• scherz0
    7
    Many of my students use Philosophy StackExchange, but it got upbraided here. Your thoughts?
    1. Do you use Philosophy StackExchange? (15 votes)
        Yes!
        20%
        No.
        67%
        I never heard of it, but I shall try it.
          7%
        I never heard of it, but NOT interested.
          7%
  • Outlander
    1.9k
    I voted no. Not that I wouldn't, I just prefer the community here, as well as the traditional forum platform. Nothing seems to be "missing", at least nothing that PSE would offer. I'm sure like all communities there's great minds and contributors there as well. Based on very little I conclude people who sign up for TPF are 100% focused on philosophy whereas on the StackExchange network many of the participants who clicked "join StackExchange Philosophy mini-site" from their exhaustive list of profound topics likely might have only a passing or casual interest in philosophy or were just bored.

    Also, possibly somewhat of a Lounge topic. Still, welcome to TPF!
  • AmadeusD
    2k
    Looks a bit silly, organisationally speaking.
  • flannel jesus
    1.6k
    it's not necessarily that well suited to philosophy. It's more well suited to disciplines that have explicit agreed upon correct answers, and philosophy seems to have remarkably few of those.
  • tim wood
    8.9k
    Many of my students use....scherz0
    There's little accounting for what students will do. More interesting is what you do. Assuming you're teaching philosophy and that you have some legitimate pedantic purpose in allowing them to use sources like PSE and TPF, what is your intention/goal in so doing?
  • Leontiskos
    1.7k
    It's more well suited to disciplines that have explicit agreed upon correct answers...flannel jesus

    Agreed. Stack Exchange is a computer science knowledge compendium that someone tried to repurpose for everything else. It's not a good fit for philosophy, even if there are certain cases or questions where that format is workable. I think it will instill bad methodologies and presuppositions in the students.
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    2.1k
    I have used Stack Exchange for math, physics, and biology. It seemed pretty good. Used the theology one a few times; it was bad. The ubiquitous problem of Calvinists replying to everything that it is "unbiblical."
  • Wayfarer
    21.1k
    I've posted a number of threads there over the years. They're a much tougher bunch of reviewers than here, and it's very strictly moderated. The idea is, you go there to ask questions and elicit answers, NOT to engage in the kind of free-wheeling debates that we have here (if the back and forth yields a debate, it is split off into a different, 'chat room', format, which I've never pursued). But if I have specific questions I will sometimes raise them there (for example).

    //oh, and I have also used StackExchange for IT-related questions, principally SharePoint.
  • 180 Proof
    14.5k
    No. TPF suffices. When that's no longer the case, who knows – maybe.
  • Leontiskos
    1.7k
    The idea is, you go there to ask questions and elicit answers, NOT to engage in the kind of free-wheeling debates that we have here (if the back and forth yields a debate, it is split off into a different, 'chat room', format, which I've never pursued).Wayfarer

    Right: there is a criterion of "verifiability." If the answers to a question cannot be straightforwardly verified, then SE deems the question "opinion-based" and inadmissible. Ergo: philosophy is basically not allowed. You can talk about philosophy, but you cannot do philosophy. For example, you can ask what Descartes thought of Plato's anthropology, because quotes of Descartes can be adduced in favor of an answer. But you cannot ask whether Plato or Descartes had the more robust anthropology, because this is "opinion-based." It's basically, "If someone can disagree with your answer, then it isn't a good answer." To the extent that an answer required thought or creativity or any substantial form of agency, it isn't a good answer. It drives me a little bonkers, but I suppose it has its uses.
  • Wayfarer
    21.1k
    My only activities in philosophy have been online since I discovered forums around 2009 (aside from 2 years of under-graduate studies back in the day). I found PSE during that time and just thought of it as another forum, although as noted it’s rather more specific.
  • Ludwig V
    1k

    Don't you think it is ironic that the critique of PSE was posted on Reddit? Talk about pots and kettles. I thought that the response to this question when it was posted on PSE was, overall, quite well balanced and sensible.

    PSE echoes Wikipedia, which has similar problems. The place of an expert in the democratic and inclusive times that we live in is difficult and needs constant negotiation.

    I have used PSE but found it difficult to negotiate. I find myself using TPF more and more and PSE less and less. I have looked at Reddit, but never signed up - not my cup of tea at all.
  • Ludwig V
    1k
    it's not necessarily that well suited to philosophy. It's more well suited to disciplines that have explicit agreed upon correct answers, and philosophy seems to have remarkably few of those.flannel jesus
    You are too kind. The model for the site is clearly (not "not necessarily") "those disciplines that have explicit agreed upon correct answers". That model is not at all well suited to philosophy, which lives and breathes on disagreements. If the model was strictly followed, it would be an extremely boring place.

    There's actually a (somewhat) hidden tension between the model and the democratic structures (modified by the existence of the moderators, who do a reasonably good job) that are also built in to the system. The result is a bit chaotic and inconsistent, and, of course, there is a good deal of using the rules to try to enforce specific philosophical views.

    In my opinion, the system of building a reputation by scoring points and collecting badges is much more problematic - and there is a similar system on Reddit, if I remember right. I found that it is quite hard to resist the temptation to score points rather than doing some philosophy.

    It's basically, "If someone can disagree with your answer, then it isn't a good answer." To the extent that an answer required thought or creativity or any substantial form of agency, it isn't a good answer.Leontiskos
    You are quite right. But the expectation that answers (and questions) should have some basis in existing philosophy is not altogether unwelcome. But perhaps that's just my personal taste.

    There is scope for real philosophical work in the chat rooms, which are not subject to the same restrictions. I found those the most fruitful part of the site.
  • Ludwig V
    1k
    There's little accounting for what students will do. More interesting is what you do. Assuming you're teaching philosophy and that you have some legitimate pedantic purpose in allowing them to use sources like PSE and TPF, what is your intention/goal in so doing?tim wood
    It isn't a question of allowing them to use PSE or any other site. They will use it or not, as they see fit.

    When I was teaching, the most difficult thing was to persuade students to debate philosophy with each other, outside the class-room. I felt then that anything that encouraged them to participate was a good thing. True, they might pick up wrong-headed views, but they are liable to do that all by themselves.

    So if I was teaching now, I would encourage them to use these sites and to bring back to class what they found there (within reason). It could be a valuable stimulus to discussion in the class-room or tutorial session. Of course, there would have to be health warnings, but I'm pretty sure the benefits would outweigh the risks. And I would have to insist that the most important thing is to READ THE BOOK.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.