August 2011
the consensus has not changed. i will remove it. --Buridan (talk) 16:00, 10 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
popularity in culture, as rand and objectivism has it, is not notability in philosophy. however beyond that, the standards of inclusion for this table are clear and her work is not included here, it is included on the page, though granted she should probably be removed from there, but that has weak inclusion standards. being 1 of 100000 topics is not comparable to the 1 of ~200 which comprises this list. --Buridan (talk) 13:58, 19 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Consensus doesn't exist anymore. The consensus you're referring to includes "Atfyfe"'s objections, which s/he has since abandoned, and I'm also supporting inclusion.
"popularity in culture, as rand and objectivism has it, is not notability in philosophy." Everyone is a philosopher and has a philosophy (even if they don't intend to, or claim they don't) simply by living and making choices. I doubt you could demonstrate this isn't true. My point is that popularity (notability) of a philosophy "in culture" IS notability in philosophy. You can't just say "Well, sure, her stuff is a lot more popular than a lot of the other stuff listed, but what's notable in philosophy isn't determined by people at large, it's determined by a special club of "the real philosophers". And how do we determine who's in this club? And even if we do, at what point do we include a philosophy as notable if it keeps getting more and more popular with the general public, but is still rejected by the vast majority of philosophy authors, creators of philosophical theories, and philosophy nerds/enthusiasts?
Wouldn't it be just as consistent to say "Jain" or "Mitogaku" philosophy shouldn't be included on this list because the vast majority of philosophy authors, creators of philosophical theories, and philosophy nerds/enthusiasts reject these philosophies, regardless of the impact it has had on culture? byelf2007 (talk) 19 February 2012
Jainism is a philosophy and has several million followers as a religion too. it is not the same category of analysis. your analysis. is sort of like saying oh my small subdivision of christianity that believes in the reincarnation of jesus as a capybara deserves mention on the christianity page. --Buridan (talk) 02:28, 20 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
as for the consensus, we'll let you know when it has been passed. i think most editors of this would agree that your addition is not significant enough to be on this list. --02:29, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
"Jainism is a philosophy" So is Objectivism.

not in the same way, you are not responding analytically. --03:58, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

What's the relevant difference? you've referred me to the standard that you posted (this is all I have to go off of right now, this bit you posted), so it's a moot point. byelf2007 (talk) 19 February 2012
"has several million followers" There aren't millions of Objectivists, yes, but Atlas Shrugged, a novel by Ayn Rand, presents the basics of her philosophy (as presented in a speech by one of the characters) and also promotes the philosophy, and that novel is considered to be very influential to their philosophical views by millions.

no there aren't, not even similar numbers. --03:58, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Yes, there are. The fall 1991 Book-of-the-Month Club and the Library of Congress' Center poll found that when they asked Americans what book made the biggest difference in their lives, Atlas Shrugged got second place (behind the Bible) with about 10%. It's selling today better than it ever has (about 500,000 per year). You can argue that the numbers aren't similar enough, but this presupposes a standard for popularity with respect to inclusion. I'm happy with a standard consistent with less than the popularity of Objectivism. Anyway, you've referred me to the standard that you posted (this is all I have to go off of right now, this bit you posted), so it's a moot point. byelf2007 (talk) 19 February 2012
"it is not the same category of analysis." How so? This is just an assertion.

no it is analytical analysis. --Buridan (talk) 03:58, 20 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Does analytical analysis include making assertions without justification? Anyway, you've referred me to the standard that you posted (this is all I have to go off of right now, this bit you posted), so it's a moot point. byelf2007 (talk) 19 February 2012
"your analysis is sort of like saying oh my small subdivision of christianity that believes in the reincarnation of jesus as a capybara deserves mention on the christianity page." First of all, this is written in an explicitly condescending way. Please stop that. As for your comparison, it's contingent on Objectivism being non-influential. It isn't. It's been incredibly influential to millions of people. I think we are dealing with the "same category"--philosophies that have had a huge part in shaping the philosophical opinions of others. You may object that 'there are millions of X religion, but not millions of Objectivists.' This would ignore the fact that not all members of X religion agree on every philosophical issue. Furthermore, there are philosophies listed that do not have millions of followers, so I'm not sure why you'd take issue with Objectivism specifically and not get rid of the others.

