Open main menu

Contents

UntitledEdit

thanx to the author for summarizing such an ocean of stuff into these lively spring water. this is a very quality text and should be honoured ,not ;lest to sartre himself! and about myself,i wonder i ised to think exactly what sartre thought of humankind,only that i did not know what is to be implied from them. humane was not so easy to understand before sartre..........saroj khanal,kathmandu,nepal

Modes of Being?Edit

Why is there no discussion or explanation, however brief, of the being-in-itself, the being-for-itself, and the being-for-others? These are fairly important concepts that I think should be explicitly addressed on this page. If no one else does so, I'll add in a cursory discussion of them soon. -Tinpatches 03:53, 21 May 2006 (UTC)tinpatches

Originally, these had articles of their own. I think they are all covered, briefly, in the article being, currently. -Smahoney 04:51, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Article Edit?Edit

This is from the article, and tell me, does it make any sense to anyone? Is it supposed to be a quote, or is a translation of some french existentialist's criticism? :

Connection to No Exit Men and women will always be in a world of other people, who can capture him within their gaze, reducing him to his external materiality. They will take his measure, call him hero, coward, nonentity, fool, etc. And then, at last, they will tote up the balance sheet of his life after his death.

Your comment was unsigned so I'm not sure when you posted this, but to answer your question IMO the cited text is non-encyclopedic. Fortunately, it has since been removed from the article. Jaydubya93 (talk) 13:13, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

Consciousness as Transcendent?Edit

The opening few sentences have me a bit confused. Being and Nothingness shows consciousness as transcendent and it advocates rationalism? This doesn't seem to capture the spirit of the book at all as far as what I've heard. Existence precedes essence. We are what our choices define us to be, not some kind of transcendent rational animal or featherless biped. Johnor 11:59, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Again, see the article on being. It explains the relationship between Being and Nothingness.


This article has serious faults, which I have only started to correct. The books subtitle is 'an essay on phenomenological ontology', not a 'phenomenological essay on ontology'. (I notice however that the cover picture shown has a 'phenomenological essay on ontology' written on it - where did this come from?)

Perhaps the article should follow the structure of the book, so that it would discuss nothingness before discussing the other. This is what the French version of this article intends to do once somebody has been put beneath the headings. I guess I'll have to edit the French version too.

I think the section about sex has to go as the author hasn't cited sources and I won't vouch for its accuracy.

I came to this article hoping it would quickly fill in some gaps in my rusty flakey understanding of Sartre. (Many WP articles are quite good for this kind of thing.) I am now editing it as it seems that my knowledge, however flakey, is at least as good as that of people who have been here before. --Publunch 18:26, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

cover photographEdit

The photograph of Being and Nothingness shown is of a (badly) abridged version. It would be better to provide a photograph of the unabridged English translation.

No, it isn't. I have the same book and it is full length (800 pages) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 59.182.148.49 (talk) 11:17, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

I think that comment was outdated, the picture's probably been changed since then. SSBDelphiki (talk) 20:16, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Article Cleanup Co-Ordination PointEdit

The definitions section is pretty useless I think. I found most of the article enlightening, but the definitions are too technical and I doubt anyone who has not already studied Sartre in a University course will gain anything from them. These ideas could all be rephrased to make them more understandable, and this would be a great boon to anyone hoping to understand Sartre.Folding Chair 02:36, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

I am one of those few who needs understanding. Is there any book/website or anything that could properly explain what is being-in-itself, being-for-itself, bad faith alnd all those terms. The Hazel Barnes' glossary is quite ununderstandable, and so is his introduction. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 59.182.148.49 (talk) 11:22, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

I found a great book called Sartre Explained by David Detmer. You might be able to find it through your local library. I live in Norcal, where many libraries are interconnected and I could have it sent to mine. Anyways, it helped me a TON in understanding Sartre, and now I plan to finish Being and Nothingness, which I didn't finish on my first attempt. SSBDelphiki (talk) 20:13, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the help. I've read that book and another I found on then net by PV Spade. I think that the Spade book is way better and answers many things which Detmer could n't. Please read that, it clarifies many misconceptions of Detmer.

This article is far too long. If you look at other entries on philosophical texts, they contain a brief summary of the ideas espoused by the author. Admittedly, Sartre is unusual in the sense that a superficial account of his philosophy is unlikely to be very enlightening, but I do not think that the article is satisfactory at present. Not only is it too detailed, but its style is very clumsy, containing such coloquialisms as 'Bear with me on this paragraph.' I would volunteer myself for cleanup, but I have exams in four weeks' time. --129.67.2.200 16:36, 26 April 2007 (UTC)


I have deleted my summary of the introduction. It was far too long, too detailed, and poorly written. It was probably not helpful to anyone. If anyone wants to clean it up, I have it saved and can share it. Otherwise, a brief summary is probably best.

Book coverEdit

Would it be better to replace the existing cover with the Routledge Classics cover [1], or remove it altogether? For example, Being and Time does not feature a book cover, as well as most other articles on philosophy books. Differo 11:24, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, it's deleted now, so that would be better. But it should at least be free.  Marlith (Talk)  03:00, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

ConsciousnessEdit

The opening paragraph currently states: [The book's] "main purpose was to define consciousness as transcendent." Shouldn't that be "...to argue that consciousness is transcendent."? What exactly did Sartre understand by consciousness anyway? The article offers no explanation.--Adoniscik (talk) 02:33, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Phenomenology (in principle) describes; it does not argue. The problem with this sentence isn't the "define" part, it's the "transcendent" part. Transcendence has at least four meanings for Sartre. One of them is precisely how consciousness relates to the world (in transcending itself), not how it 'goes beyond' the world. -Silence (talk) 15:34, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

PublishingEdit

I woudl like to see more information on the physical book. When was it published, who published it, how long did it take to write. I hope that this information will enable an analysis of the historical context of this work. I, myself, do not have this knowledge --Frozenport (talk) 01:50, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

ReceptionEdit

The reception section doesn't have anything about Heidegger's summary judgement of Sartre: 'Dreck.' I've heard this story in a few places but don't have any better sources for it right now, but it seems relevant. Maybe someone might have a better one and include it? http://hedgehogphilosopher.blogspot.ie/2011/02/day-32.html — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ultan42 (talkcontribs) 22:07, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

External links modifiedEdit

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on Being and Nothingness. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

 Y An editor has reviewed this edit and fixed any errors that were found.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.


Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 01:48, 28 February 2016 (UTC)

LeadEdit

Drevolt recently made this edit to the lead, with the comment, "Partial reversion of several recent edits. Vague statements like this violate NPOV, and the lead is already padded out as it is, we don’t need to add even more content. Also, combining criticisms into a single sentence helps the flow here, it doesn’t imply any causal link. Various other minor fixes to lead and removed an unnecessary sentence to get length down."

