Talk:Battlefield of ideas

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Terminology and fallacies clean-up needed[edit]

It may help to start the article with some reference to the origin, in Wiki documentation, of the subject phrase "battlefield of ideas", so the context and therefore the original intent can be understood.

In the current version of this essay there are many fallacious arguments made on several levels, including setting up straw men. These need to be cleaned up please to make the article useful for understanding how the metaphor applies as a philosophical approach to Wikis. Examples are:

  • The "battlefield of ideas" philosophy and the "community" philosophy are not mutually exclusive. Editors can battle about ideas while still being part of the same community. It's only when they battle each other, rather than the ideas, that they risk harming the community. The statement that the battlefield concept "contrasts with, and denies" the community concept is not accurate. Wikipedia is in practice both a battlefield of ideas and a community.
  • The phrase "devoted to creating a free, internet encyclopedia" is inappropriately attached to only one side of the compared concepts (community), when it could equally be applied to the other (the battlefield).
  • The term "edit war" is not used in WP in connection with a battlefield of ideas, rather it is used to describe a battle between editors who are no longer debating the ideas, but are merely editing and reverting each others' edits.
  • The term "troll war" is not used in WP in connection with a battlefield of ideas, in fact I've never seen that term at all, so a citation is required please. Returning from that technicality to the term "troll" itself, it is used to describe someone without relevant ideas, but intent instead on disruption, so again, not about a battlefield of ideas.
  • Similarly with the term "flame war", which is generally understood to be about insults and personal attacks, rather than about ideas.
  • The article lead needs to have more logical structure, perhaps first describing the benefits of viewing WP as a battlefield of ideas, then describing the drawbacks. Some of the examples of battlefield terminology given might then be useful to illustrate the possible drawbacks if the metaphor is taken too literally by editors.
  • Referring to the Argument is War/Battle metaphor and terminology as being "used in academia" is unhelpful because a) they are not always used in academia to describe debates, and b) they are used in many other fields, not just academia.
  • The double-barrelled statement "'Argument is war' is also at the core of the en:adversarial process which is at the core of Western ideas of fairness" needs citation(s) please. It feels like original research or synthesis. Also, even if both parts are true, what is the point of mentioning them here? How is this related to Wikipedia?
  • The whole first paragraph in the "A bad metaphor ?" section needs to be re-written to somehow relate the concepts raised to the concept of a battlefield of ideas.
  • The second and third paragraphs contradict the lead, but, with clarifications of terms, they could be part of a basis for a section comparing the battlefield metaphor with other philosophies, if it was labelled as such.
  • Citation (and purpose) required for the disputable idea that a battlefield must in time evolve to a community.
  • The third paragraph in the "A bad metaphor ?" section is no longer about the "battlefield of ideas" topic, but the "Argument is War" metaphor, so the questions, arguments and conclusions are not relevant. And the next paragraph, and the next two sections, raise a lot of other issues that are not directly about the main topic. Explanations of how a "battlefield of ideas" philosophy affects these other issues is needed, please.

Hope these ideas are helpful to anyone wishing to work on this essay. -- Bricaniwi 13:41, 8 June 2010 (UTC)