sorry, it isn't condescending, it is just the way it is. the question is not between you an jainism so much, as objectivism raising to the level of a major field of study, which jainism is, and objectivism is not. to put it more clearly... objectivism is like studying a footnote, it is not notable at the same level of Jainism which is studying the book. if you do not see that, then you should quit. --Buridan (talk) 03:58, 20 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Now, IF you want to set a higher standard for what it takes to merit inclusion, and you justify this higher standard, and I'm persuaded to agree with you, THEN I'd agree to not have Objectivism listed. We need consistency.

the standard is written at the top of this page, it is clear. objectivism does not qualify, in 40 years, might it qualify... maybe. but today, it is still very minor. do you think that in any way it ranks as a major tradition? do you think there are hundreds or thousands of recognized philosophers dealing with it? by last count there are around 20. how is that major in philosophy? I mean be honest. --Buridan (talk) 03:58, 20 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]

What is the origin of this standard? Also, what are the justifications of this standard as opposed to others (like this and the inclusion of general popularity)? Why is it good to say the equivalent of "Even if X philosophy has been influential to and discussed by millions of people, as long as it doesn't get mentioned in philosophy textbooks/reference books often enough, it's not important, even when it shaping how millions of people think"? You're basically saying "It's not notable, because people who write books on what is notable in philosophy generally don't write that it is notable". This would mean that even if 10% of the world population were Objectivists, it wouldn't matter, as long as it doesn't get mentioned in published philosophy papers often enough. Another way to look at it is this: if a philosophy is influential to millions of people (like Objectivism), doesn't that mean that it SHOULD be mentioned in philosophical publications more often? byelf2007 (talk) 19 February 2012
"as for the consensus, we'll let you know when it has been passed." What's this supposed to mean? Who's we? A few editors get to decide this issue and I'm not included in the discussion? Any position which gets consensus can never be challenged again? I find your statement to be pretty vague.

'we' are the project philosophy. --03:58, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

"i think most editors of this would agree that your addition is not significant enough to be on this list" This is irrelevant, so it's just a pointless cheap shot. I'd like to find out, and 'Atfyfe' already agrees with me on this. byelf2007 (talk) 19 February 2012

no, it is just the truth, i mean really... in what way do you think objectivism ranks. no person educated or informed in philosophy at all will make that argument. at most... it is interesting because of its population, but it is not interesting otherwise. if it was, it would be dominant... and if it was dominant you would not even have this argument. it would just be... yeah ... objectivism, it belongs. but it doesn't and if you were at all honest about philosophy, you would say... yes... it does not belong. but no, you have a bone to pick, because you think some minor viewpoint that gained popularity amongst your peers is suddenly major. i'm sure i'm not going to be the first, nor the last to tell you. objectivism isn't major in any sense. LIne up the 10000 articles and 200 current philosophers and we can have a discussion, but no... there aren't 10000 articles, nor 200 philosophers, there are upwards of 500 articles and the number that would be counted as good is fewer, and there are around 20 philosophers and the number that are counted as good are fewer. so all I'm asking you to do is think, is it major... is it, use your objectivism, maybe use some empiricism, come to a reasoned position. then bugger off, because if you use reason.. you've lost. --Buridan (talk) 03:58, 20 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]

This is all predicated on the current standard being good (which I'm taking issue with). byelf2007 (talk) 19 February 2012

fine let's include rand... and let's include the philosophy of chocolate, they have the same relative level of import in the field of philosophy in general and likely comparable numbers of citations. no... minor topics don't belong on this page, we allow them on the broader page for the sake of inclusion. sorry.--Buridan (talk) 04:57, 20 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]