I do not know what "vague statements" you are trying to refer to in that edit summary, Drevolt. Your complaint about "vague statements" is itself vague and entirely unhelpful. If you are claiming that the statement, "Because of its emphasis on consciousness, Being and Nothingness had come to be seen as outdated by the time of Sartre's death in 1980" is vague, then you are wrong. It is a perfectly clear statement. Your claim that the lead is overly long is also simply false. Several of your changes were quite destructive and harmful, notably your restoration of the wording, "However, the book has been criticized for Sartre's treatment of Freud, and many thought that Being and Nothingness had come to be outdated by the time of Sartre's death in 1980". That wording can obviously be taken to imply that the criticism of Sartre's treatment of Freud has some connection with Being and Nothingness coming to be seen as outdated. You are simply mistaken to claim otherwise. The wording is unacceptable, since it implies something that is entirely untrue. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 01:12, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

Drevolt, please refrain from making pointless and unconstructive edits such as this. The lead is a summary of the topic the article is about. It is meant to be general in nature and less detailed than the rest of the article. It is not necessary to list specific individuals who regarded Being and Nothingness as outdated at the time of Sartre's death and doing so would not be helpful in any fashion. On the contrary, it would add entirely unnecessary detail. Adding a tag requesting specific names is completely unconstructive given that there is no prospect that such information is ever going to be added to the lead. I am going to revert your change. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 03:32, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Hi FreeKnowledgeCreator - The claim that the book "had come to be seen as outdated" is incredibly vague. Since it doesn't include any further descriptors, it comes off as a weasel word. This wouldn't be an issue if the "seen as outdated by who?" question was answered in the body of the article, but it is not, meaning that it shouldn't be used as currently phrased either in the lead or in the body of the article. There is no question that it either has to be rephrased or removed. I'm going to rephrase it in both the lead and the article body, as I would prefer to not remove it entirely.
No, the statement that the book "had come to be seen as outdated" is not incredibly vague. It is a perfectly clear and straightforward statement that no normal reader is going to find difficult to understand. It is not an example of "weasel words". WP:WEASEL states, "Weasel words are words and phrases aimed at creating an impression that something specific and meaningful has been said, when in fact only a vague or ambiguous claim has been communicated." There is nothing ambiguous about saying that a book had come to be seen as outdated by a certain date. You don't understand the guideline you invoked. Do not remove properly cited information as there is no justification for that. I'll revert any such change, which amounts to censoring negative or critical information about the book, something ruled out by WP:NPOV. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 03:47, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Removal of cited content is not a violation of Wikipedia policy if it has other issues (see WP:BOLD and WP:CRV). As it stands, the statement clearly misrepresents the cited source. Here is the quote it comes from:

Sartre died a notorious public intellectual – “the hated conscience of his century” – and it was his pugnacious advocacy of unpopular causes, his commitment to resistance in all its forms, his well-known novels and plays, and, of course, his association with the legends of “existentialism,” that fascinated the crowd. Sartre dominated French intellectual life as no one had before and no one has since, but by 1980 the idea that his philosophy was worth critical consideration seemed quaint. Being and Nothingness? Old hat. Naive. Pre-linguistic-turn. Metaphysical. Phenomenological. Sartre’s idiom seemed irrevocably tied to the subjectivism and psychologism that structuralism and analytic philosophy had finally laid to rest. No matter that Sartre himself had deconstructed the metaphysical subject; the emphasis on consciousness in Being and Nothingness marked it as passé . Hadn’t Sartre himself abandoned Being and Nothingness in favor of Marxism, which “remains the philosophy of our time”? Nevertheless, Sartre was a philosopher; he did grapple brilliantly with philosophical problems bequeathed by the modern tradition; and his existentialism can be evaluated in terms of the purely philosophical motives of its birth. Before Sartre was an existentialist he was a phenomenologist, and, as this chapter will argue, he understood key elements of his existentialist theory of the self to be direct consequences of adopting the phenomenological approach to consciousness. Today consciousness has again become a respectable topic in philosophy. Thus it may be possible to rescue Sartre’s existentialism from the bars and cafés of popular fantasy and bring it once more into the debate."

Crowell is claiming that in the particular historical milieu in which Sartre died, existentialism was taken seriously and consciousness was not. Today, on the other hand, talk of consciousness is one again taken seriously, whereas existentialism no longer is. As it stands, the article leaves out the second half of that, making it seem as if the distaste for consciousness-oriented philosophy that was prevalent in 1980 is still prevalent today. This is a clear distortion of the cited source, and the mention of it in the article has to be either changed or removed to accommodate that fact. --Drevolt (talk) 04:02, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
The passage you quoted says nothing about existentialism being taken seriously at the time of Sartre's death. Nor does it say that "consciousness" itself was not "taken seriously"; it says that the "the emphasis on consciousness in Being and Nothingness" was seen as outdated as of 1980. That "consciousness has again become a respectable topic in philosophy" since 1980 according to Crowell is a different issue entirely, and it doesn't contradict anything that appears in the article. There is no "misrepresentation". FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 04:07, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
On your first claim: "his association with the legends of “existentialism"... fascinated the crowd". The sentences in the source leading up to that one also back this up, but that's obviously in the above quote. On your second claim: "the emphasis on consciousness in Being and Nothingness marked it as passé". The point is that the current phrasing leaves out the vital information that Sartre's reliance on discussing consciousness seemed dated only at that particular point in history and that it is not seen as dated on those grounds anymore. Leaving that out makes it seem as if this is still the consensus view, which according to Crowell it is not. --Drevolt (talk) 04:16, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Maybe you missed this point, but "fascinated" is in the past tense. There is no suggestion there that existentialism was taken seriously in 1980. That consciousness has since come to be regarded as an important philosophical topic is irrelevant, because the article is about Being and Nothingness, not about how philosophers currently view consciousness. The lead's current statement, "Because of the subjectivism and psychologism associated with Sartre's view of consciousness, Being and Nothingness had come to be seen as outdated by the time of Sartre's death in 1980" is completely correct. Crowell suggests that a more positive reevaluation of Being and Nothingness should take place; that doesn't mean that it has, in fact, taken place or that Being and Nothingness isn't still regarded as outdated. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 04:27, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
I still think that there are definitely some NPOV issues related to how the source has been used in the article (Saying “because of the subjectivism and psychologism associated with Sartre's view of consciousness, ‘Being and Nothingness’ had come to be seen as outdated by the time of Sartre's death in 1980” without any further qualifications implies that Sartre’s view of consciousness has been considered outdated ever since, which is directly contradicted by the Crowell book), but I acknowledge that it’s somewhat ambiguous, so I’m willing to drop it. Given the current state of the article, I think that there are other things worth focusing on instead. —Drevolt (talk) 06:56, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
The "Crowell book" does not state that Sartre's view of consciousness is not considered outdated. It states that "consciousness has again become a respectable topic in philosophy" but it doesn't say anything about Sartre's view of consciousness being considered correct. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 08:04, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

Discussion of philosophy of sex in leadEdit

Looking over the lead, the discussion of Sartre and the philosophy of sex seems extremely out of place. Sartre's view on sexuality are a fairly niche topic in his oeuvre, and they are not even mentioned anywhere in the main articles on Sartre and on Being and Nothingness in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The only philosopher cited in the article as having discussed them is Roger Scruton, who has worked a great deal on the philosophy of sex and not very much on Sartre. This topic should undoubtedly be mentioned in the body of the article, but it seems highly dubious that they should be mentioned in the lead without further sources (especially since ideas that are far more central to Being and Nothingness, such as the subject of nothingness, are not even mentioned in the lead right now). --Drevolt (talk) 04:09, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

