Philosophers on Wikipedia

It’s interesting to see who does, and doesn’t, get covered in any detail on Wikipedia. To take some important Sydney-based examples, compare the entries for David Armstrong, John Mackie, and David Stove. I doubt even Stove would have claimed he was ten times more important than Mackie and Armstrong combined, yet for some reason his entry is ten times the length of theirs put together. It would be worthwhile for someone noble to sit down and extend the Mackie and Armstrong entries, to say nothing of many other worthwhile philosophers.

2 Replies to “Philosophers on Wikipedia”

  1. I don’t know how you measured length, Brian. I used print preview to get a rough estimate of length (yeah, it’s dependent on my printer), and discovered that the article for Stove (8 pages) is longer than the articles for Kripke (3) , Quine (5) , Kuhn (4), Sellars (3), Putnam (7), David Lewis (5), etc…

    Rorty edges out Stove at 9 pages. But Foucault gets 17 pages, and Derrida 19 pages. Among earlier 20th century greats, William James and Wittgenstein tie with Stove at 8 pages, while Russell gets close to Derrida and Foucault with 15. Stove beats out Carnap (5) and Godel (7), but not Heidegger (12).

    Among all time historical greats the longest entries I’ve found are Leibniz and Kant at 24 pages each.

    Isn’t this fun? Time to stop now!

  2. I don’t see why its interesting to see who gets covered in Wikipedia and who doesn’t given that anyone can post additions. If you look at the history of the Stove entry, it was only a paragraph or so long (describing Stove as “an obscure conservative Australian philosopher of science”) until Scott Campbell made a huge addition in March of ’05. As far as I can tell it is mostly tweaks since then.

    I eagerly await the day when my groupies will post long entries for me instead of posting stuff like me doing rap battles with the Notorious B.I.G.(something since deleted). Well, actually, I preferred the rap battling Ludlow version. Maybe I’ll revert to it?

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