All you've just done is reiterate your position. Again, what is the origin of the standard you've presented? All you've directed me to is your post on the top of this page. Is it the product of much discussion? Where are the pages that show this discussion? What are the justifications of this standard as opposed to others? What alternatives were presented? Why were they rejected? I'm not going to just read a post by you and no one else and conclude that it's the product of much discussion if I'm not referred to those pages. byelf2007 (talk) 19 February 2012
About some of the points that have been made in favor of Rand's inclusion as a philosopher:
  • "Ayn Rand's (Objectivist) works have had a huge impact on Americans." Irrelevant. Lots of thinkers/writers/public figures have had a huge impact on American without being "philosophers". Rand can be the leader of a social movement without being a member of the professional feild of philosophy. Tom Hanks has had a major influence on Americans and the thinking of Americans without theyby being a "philosopher".
  • "A library of Congress poll in the 1990s found that Atlas Shrugged got second place when Americans were asked something to the effect of 'What book has had the most impact on the way you think?'" And the Bible was first place, yet "Jesus" and "Christianity" doesn't deserve a place on this template for philosophical schools/philosophers. This poll is entirely irrelevant to whether Rand should be included.
  • "She is also influential in other parts of the world." Again, you can have widespread infludence without being a philosopher. By your standards Hitler, Jesus, Einstein, etc. would all be philosophers given the influence they've had on people's thinking. But philosophy is a much narrower feild than just "human thinking". Similarly, by your standards, famous creationist preachers who deny evolution would belong on the physics template because they are influential on the populace concerning matters of physics (e.g. denying the Big Bang). Famous + denying the Big Bang doesn't make you a notable physicist, and for the same reasons Ayn Rand isn't a philosopher.
  • "Although her philosophy is dismissed by most philosophers..." And dismissed not merely as wrong, but as superficial non-philosophy. Many philosophers are dismissed as wrong and are still treated as philosophers, BUT that is different from being dismissed as being a public figure/cult leader rather than a philosopher. It's not that Rand is wrong or that her ideas are socially unacceptable (heck, just look at Peter Singer's philosophy (pro-infantacide; pro-besteality). And no one is denying that Singer counts as a real philosopher), the reason Rand is ignored is that she just doesn't offer a philosophical position that lives up to the level of philsophy that philosophers of her time were putting out.
Ultimately, despite the fact that I think there is a very strong case to be made against Rand's status as a philosopher, she does have an entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and I can see why people might mistakenly think she was a philosopher. In fact, the first line of that entry states: "Ayn Rand (1905–1982) was a philosopher and a novelist who outlined a comprehensive philosophy, including an epistemology and a theory of art, in her novels and essays" (bolding is my own). I agree that Rand's status as a philosopher is boarderline, but I also think wikipedia should defer to the SEP in matters of philosophy. Furthermore, Rand's status as a philosopher can be given the appropriate discussion in the actual entry any philosophy template has linked to.
Whether Rand is a philosopher (and "objectivism" a philosophy) is a difficult issue. There are many reasons to classify Rand as a cult leader and/or a social/political figure or a novelist rather than a philosopher. In fact, in my own estimation of the issue, I don't classify Rand a philosopher. In my own opinion, Robert Nozick (Harvard) and Tara Smith (U Texas) are actual philosophers who have argued for the positions of the social movement leader and novelist Ayn Rand. However, since it is also in my own opinion and since the SEP is the best objective and principled way for wikipedia editors to handle entries concerning philosophy, given the fact that the SEP does have an entry on Rand I reluctantly support her inclusion. She is a minor philosopher (if she qualifies as a philosopher at all), but she is at least enough of a quasi-philosopher to earn an entry in the SEP. I disagree with the SEP's inclusion of Rand, but I do agree that Rand should be included in wikipedia as a philosopher if the SEP includes Rand as a philosopher.
Which is to say, I agree with Buridan that Rand isn't a philosopher, but I disagree with Buridan about whether wikipedia should treat her as a philosopher (at least for the purpose of templates). Give that the central online resource for professional philosophy (the SEP) contains an entry for Rand, I don't think wikipedia can treat her as a non-philosopher (other than including a discussion of this philosopher/non-philosopher debate in any and all entries dealing with Ayn Rand).

- (talk) 09:07, 20 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Going with a non-indented comment since the above is a mess of poor formatting, missing sigs, etc., so I wouldn't know who to respond to. For all the talk about Ayn Rand above, the link that Byelf2007 has attempted to insert is to Objectivism (Ayn Rand), not to the article about Rand herself. The relevant question is whether Objectivism is significant enough in the history of philosophy to be included on this template. The template currently includes a subset of the 410 links found at List of philosophies -- less than a quarter of them by my count. So is Objectivism among the top 25% of the most significant philosophies in world history, according to its treatment in reliable secondary sources? From what I have seen in the literature, I would say no. So unless the template is going to be expanded to go further down the list (and the template is already plenty big), I would not expect to find it there. That does not require an argument that it isn't a philosophy or that it has no influence or that there is no discussion of it at all, just that it isn't among the most influential or widely discussed. --RL0919 (talk) 22:24, 20 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]