This is Wikipedia, not the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy or the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. There is no rule that Wikipedia has to do exactly what the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy do, and if there was, it would be stupid, since Wikipedia is a different kind of project entirely. The article shows that several authors have discussed Sartre's view of sex, including Murray S. Davis, who was or is a philosopher, even though the article doesn't note as much. Given that several authors have discussed Sartre's view of sex and credited him with important contributions in this area it is perfectly appropriate to mention that in the lead. Other relevant authors who have discussed Sartre's view of sex include Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, for example. Here as elsewhere you're seeing problems that don't exist in reality. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 04:16, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
You don't need to act aggressively towards other editors just because they disagree with your editing choices.
The manual of style on the lead section says the following: "According to the policy on due weight, emphasis given to material should reflect its relative importance to the subject, according to published reliable sources. This is true for both the lead and the body of the article. If there is a difference in emphasis between the two, editors should seek to resolve the discrepancy."
There are two major issues here: Firstly, experts on the philosophy of sex discussing Sartre on the philosophy of sex do not qualify as authorities on the relative importance of Sartre's views on the philosophy of sex compared to his views on everything else. You would need to cite a source that is an overview of Sartre's work (or on Being and Nothingness in particular) and that credits his work on the philosophy of sex as some of his most important. Secondly, the philosophy of sex takes up a very small portion of the body of the article, and yet is mentioned in the lead. According to the manual of style, if a significant section of the article does not have an emphasis on the philosophy of sex, it is a violation of WP:UNDUE to talk about it in the lead. --Drevolt (talk) 04:28, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
I am not acting "aggressively towards other editors just because they disagree with your editing choices". I've responded to your arguments with counter-arguments, which is normal in the context of a talk page discussion. Deal with it.
Furthermore, you don't have to quote the manual of style to me, thank you. That "As in the body of the article itself, the emphasis given to material in the lead should roughly reflect its importance to the topic, according to reliable, published sources" certainly does not mean that I have to "cite a source that is an overview of Sartre's work (or on Being and Nothingness in particular) and that credits his work on the philosophy of sex as some of his most important". You are trying to draw conclusions from the guideline that it doesn't support. The relative importance of "Sartre's views on the philosophy of sex" in the context of this article depends on how much space the article gives to addressing them. It's perfectly obvious that they are important given the existence of multiple authors discussing them. Your comment, "According to the manual of style, if a significant section of the article does not have an emphasis on the philosophy of sex, it is a violation of WP:UNDUE to talk about it in the lead", is wrong. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 04:41, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
You said: "Here as elsewhere you're seeing problems that don't exist in reality." - I think that qualifies as unnecessary aggression.
That an additional source is needed is not my opinion, it's Wikipedia policy. As I quoted before, "According to the policy on due weight, emphasis given to material should reflect its relative importance to the subject, according to published reliable sources." The key point is that the work of specialists in the philosophy of sex does not establish the relative importance of the philosophy of sex over many other issues in Being and Nothingness. There are plenty of overviews of Sartre's work and of philosophy as a whole to verify that ideas like bad faith and nothingness are essential parts of Sartre's oeuvre. I can find none that speak similarly of his views on sex. But even if I granted you the first point, it's the second point that is much more important.
The philosophy of sex is a very small part of the article, and therefore should not be covered in the lead. This is especially conspicuous given that notable ideas from the book are missing in the lead, but it would be true even if this were not the case. As it stands, this is a clear violation of the manual of style and of WP:UNDUE, and needs to be removed on those grounds. --Drevolt (talk) 04:42, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Drevolt, when most people use the term "aggression", they mean things like hitting someone over the head, or other kinds of physical violence. I didn't direct physical violence at you. I typed some words onto a computer screen. The words express disagreement with your views, but disagreeing with someone is isn't considered unacceptable. WP:LEAD does indeed state, " As in the body of the article itself, the emphasis given to material in the lead should roughly reflect its importance to the topic, according to reliable, published sources", but you have clearly missed the point of that statement. It is immediately followed by, "Apart from basic facts, significant information should not appear in the lead if it is not covered in the remainder of the article". That makes it quite clear that what is covered in the main body of the article determines what counts as important for the lead. Given that the article lists multiple authors who have discussed Sartre's view of sex, it is entirely reasonable to consider Sartre's view of sex an important point worth mentioning in the lead. Your arguments to the contrary are completely contrived. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 04:54, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Drevolt, in this edit you removed content from the lead with the comment, "Removed sentence about the philosophy of sex from lead that violated style policy for lead sections and WP:UNDUE". To be perfectly clear about it: that material does not violate "style policy for lead sections and WP:UNDUE." It is entirely appropriate material that you have removed for worthless and contrived reasons, and I will restore it. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 04:58, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
I clearly did not mean "physical violence" when I said "aggression". Substitute in the word "hostility" if you have a problem with the word "aggression". And needless hostility between editors is significantly discouraged, it's to the detriment of the Wikipedia community as a whole.
The sentence you are quoting is a completely different point from what I quoted (that sentence is simply stating that if a given topic is entirely absent from the body, it should not be in the lead). The policy is NOT stating that if it is covered in the body of the article, it is automatically permissible to include it in the lead. If that were the case, people would be allowed to include their favorite niche information from the body of an article in the lead, which is what the policy is explicitly denouncing. The policy states that "if there is a difference in emphasis between [the lead and the body], editors should seek to resolve the discrepancy", and given that the philosophy of sex is covered significantly less in the body of the article than various other points that are not mentioned in the lead, I am obligated by Wikipedia policy to remove it from the lead. I realize that this is a topic you find particularly interesting, but it unambiguously does not meet Wikipedia policy criteria for inclusion in the lead. Please do not start engaging in edit warring over this issue. --Drevolt (talk) 05:01, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
You have misunderstood the relevant guideline. Per WP:LEAD: "As in the body of the article itself, the emphasis given to material in the lead should roughly reflect its importance to the topic, according to reliable, published sources." The existence of numerous sources discussing Sartre's view of sex as expressed in Being and Nothingness is sufficient to show that the subject is considered an important aspect of the book and worth mentioning in the lead.
There is no need for sources stating, in so many words, that the philosophy of sex is one of the key aspects of Being and Nothingness. In fact there are no sources in the "reception" section of the article stating what the key aspects of Being and Nothingness are, and nor would it be helpful to add such sources, since the point of that section is to include evaluations of a book, not to state what its key themes are; that's the purpose of the "summary" section. You are demanding, with respect to the content about the philosophy of sex, a standard that you have not applied to anything else. For example, you left the material about the criticism of Sartre's treatment of Freud in the lead, despite the absence of sources stating that Sartre's discussion of Freud is one of the key aspects of Being and Nothingness. The same remarks apply to the part of the lead stating that Being and Nothingness is the "most important non-fiction expression of Sartre's existentialism": again, there are no sources stating in so many words that expressing existentialism is one of the key aspects of the book.
