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PhiloPedia:The Philosophy Wiki - Home

Welcome to PhiloPedia, the philosophy wiki at! PhiloPedia is a publicly editable encyclopedia about philosophy, philosophers and other topics of particular interest to philosophy professors, philosophy students, amateur philosophers or anyone else engaged in philosophical research. You can find facts as simple as, 'when was the philosopher Kant born,' as well as broader and more in-depth explanations of any certain philosophical idea. Although anyone can edit this wiki, you must register an account first, and we do have strictly enforced editing rules. On PhiloPedia you will never see a "(citation needed)" or "(disputed)" note after a statement because only undisputed, cited facts are allowed.

This wiki runs on the software PmWiki. The basic editing page describes how to create pages in PmWiki. The MarkupMasterIndex also provides a good resource for learning how to editing pages. You can practice editing in the wiki sandbox. This will likely all be very familiar if you have edited wikis before; otherwise, although it may seem complex, you will actually catch on very fast. If you have any questions you can also ask in the Feedback Section of the Philosophy Forums. A local copy of PmWiki's documentation has been installed along with the software, and is available via the documentation index, but much of that is more useful for administrators than users.

PhiloPedia Goals

Differences to Wikipedia

I created PhiloPedia NOT to simply be a copy of the philosophy section of sites like Wikipedia. PhiloPedia needs to provide something useful and new. While sites like Wikipedia have long, useful entries for most philosophers and philosophical topics, these entries are written for the average viewer rather than with a focus on someone researching philosophy. For instance, if you look up the word 'Christianity' in Wikipedia, you would have to sift through a whole lot of information that has little to do with philosophy, whereas we can write an article that still provides a more philosophically-slanted choice of included or excluded details.

There is another major way we can differentiate ourselves from sites like Wikipedia. Because our scope is narrowed down to philosophy rather than everything, we can hold ourselves to very strict standards that would be impractical on a site that covers as many topics as Wikipedia. In other words, we can cover a smaller selection of topics with much greater quality rather than deal with quantity. Following is a list of some of those stricter standards we will have here:

  • All facts must be sourced. On Wikipedia it is not uncommon to see a "(citation needed)" at the end of a statement. That will not happen on this site. Instead of putting 'citation needed' or 'disputed' at the end of statements lacking undisputed citation, we will just delete the statement.
  • Citations will be held to a stricter standard. I notice a lot of links to blogs or op-eds or relatively unknown websites on Wikipedia in the list of citations. This will generally be prohibited a lot more on this wiki than sites like Wikipeda. Generally, the only time a blog or op-ed or unaccredited 'expert' opinion would be allowed is where it is a primary source for the cited fact. For instance, the fact 'Joe Schmoe pledged to donate $10 million to back acne research," could have a citation linking to a blog post on Joe Schmoe's blog in which he himself pledges to donate $10 million to back acne research. When in doubt, leave the blog post, op-ed or original research out. If the validity of a citation is questioned, delete it until consensus is reached. Disputed statements and disputed citations will only be put back in after the validity of the statement/citation has been verified in the dispute resolution process. The disputed statement must remain deleted while in dispute.
  • All articles need to have a focus of relevancy to philosophy. We do want articles to start off with some general background information, a summary and/or definition as applicable. However, the next part of the article needs to generally skip the non-philosophical data (e.g. how much did this guy weigh, when was he born and what kind of cereal did he eat in the morning) and find the more philosophically relevant data (e.g. what does this guy/idea have to do with philosophy, what philosophical ideas did he hold/promote, what affect have these ideas had on the field of philosophy, what other philosophers/philosophies has he influenced or been influenced by, etc.). While other specific subsections may contain broader lists, philosophically relevant parts need to be emphasized or highlighted. For example, if a writer wrote non-philosophical essays and general, relatively non-fiction, then in the subsection 'works,' you would want to somehow distinguish the philosophically relevant works from the rest through some sort of prioritization, emphasize or highlighting.

Beginner Topics for Creating and Editing Pages

Intermediate Editing Topics

  • Markup master index - Tabulation of all PmWiki markup
  • Uploads - Allow authors to upload files, also known as page attachments
  • Tables - Simple tables with double pipe markup, one row per line
  • Table directives - Directives for table processing
  • Wiki styles - Modifying the style of page contents
  • Access keys - Access keys are keyboard shortcuts for tasks that would otherwise require a mouse
  • Page directives - Directives to specify page titles, descriptions, keywords, and display
  • Include other pages - Include contents from other PmWiki pages
  • InterMap links - Interwiki links definition and use
  • Conditional markup - The if directive allows portions of a page to be included or excluded from rendering
  • Page variables - variables that are associated with pages
  • Page text variables - Page variables automatically made available through natural or explicit page markup
  • Markup expressions - String and formatting operations
  • Forms - How you can embed input forms into wiki pages
  • Simultaneous edits - Handling multiple attempts to edit a page nearly simultaneously

Organizing and Protecting Pages

Please remember to use the preview function before saving your edits to make sure they come out right and avoid clogging the edit log with numerous self-corrections.

Basic Editing Functionality

To edit pages you will need to be registered in our forums. You will use the same username and password to edit PhiloPedia as you use to login to the forums. You can edit any page in the main part of PhiloPedia except this page. You will NOT be able to edit parts of the site, namely the sidebar. You will also NOT be able to edit pages in special subgroups, such as the PmWiki documentation.

Page last modified on February 01, 2014, at 02:42 PM