That makes sense, although I'd say Objectivism has started to become a borderline case in recent years. My remaining problem with the template is there seems to be inconsistency on how this standard is applied. Are things like "Australian realism" and "New Philosophers" really currently being discussed more often than Objectivism in philosophy books/journals? I think we'd better cull the list. byelf2007 (talk) 20 February 2012
I wouldn't be surprised if there was inconsistency on this point. Lists like this one are notoriously difficult to limit unless there is an outside source to follow that provides limiting criteria. I personally wouldn't object to seeing marginal entries cut. There is always the link to the list article for those who want something more comprehensive. --RL0919 (talk) 23:52, 20 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I'm neutral as to whether Ayn Rand should be included in this template, but please don't try to prove a point in this dispute by removing entries from the template without first discussing each entry individually and establishing a consensus. The removal of the Kyoto School was especially egregious, the Kyoto School is the preeminent philosophical school of 20th Japanese philosophy, and is a major topic of scholarly discourse on modern Japanese philosophy. There is an entire entry devoted to the subject on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which has been used as a general guideline for the template (as per the FAQ and earlier discussions). Mitogaku isn't as notable as Kokugaku, the philosophical school seen as the impetus of Japanese nationalism before and during the second World War, which like the Kyoto School, also has an entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia. I will admit that Australian realism and the New Philosophers are marginally influential, considering that more notable schools from the same philosophical traditions (the Frankfurt school in continental philosophy and the Vienna Circle in analytic philosophy, respectively) have yet to be included.--Mathematicmajic (talk) 07:56, 22 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I reverted back to my change (except I'm keeping in Kyoto school, as you're right that it deserves inclusion, albeit less so than most of the others). I'm happy with Frankfurt and Vienna inclusion. byelf2007 (talk) 22 February 2012

One of the problems with the template is distinguishing between popular significance and academic significance. Many philosophical schools are influential only among scholars, and are of little relevance to the generally population. The general population has likely never heard of Hegelianism or Kantianism, despite the unquestionable influence of both schools of thought on contemporary professional philosophy. Similarly, the reverse is also true, there are philosophies that are popular in the general population, Objectivism and Kurzweilian Transhumanism immediately come to mind, that have not been viewed seriously by most professional philosophers of established philosophical traditions. Ayn Rand developed her system of thought outside of academic philosophy and peer-reviewed journals, yet she has a sizable audience, ranging from Alan Greenspan to the rambling Glenn Beck. There is the option of making both popular and academic significance requirements for inclusion, but that would dramatically reduce the template to a few select entries (Platonism, Aristotelianism, Confucianism, Marxism, etc.) Whether that is desirable or not is up for discussion.--Mathematicmajic (talk) 14:26, 23 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I personally don't like that idea, as we'd be left with a very short list. byelf2007 (talk) 24 February 2012


I propose categorizing the philosophical schools listed in the "17th–21st centuries" section of the template according to tradition or philosophical movement, similar to the structure of the "9th–16th centuries" and "Ancient" sections. Doing so would make the template easier to navigate. Ordinary language and logical positivism, as an example, could be grouped into analytic philosophy. Any specific objections?--Mathematicmajic (talk) 13:11, 23 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]

completely and utterly against it. the categories you were using are not agreed upon even in philosophy. they are at best short-hand categories and not reliable. vienna circle for instance is both analytic and continental, but tell an analytic that and they freak out, tell a continental that and they know already, tell most professional philosophers that and they really don't care. phenomenology, same, there are analytic phenomenologists, though some would be adamant that there aren't. there is a fundamental difference between the natural geographic and historical categories used in the other categories and the ones you implemented, the ones you implemented are based on disputed conventions, the other ones are not. So unless we find categories better than traditional short hand that rarely maps, we shouldn't use them. oh and i do not agree that it makes the template easier to navigate. --Buridan (talk) 13:19, 23 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I concede that categorization of philosophical schools is notoriously difficult. The analytic and continental labels are ambiguously and inconsistently applied (another example, despite the identification of Marxism with continental philosophy, Analytical Marxism exists with academic adherents). But that doesn't change the necessity for some form of structure. Any ideas on viable alternatives? Regional classification cannot work, like it can for earlier philosophical schools, because of the international nature of modern philosophy.--Mathematicmajic (talk) 13:42, 23 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
it does preclude their use, we do not need classification there. --Buridan (talk) 19:47, 23 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Teaching Philosophy[edit]

I propose adding Philosophy education to the template.--Taranet (talk) 17:19, 29 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]