So your position is utterly inconsistent and I find it worthless. If you cannot apply it consistently, there is no reason for other people to take it seriously. So your rationale for removing the reference to the philosophy of sex from the lead is completely baseless. I will revert all your recent edits, which are destructive and unhelpful, removing much properly cited article content for no good reason. Per WP:BRD, the onus is on you to get consensus for your edits on the talk page. In the absence of any such consensus, your edits can be undone. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 08:25, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
WP:BRD states that you should revert only when necessary and add on to changes rather than reverting whenever possible. This is clearly possible here. Since you have just explicitly stated that you plan on reverting all of my recent edits, despite the fact that I cited policies and gave carefully reasoned edit summaries on them, wholesale reversions can and will be taken as disruptive editing and I will not let them stand. The article is in bad shape right now, partly because of insufficient coverage of the book’s main themes, partly because of the excessive focus on a niche topic that is barely covered in secondary literature. There is a tremendous amount of work on Being and Nothingness out there, and very little (if any) go into great detail about the philosophy of sex. It makes up a very small part of the original book, and only one philosopher has even been cited as having discussed it here (Scruton). On the other hand, I can give you dozens of sources discussing the influence and significance of Sartre’s idea of bad faith (for instance) if you want them, yet bad faith is not even mentioned in the lead. This ultimately constitutes a huge mess of WP:UNDUE and NPOV violations. I am not saying that you cannot cover a niche topic in an article, but it has to be treated as a niche topic, not discussed as if it was one of the primary topics covered either in the book or the secondary literature. If you try to reintroduce the blatant policy violations that I have removed or that I am in the process of fixing rather than trying to contribute positively, we can take this to dispute resolution and you can have multiple other editors tell you exactly what I’m already telling you. You cannot and will not intimidate me into letting flagrant policy violations stand. —Drevolt (talk) 08:22, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Reverting your unhelpful and misguided edits is necessary, because they markedly lower the quality of the article. Yes, you cited policies, but no, the cited policies don't support your changes. I disagree with your "carefully reasoned edit summaries". I've tried to explain to you above that you are applying a standard to the content about the philosophy of sex that you have not applied to anything else in the article, thus making your position inconsistent: you have simply ignored the point, suggesting that you don't understand the problem. Labeling reverts of your edits "disruptive editing" amounts to saying that disagreeing with you is disruption. Sorry, but no, it isn't. Declaring that you won't accept reverts of your edits is childish, especially in a case where no one is supporting your edits and there is no consensus in their favor. The appropriate response is to wait to see what other editors, besides those involved in the original dispute, think, and to try to develop consensus on that basis. Finally, making statements such as, "You cannot and will not intimidate me into letting flagrant policy violations stand", is also childish. How, pray, am I "intimidating" you? Just by criticizing your edits? FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 08:35, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
I’m not planning on labeling any and all reverts disruptive editing, I never said that. I’m planning on labeling willfully destructive wholesale reversion of constructive edits for no other apparent reason than “I wrote that so I have to protect what I wrote”, if you do go on to engage in that. Feel free to revert edits I made where there is a principled policy backing you up, but if you start indiscriminately reverting changes you don’t like, I will not let it stand, and I will take it to dispute resolution. The fact that you’ve been able to get away with bad editing practices on this page in the past does not mean that you’re entitled to leave content that unambiguously violates policy here indefinitely. And on your point about “inconsistent” application of policy, I’m trying to apply this evenly to the page. You’ll see that I’ve tried to make changes elsewhere, but there are a lot of problems that have built up over time. I would appreciate it, though, if you would help try to fix the POV problems on the page rather than trying to reinstitute the ones I’ve already gotten around to handling. —Drevolt (talk) 08:41, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Your suggestion that I would engage in "willfully destructive wholesale reversion of constructive edits" is an insult. I do not make "willfully destructive" edits; that's called vandalism. If you want to falsely label good faith reverts vandalism and report them as such, that won't help you. Experienced editors recognize false accusations of vandalism when they see them, and know how to distinguish vandalism from content disputes such as this. The reason I intend to revert your recent changes is that they are unhelpful: that's all. Again I repeat that you are demanding a standard for content concerning the philosophy of sex that you have made no attempt to apply to anything else whatever. So your position on it is worthless. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 08:45, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Can you point to any other topics discussed in the lead that are held up exclusively by the work of a single philosopher? Or any significant discussion anywhere? Again, only one philosopher has been cited on this topic, an expert of the philosophy of sex, and his mention of it has very little secondary literature surrounding it. There are surely other spurious claims that violate NPOV policy in the article, but none as flagrant as the previous claims about the purported notability of this topic in the lead. —Drevolt (talk) 08:50, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Your initial objection to including the material on the philosophy of sex in the lead was, "There are plenty of overviews of Sartre's work and of philosophy as a whole to verify that ideas like bad faith and nothingness are essential parts of Sartre's oeuvre. I can find none that speak similarly of his views on sex." As noted, you have not applied that standard to the material on Freud, or on any other subject, showing that you aren't consistently applying your own misguided standard. Your recent comment looks like an attempt to side-step the point.
It's beside the point whether the authors discussing Sartre's view of sex in Being and Nothingness are philosophers or not. A sociologist (as you have claimed Murray S. Davis to be) is fine, for example, if he has relevant academic qualifications and is published by a respectable academic press like the University of Chicago. You are making this up as you go along. Though it's not really the key issue here, there are certainly other philosophers who've discussed Sartre's view of sex: I mentioned Maxine Sheets-Johnstone as an example. It would be useful to add something about her assessment of Sartre on sex. I haven't done it yet, but could do it, as I've some of her books to hand. To clarify my earlier comments, I don't intend necessarily to revert all your recent changes; just the ones I see as unjustified. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 09:03, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
You know very well that the fact that SOMEONE discussed a topic does not automatically make it notable, I’m talking about relevant figures in the field. Most of the individuals cited in the Reception section qualify (I was considering removing the comment from the director since it’s questionable whether or not he constitutes an authority here, but that’s another story), but if you have to suddenly start citing non-notable people (e.g. very few scholarly citations) or people working in other fields, it starts to become pretty obvious that you don’t have firm ground to stand on in making claims about the notability of this topic. Again, you know as well as I do what the WP:UNDUE policy is, and you should know how to abide by it as well. —Drevolt (talk) 09:04, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
I'm a total stranger you have never met, so how fucking presumptuous to tell me what I do and do not know. Also, on Wikipedia, the term "notable" refers to whether a subject deserves its own dedicated article, which isn't what is at issue here. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 09:05, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Given that you’ve made 178,000 edits, if you aren’t familiar with these policies by now, I’m concerned for the future of Wikipedia. —Drevolt (talk) 09:07, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
You are the one showing lack of familiarity with policy. WP:NOTE: "On Wikipedia, notability is a test used by editors to decide whether a given topic warrants its own article." We are not discussing whether a particular topic deserves its own article, so it is confused of you to even mention notability. You complained about "citing non-notable people"; again Wikipedia doesn't have a rule that someone has to be "notable" (meaning that they deserve an article specifically about them) to be cited, and considering its consequences, such a rule would be stupid. If you believe that someone has to be a philosopher in order to be cited in an article about a book by a philosopher, you might want to cite a relevant policy. I am reasonably confident that no such policy exists. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 09:17, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

This doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, so I’m reaching out for a third opinion on the topic. Might be worth opening it up to a request for comments as well in order to try to build consensus about how policy applies here. —Drevolt (talk) 09:23, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

Since you mentioned WP:DUE, let's discuss how it is relevant here. It states, "Neutrality requires that each article or other page in the mainspace fairly represents all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources." If there are multiple sources discussing Sartre's views on sex in Being and Nothingness, then that obviously shows that the philosophy of sex has a prominent place in discussions of Being and Nothingness. It supports what I've said all along, which is that the existence of multiple sources discussing Sartre's view of human sexuality shows that the subject is worth mentioning in the lead. You clearly disagree, but your disagreement is based on your misunderstanding of the relevant policies and guidelines and your own baseless presumptions about which sources the article should cite. WP:LEAD states, " According to the policy on due weight, emphasis given to material should reflect its relative importance to the subject, according to published reliable sources"; apparently you think that this means that sources have to state in so many words that something is important to a subject in order for it to warrant mentioning in the lead. That's a misunderstanding: multiple sources discussing something at all suffices to show that it is important to the subject. You also apparently believe the article should not cite the views of non-philosophers. You are wrong; there is no rule establishing that the views of non-philosophers (sociologists, etc) are irrelevant or inappropriate here. You have also not tried to apply your views consistently and clearly it would be impossible to do so in practice. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 09:46, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
The absurdity of your position overall is clear from the fact that you believe that it is necessary to "cite a source that is an overview of Sartre's work (or on Being and Nothingness in particular) and that credits his work on the philosophy of sex as some of his most important" for it to be appropriate to mention Sartre's views on sex in the lead, even though you have never cited any source "that is an overview of Sartre's work (or on Being and Nothingness in particular)" that credits his work on any topic as being "some of his most important" in order to justify mentioning that topic in the lead. You have insisted that an evidentiary standard be met in the case of the philosophy of sex that you have not even tried to meet yourself for any other subject. What you are arguing is thus inconsistent, irrational, and utterly untenable. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 10:34, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
FreeKnowledgeCreator, I think we started off on the wrong foot. I have to admit that looking back, I was being overly critical regarding the issues with the article, and I really didn't mean for it to devolve into an argument. It seems clear to me that we both want what's best for Wikipedia, and I shouldn't have been so combative in my way of discussing the issue. I'm going to try to give you the same resources I'm looking at, and looking at them together, we can discuss whether or not the philosophy of sex merits inclusion in the lead. And please do remember, I'm not contesting that it deserves a mention anywhere, I'm contesting that it is significant enough to discuss in the lead and to treat as if it were a major topic in either Being and Nothingness or the secondary literature on the book.
A good starting point for looking through the philosophical literature on a topic (along with the two most prominent philosophy encyclopedias, SEP and IEP) is PhilPapers, which makes it really easy to comb through it all. Relevant literature will not always be properly tagged, so there can be both false positives and false negatives, but it's a very good starting point. For instance, check out this page for a list of the 2597 sources tagged as being about Jean-Paul Sartre. As an example, searching through them, I was able to find a total of approximately 100 papers and books on the topic of bad faith, and this is a topic that is not even mentioned in the lead (note: searching outside of the tagged sources turned up an additional ~20 relevant sources, for a total of approximately 120 overall). On the topic of sex in Sartre, I was only able to find four sources (please feel free to search through PhilPapers yourself, as I may have missed some). One of those four sources (Naomi Greene's "Sartre, Sexuality, and The Second Sex") explicitly discusses "anti-sexual bias" in Sartre, talking about a "distaste for sexuality" found throughout his work. Also keep in mind that neither the page on Sartre on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, nor the page on him on the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, makes a single mention of the topic. These are both written and edited by big names in the field, so it's a sign that a topic does not play a major role in the literature. For more resources particular to continental philosophy, you can also try this page.
As far as representative secondary literature that will give you a broad overview of Sartre's most influential and widely-discussed ideas, I would recommend checking out Sartre's Being and Nothingness by Sebastian Gardner. Another good volume is Reading Sartre: On Phenomenology and Existentialism, which is a collection of essays edited by Jonathan Webber and featuring various people who have been important in contemporary Sartre scholarship. Both will give you a sense of what parts of Being and Nothingness have been influential and which have not been.
Of course, the situation would be different if the discussion of the philosophy of sex took up a larger section of Being and Nothingness itself, but it is a very small fraction of the book, and as far as I can see, it plays no role in the arguments that Sartre advances as the book's central theses (please correct me if you think I am misrepresenting anything about the book here). As far as the secondary literature is concerned, a mention in a sociology text does not make up for the fact that there is a very, very small literature on Sartre's philosophy of sex and an enormous literature on many other topics that could be brought up in the lead instead. Giving a prominent mention to something that has not played a prominent role in the literature just seems like a classic example of giving something undue weight.
I hope that all of this has helped to clear up the reasons why I am concerned about how this particular topic has been given prominence in the article. If you think that there are other issues with undue weight being given to particular topics that have not been shown to be significant by the secondary literature, please do bring them up. My hope is that we can work together to improve the article in a way that we'll both find satisfactory. --Drevolt (talk) 03:29, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Drevolt, as a general rule, there is no point in repeating yourself. It does tend to imply that the person you are talking to is stupid and cannot understand your points without repetition. You already made your point about the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and I already told you that it was irrelevant. Since you disdain to repeat yourself, I will do so also. As I wrote: "There is no rule that Wikipedia has to do exactly what the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy do, and if there was, it would be stupid, since Wikipedia is a different kind of project entirely." Your comment above makes it clear, at enormous and tedious length, that you haven't understood how Wikipedia operates. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 03:38, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
FreeKnowledgeCreator, the SEP and the IEP don't play a big role in what I wrote, please read over the rest of what I wrote. I only mentioned them very, very briefly, and none of the other information I communicated has to do with them. I am trying to lay all of my cards out on the table so that we can have a levelheaded discussion about this issue and try to get somewhere with it. Could you please take a look at the rest of the resources above and let me know what you think? --Drevolt (talk) 03:43, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
No. I don't appreciate your talking down to me and telling me to review particular books. I am not your student, and I've no intention of ever doing so. I don't answer to you, after all. Your comments show a misunderstanding of Wikipedia's policies and guidelines. That misunderstanding remains the problem here. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 03:48, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
I'm not talking down to you, I'm honoring your requests. You asked me to cite sources on that provide an overview of Sartre's work and discuss the most important topics, and I did. You asked me to show that the philosophy of sex does not play a significant role in the secondary literature on Being and Nothingness, and I did. If you think that the philosophy of sex is still notable enough to mention in the lead despite all of the above information, could you please explain why? And could you also explain how anything I said above demonstrated a misunderstanding of Wikipedia policy and guidelines? I'm trying to understand your perspective here. --Drevolt (talk) 03:55, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
I already noted your misunderstandings above. You ignored me and responded patronizingly with a list of books and articles for me. I don't want it and didn't ask for it. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 04:12, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
In what way did I ignore what you wrote or patronize you? I responded directly to your claims in what I wrote above. And you explicitly asked me to provide sources for my claims, which I did. I am trying to be reasonable and talk about the available literature here (which is what you were saying you wanted to do), but if we're going to get anywhere, you need to actually address what I'm saying to you. How is a topic that has barely been covered in the vast literature of a widely-discussed philosophy book significant enough to be discussed in the lead? --Drevolt (talk) 04:20, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Above I wrote a paragraph beginning with, "Since you mentioned WP:DUE, let's discuss how it is relevant here." How did you ignore it? You ignored it by not responding to a single thing I said there, that's how. Pretty obvious really. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 04:24, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
That paragraph was about WP:DUE, which as you quoted, states that views should be covered "in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources". I demonstrated that there is an enormous amount of literature on many other topics from Being and Nothingness and that this is very little literature on the philosophy of sex in Being and Nothingness. How does disproving your claim about the topic being prominent in the literature constitute ignoring your point? --Drevolt (talk) 04:26, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
No, you didn't demonstrate that. There are numerous sources discussing Sartre's view of sex and several were cited in the article, even though you removed at least one, on the completely spurious grounds that the author concerned was not a philosopher. I also noted above, " WP:LEAD states, " According to the policy on due weight, emphasis given to material should reflect its relative importance to the subject, according to published reliable sources"; apparently you think that this means that sources have to state in so many words that something is important to a subject in order for it to warrant mentioning in the lead. That's a misunderstanding: multiple sources discussing something at all suffices to show that it is important to the subject. You also apparently believe the article should not cite the views of non-philosophers. You are wrong; there is no rule establishing that the views of non-philosophers (sociologists, etc) are irrelevant or inappropriate here. " You ignored these points. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 04:32, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
1. I removed content taken from a book by a medical doctor. Are you seriously trying to argue that a medical doctor counts as a reliable source on philosophy? 2. I reviewed the literature on Sartre and concluded that there is almost nothing written on the philosophy of sex. That seems like a very good reason for excluding something from the lead. The fact that many notable guidebooks and overviews on Being and Nothingness do not mention the philosophy of sex seems to back this claim up, but the literature review seems like more much substantial evidence. 3. When did I say that non-philosophers shouldn't be cited? Philosophers surely have expertise on the topic and should therefore be preferred as sources, but I claimed that a reliance on sources written by non-philosopher in order to make a claim about an area of philosophy (the philosophy of sex) seemed very dubious. I never said that they shouldn't be cited. Does this clear everything up? --Drevolt (talk) 04:40, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
The doctor in question is F. Gonzalez-Crussi. His views, which you removed here, were cited only as his opinion rather than as statements of fact. There was nothing inappropriate about that content. Gonzalez-Crussi has academic qualifications, which is enough to make his views pertinent. You fail to cite any policy showing that the views of non-philosophers, whether physicians, sociologists, or anything else, should not be mentioned in an article about a book by a philosopher. You can't do it because there is no policy to that effect.
Your question, is furthermore disingenuous, since the content cited to Gonzalez-Crussi, while it does relate to Being and Nothingness, is not properly about "philosophy" at all. It reads, "the physician Frank Gonzalez-Crussi credited Sartre with being "the first to realize that by an error of perspective the average man deludes himself into thinking that sexual desire is the same as desire of coition" in On the Nature of Things Erotic (1988). He endorsed Sartre's view that "Desire in no way implies by itself the sexual act"." The first part of that is a general statement about the originality of Sartre's views; it is not a comment about "philosophy" per se. The latter is an endorsement of a particular view of sexual desire, not a comment on "philosophy" as such. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 05:10, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Your claim that you showed that "there is almost nothing written on the philosophy of sex" in literature on Sartre is false. There are multiple sources that do discuss Sartre's perspective on human sexuality. Murray S. Davis and Roger Scruton may be the only two currently cited, but others definitely exist and could and should be added (Sheets-Johnstone is another example). The fact that more than one author credits Sartre with important contributions in this area is enough to show that your assertion that there is "almost nothing" on the subject is simply wrong. I am sure that you are completely correct that "that many notable guidebooks and overviews on Being and Nothingness do not mention the philosophy of sex", and I'm equally sure that is irrelevant. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 05:10, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
On your first and second paragraphs:When did I say that the views of non-philosophers shouldn't be mentioned? What I'm saying that sources should, when possible, prefer the views of experts on a topic over non-experts. Thousands of people have written about their views on Sartre, and the fact that someone expressed an opinion in a published source does not mean that it is worthy of inclusion. It would usually seem questionable to include a philosopher's views on a book about medicine, and the same applies in the opposite direction. Moreover, Gonzalez-Crussi was quoted as making a statement of fact, claiming that Sartre was "the first to realize that by an error of perspective the average man deludes himself into thinking that sexual desire is the same as desire of coition". This is not just his opinion. On what grounds is he qualified to make this claim? Is he a scholar of philosophy? Does he have academic qualifications in philosophy at all? I couldn't find anything stating that he was qualified to make this sort of claim, and so I removed it.
On your third paragraph: Did you not see the part where I searched a reliable philosophy database that included 2597 sources on Sartre and found only four sources on the philosophy of sex, one of which outright denied that sex played a significant role in Sartre's work? And that there are significant topics in Being and Nothingness that are not even mentioned in the lead with approximately 120 sources on the same database? As you quoted from WP:UNDUE, "Neutrality requires that each article or other page in the mainspace fairly represents all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources." If the number of papers and books published on Topic A is in the single digits (again, I found four, which is incredibly small), and if the number of papers and books on Topic B, Topic C, Topic D, and Topic E is each in the triple digits, Topic A is clearly not prominent enough to bring up in the lead. --Drevolt (talk) 05:14, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
OK, apparently you accept that the views of non-philosophers can be mentioned. Fine. I wasn't quite clear about that, maybe because you expressed yourself very poorly. Your other comments are utterly confused as usual. Yes, of course Gonzalez-Crussi made a claim that he presented as fact. However, the article did not present it as fact or say that it was correct. It presented it as his opinion. Is there some special reason you can't understand that very simple distinction? That Gonzalez-Crussi has academic qualifications is perfectly sufficient to make his opinion about the originality of Sartre in Being and Nothingness worth mentioning as his opinion. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 05:21, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
1. What are his academic qualifications? 2. I said that he was quoted as making a statement of fact. I think my wording is unambiguous. All I was saying was that he was asserting something to be true, which means that his qualifications to assert that thing need to be held to a higher standard than if he had simply been stating an opinion along the lines of "Sartre's discussion of xyz is wonderful". 3. You're continuing to ignore the information presented in my second paragraph above. Unless you have concrete evidence that contradicts the literature review I conducted, this whole discussion is moot. The philosophy of sex is quantifiably a very minor part of the secondary literature, meaning that it is not prominent enough to discuss in the lead. Period. --Drevolt (talk) 05:39, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
If someone is a physician he has academic qualifications. According to the article F. Gonzalez-Crussi, "F. Gonzalez-Crussi, Professor Emeritus, is a Mexican physician and writer whose career extended along two disciplines, medicine and literature". You could have looked it up yourself easily enough. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 05:46, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
I already did look that up myself. I asked you how he was qualified to make claims about philosophy, and you said that it was because of his academic qualifications. I asked what those academic qualifications were, and it turns out that it's just that he's a trained doctor. Surely having an academic background in medicine does not qualify someone to make claims about philosophy, does it? --Drevolt (talk) 05:52, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
No, I didn't say that he was "qualified to make claims about philosophy", I pointed out that his claims were not about philosophy per se. Didn't bother to reply to your discussion of the literature on Sartre as it was beside the point. It is at least very difficult, and may even be impossible in practice, to establish the precise proportion of the literature on Sartre that discusses his perspective on sexuality as you would have to go through all of it - every book and every article - to do that. Do you review all the Sartre literature? Of course not; no one could. It is enough that there at least some sources that credit Sartre's discussion of sexuality as being important; the exact proportion of the literature that discusses his view of sexuality can't be established and is irrelevant anyway. WP:DUE states that, "Neutrality requires that each article or other page in the mainspace fairly represents all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources." If there are multiple sources stating that Sartre's work is an important discussion of sex, that certainly makes it a significant viewpoint. What proportion of the literature on Sartre deals specifically with the issue of sex is not pertinent. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 06:31, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
You say: "It is enough that there at least some sources that credit Sartre's discussion of sexuality as being important; the exact proportion of the literature that discusses his view of sexuality can't be established and is irrelevant anyway." You clearly do not understand WP:UNDUE or the manual of style. If a view is discussed closely in 5-8 sources and ignored entirely or almost entirely in 2500+ sources, then it is not a prominent viewpoint in the published, reliable sources. This is not an ambiguous policy. --Drevolt (talk) 06:35, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
As I said, there is no way to determine the precise proportion of the literature on Sartre that deals specifically with sex. Where you got the idea that only 5 or 8 sources about Sartre deal with sex, I do not know. You have no means of knowing what proportion of Sartre deals with sex because you have no means of reviewing it all. There is too much of it. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 06:41, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
I got it from the literature review that I conducted and that you willfully ignored. Like I said, I gave you all of the resources that I was using, prove me wrong if there have secretly been dozens and dozens of papers on this exact topic out there this whole time. I was easily able to prove that there are prominent topics with over a hundred sources backing them, so if Sartre's philosophy of sex really is a prominent topic in the literature, it shouldn't be too hard for you to do the same. Unless you can produce actual evidence to back it up, your claims regarding its prominence are worthless. --Drevolt (talk) 06:45, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
I "willfully ignored" it due to its irrelevance. You seem stuck on the idea that the exact proportion of the literature on Sartre that discusses sex is the decisive issue; actually the decisive issue is to what extent the literature that does discuss Sartre on sex credits his contributions as being important. So long as you have multiple sources saying that his contributions are important, versus few to no sources denying that, then the view that Sartre's contributions to understanding human sexuality are important definitely qualifies as a significant view. Sources that just don't discuss Sartre on sex at all have no bearing on the matter. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 06:50, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
If you're going to blatantly deny the content of unambiguous policies, I don't see how we're ever going to get anywhere on this issue. --Drevolt (talk) 07:00, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Drevolt, I thank you for that comment, truly I do. Its irrelevance and failure to respond rationally to what I stated above shows that you don't have any valid response to make. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 07:07, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