Why is hermeneutics listed parenthetically after philosophy of religion? Hermeneutics is the philosophy of textual interpretation, and has nothing to do with religion or the philosophy of religion per se, whatever its historical origins are. If it's going to be treated as a subordinate branch then putting it after literature would make far more sense. -- (talk) 00:06, 2 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

You are absolutely right. I think someone put it there because of it's historical tie with philosophy of religion. - Atfyfe (talk) 17:22, 12 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks to User:CsDix for the new sub-heading title formatting.[edit]

It looks great! -Atfyfe (talk) 17:21, 12 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Recent revisions (Dividing modern/contemporary eras, etc.)[edit]

  • I've divided the Modern Era (17th – 19th) and the Contemporary Era (20th-21st); I would have done this years ago, but whenever I attempted to I ran into the problem of so many schools/positions belonging in both eras. However, with the newly expanded "positions" section, this needed division finally became feasible.
  • Where a school of philosophy had a major place in both modern and contemporary philosophy, I've worked to find separate entries or parts of entries to link to so they can be listed in both areas of the template. For example: (Utilitarianism for modern philosophy and Utilitarianism (Contemporary) for contemporary analytic philosophy. This was easier for analytic philosophy than continental philosophy. Continental Philosophy is more closely tied to philosophy in the 19th century than analytic philosophy, which is why I think it is more difficult. For now I listed the schools in the era when they came about (e.g. Existentialism, but I would like to find a way to list them both in the modern era and the contemporary era if I can find some way to do so (something like 'early existentialism' for the modern era and then 'existentialism' for contemporary continental philosophy).
  • I was unsure what to label the third "other" section for contemporary schools of philosophy not belonging to the analytic/continental distinction, for now I've just left it without a title which seems to be in keeping with how the rest of the template treats similar issues of labeling, for example how we had the branches of philosophy sub-division labeled for years (although, I see now that someone just changed it).
  • I've moved a number of "schools" down to the "positions" section of the template (particularly those dealing with philosophy of mind; Functionalism, etc.).
  • I've tried to list in the schools section not mere "positions" on issues in philosophy, but the overarching, unified approaches that have arisen. For example, philosophers often label themselves "Kantians", "Wittgensteinians", "Naturalist/Quinean", "Rawlsian", "Logical Positivist", etc. to get across their general and broad approach to many different philosophical issues/problems/positions. It is hard to separate what is a mere "position" in philosophy from a "school", but I think this is a good start. For a while now what was listed as a school and what was listed as a position was really arbitrary since it hadn't been updated/revised since the "positions" subsection had been created/expanded.

Well, this is just a start. I think we'll be able to better sort out the modern/contemporary division and the school/position division over time. But I hope everyone agrees that this was needed! - Atfyfe (talk) 18:47, 12 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

how did objectivism ayn rand sneak in[edit]

it clearly defies the inclusion criteria, same with several others, this needs a cleanup/cleanout to return to 'philosophy topics' and not 'ideological spew' Buridan (talk) 02:24, 7 November 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 10 February 2019[edit]

For consistency, "Neo-Aristotelian" should probably be changed to "Neo-Aristotelianism". (talk) 06:00, 10 February 2019 (UTC) (talk) 06:00, 10 February 2019 (UTC)[reply]

 Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the ((edit semi-protected)) template. Normally, I would agree with you, but the target of that link is Virtue ethics#Contemporary 'aretaic turn', where the phrase "Neo-Aristotelian" does not appear. Should the link have a better label, and if so, what should it be? – Jonesey95 (talk) 19:24, 10 February 2019 (UTC)[reply]
@Jonesey95: I'm not arguing for the term neo-Aristotelian[ism] at all. I'm merely saying that if it is to be included – and there appears to be an implicit consensus that it is to be (though that's neither here nor there to me personally) – is there any reason it should be in the form of an adjective rather than a noun? (talk) 20:13, 10 February 2019 (UTC)[reply]
As a grammar and consistency fanatic, I understand your reasoning. I have both fixed and commented out the term, since I am not persuaded that it is a real thing. – Jonesey95 (talk) 10:07, 11 February 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Top-level categories[edit]

Is there a reason why "Ontology", "Reality", and "Free will" (should maybe be renamed "Causality"?) are listed as top-level categories, and not subcategories under "Metaphysics"? Likewise, shouldn't "mind" be under "Ontology? — Remsense 01:57, 20 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

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