Third Opinion commentEdit

A Third Opinion has been requested. However, the above discussion is so lengthy that I cannot quickly parse what the question is. Will each editor please state in one paragraph what their view is so that I can decide which I agree with? Robert McClenon (talk) 03:52, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

Hi Robert McClenon, thank you for offering to do this. The page previously included claims in the lead about Sartre's work on the philosophy of sex in Being and Nothingness, something which plays a very minor role in both the original book and in the secondary literature on it (see my 03:29, 16 May 2019 post above for evidence backing this up; an extensive search showed in quantifiable terms that there is very little secondary literature on this topic). FreeKnowledgeCreator maintains that it is worthy of a mention in the lead because of one philosopher (Scruton, a specialist on the philosophy of sex) whose opinion on the topic is cited in the Reception section, along with a mention in a sociology book (Davis). He has also been claiming that a source I removed from a book written by a medical doctor supported the claim, but given that it was written by someone whose qualifications in philosophy seem questionable, I'm not sure how the inclusion of that source could bolster the claim that this topic is prominent in the secondary literature. Given the dearth of philosophical literature on the topic, and given that only a very small part of the original book actually deals with sex, it is not prominent enough to be brought up in the lead at all (especially given that the number of papers and books on it is in the single digits, while there are central topics of the book with well over a hundred articles or books about them that are not included in the lead). Discussing it in the lead as if it were a central part of the book and/or its reception clearly contradicts the manual of style and seems like an instance of assigning undue weight to a topic. --Drevolt (talk) 04:05, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
WP:LEAD states, "The lead section (also known as the lead or introduction) of a Wikipedia article is the section before the table of contents and the first heading. The lead serves as an introduction to the article and a summary of its most important contents." Since the article's "reception" section discusses multiple authors who credit Sartre with making important contributions to understanding human sexuality in Being and Nothingness, it is not only acceptable for the lead to state that the book "is a noted contribution to the philosophy of sex, and Sartre has been credited with original insights into sexual desire" but inappropriate for the lead to exclude such information. MOS:LEADREL states, "According to the policy on due weight, emphasis given to material should reflect its relative importance to the subject, according to published reliable sources". Drevolt appears to believe that this means that the exact proportion of the literature on Sartre that discusses his views on the philosophy of sex is what determines whether the topic is important. That is a misunderstanding. What determines the importance of Sartre's discussion of the philosophy of sex is what the sources that discuss it say about it. Both Roger Scruton and Murray S. Davis indicate the importance of Sartre's views on sex, with Scruton stating that Sartre provided "perhaps the most acute philosophical analysis" of sexual desire, and Davis crediting Sartre "with being the first author to present a phenomenological analysis of sex". They both indicate that Sartre's discussion of sexuality is of great importance and originality. Maxine Sheets-Johnstone is another philosopher who has indicated the importance of Sartre's work on sexuality. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 20:51, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

Conspicuous absence of book's central ideas from leadEdit

As it stands right now, the lead includes no mentions of many ideas often mentioned in the secondary literature as central to the work, most notably bad faith and nothingness. This seems like a major oversight that needs to be addressed. I'll try to add some material myself, but it seems like the lead needs a significant overhaul, which I don't myself have time for right now. --Drevolt (talk) 04:46, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

What's the point of that comment? No one is doing anything to stop you from adding material about bad faith and nothingness to the lead. Feel free to add such material; it sounds like a good idea. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 08:48, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Didn’t I just say that I would? I’m adding this comment as a note about something that needs considerable improvement in the page for future reference, which is common practice. I don’t see why you felt the need to reply here. —Drevolt (talk) 08:54, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
It has never been common practice to discuss completely uncontroversial changes to an article before making them. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 08:57, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

  Done -- Recent edits have dealt with this issue. —Drevolt (talk) 19:22, 23 May 2019 (UTC)

Reception sectionEdit

Drevolt, with this edit, you not only restored changes you earlier made, for which you have no consensus, you also removed comments about Sartre's work by the philosopher Maxine Sheets-Johnstone. Sheets-Johnstone's views are not what the third opinion request is concerned with, so you plainly had no grounds to remove them. They are reliably cited material that is very much on topic for the article and removing them obviously lowers its quality. You reverted me here with the comment, "disruptive editing". Please do explain how it was "disruptive" of me to add reliably cited material concerning Sheets-Johnstone's views, and to revert changes you made for which there is absolutely no consensus. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 06:15, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

You are welcome to add more information, but wholesale reversions when it is possible to instead build on what is already there qualify as disruptive editing. In particular, you reverted a bunch of minor, non-contentious fixes without offering an explanation (e.g. including the word "the" before professional information in sentence after sentence is awkward, grammatically dubious, and hurts the flow of the article), which is unquestionably a form of disruptive editing. So is the removal of an NPOV template without fulfilling any of the required conditions. --Drevolt (talk) 06:28, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
As a side note about your new source though, it's questionable how adding a source that simply repeats the same information as other sources improves the article at all. It certainly does not establish the claim that the philosophy of sex plays a significant role in the literature on Sartre if that's what you're after, because despite your failure to understand how prominence in the literature works, there is still a negligible amount of secondary literature on the subject in a vast sea of literature on Being and Nothingness. --Drevolt (talk) 06:28, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
If I am "welcome to add more information", why did you remove the material about Sheets-Johnstone? It was both properly cited and on topic for the article, and improved its quality. You had no justification for removing it in the first place and should now restore it. Your claim that it simply "repeats the same information as other sources" is factually false and suggests you did not look at it carefully; it contains specific information that no other source does. You are the one engaged in disruption if you insist on removing properly cited and appropriate content. Your complaint about "wholesale reversions" is specious. I did not undo all your changes; I simply undid changes that in my judgment don't improve the article, which is perfectly appropriate. I'm afraid your comment that "there is still a negligible amount of secondary literature on the subject in a vast sea of literature on Being and Nothingness" is both confused and beside the point. As I noted above, if there are multiple sources crediting Sartre with providing an important discussion of sexuality in Being and Nothingness, that is enough to show that the subject is important enough to mention in the lead. The exact proportion of the literature on Sartre dealing with sex is both impossible to determine and irrelevant. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 06:36, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
There are hundreds of different views that are expressed in "multiple sources". Do you honestly think that we should have a list of those hundreds of views in the lead? Do you honestly think that policy isn't expressly forbidding that kind of thing? Your misinterpretation of the policy is not only flagrantly wrong (see above), but also would lead to ridiculous editing practices. A niche topic in the literature does not deserve discussion in the lead, no matter how much you personally care about that niche topic. --Drevolt (talk) 06:41, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
No, I think that the lead should reflect the sources actually cited in the article. Sources that aren't cited and probably never will be are of no consequence. WP:DUE states that, "Neutrality requires that each article or other page in the mainspace fairly represents all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources." You have misinterpreted "prominence" to mean that the exact number or proportion of sources discussing Sartre on sex is the decisive issue. It means no such thing; it means that the extent to which a particular view of a subject is endorsed in sources discussing it at all is the decisive issue. So long as you have multiple sources saying that his contributions are important, versus few to no sources denying that, then the view that Sartre's contributions to understanding human sexuality are important definitely qualifies as a significant view. Sources that just don't discuss Sartre on sex at all have no bearing on the matter. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 06:51, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Again, you're blatantly misinterpreting the policy to try to get your way. By your logic, if a single source stated "XYZ IS THE ABSOLUTE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN SARTRE", and there were 2500+ papers that did not discuss XYZ at all, it would have to be included in the lead because the only source that discussed it thought that it was important. And again, there are dozens and dozens of different niche issues that various scholars claim as "the central theme" in Sartre. Are you claiming that we should list those dozens and dozens of different things in the lead if no other sources deal with them? Also, don't forget that there is at least one paper arguing that sex did not play a prominent role in Sartre. --Drevolt (talk) 06:53, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
If there actually were only on single source that credited Sartre with making important contributions to understanding human sexuality, then I would never be in favor of mentioning the issue in the lead and we would not be having this discussion. It is only because is more than one source presenting the viewpoint that Sartre made important contributions in this area that it becomes reasonable and appropriate to mention it in the lead. That, however, stems from my understanding of the guideline WP:LEAD, rather than the policy WP:DUE. You've misunderstood the policy, not me.
I see no evidence that "there are dozens and dozens of different niche issues that various scholars claim as "the central theme" in Sartre" so your unsupported hypothetical question is irrelevant. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 07:01, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Drevolt, with this edit, you added the following text, "Contrary to these claims, however, Naomi Greene maintains that there is a "distaste for sexuality" in Sartre's work, identifying a clear "anti-sexual bias" present in both Being and Nothingness and his novels.". Most of that was a helpful addition. However, the "Contrary to these claims" part was inappropriate and inaccurate editorial commentary. It implies that Greene's views contradict those of Sheets-Johnstone. Firstly, I see no evidence that Greene contradicts anything stated by Sheets-Johnstone; secondly, it is not our job as editors to point out that Greene contradicts Sheets-Johnstone even if that is the case. Readers should be left free to decide how to understand both authors. I will remove the "Contrary to these claims" part, as original research, if you don't remove it yourself. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 07:09, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
I removed the wording you didn't like. Now FreeKnowledgeCreator please remove the following false/misleading statement from your above, as I clearly accidentally removed it and then subsequently restored it: "Maxine Sheets-Johnstone is another philosopher who has indicated the importance of Sartre's work on sexuality, but Drevolt removed the material I added about her views, with no explanation. Removing properly cited and on-topic material without justification is unacceptable." --Drevolt (talk) 07:16, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Removed the now outdated part, and I would have done so anyway. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 07:58, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

RfC on discussion of the philosophy of sex in leadEdit

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
After some discussion, no clear consensus was reached. However, the two main editors involved were able to agree on a provisional set of changes to the article and the direction that future edits should take, ending the need for a request for comment on this topic. --Drevolt (talk) 04:09, 22 May 2019 (UTC)

Is the philosophy of sex prominent enough in the secondary literature on Being and Nothingness to warrant inclusion in the lead? --Drevolt (talk) 21:13, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

  • No - It is a very niche topic in the literature, so discussing it in the lead directly contradicts the manual of style regarding relative emphasis in the lead and gives it undue weight in the article. Among approximately 2600 books and papers on Jean-Paul Sartre's work on the PhilPapers database, fewer than ten are on the philosophy of sex. The topic is not mentioned at all in the pages on Being and Nothingness in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Given the dearth of philosophical literature on the topic and the brevity with which it is discussed in Being and Nothingness, it is not prominent enough to be discussed in the lead. --Drevolt (talk) 21:13, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment Drevolt, there is no point in having a request for comment when you already requested a third opinion. A request for comment is a kind of last resort when no other form of dispute resolution works. Give the third opinion request time to work before placing requests for comment, as a third opinion request is only for disputes between two people. Also, you're just repeating the same fallacies as before. Per WP:LEAD, the lead serves as a summary of the article's most important contents. As the article contains multiple sources crediting Sartre with making important contributions to understanding human sexuality, of course the view that Sartre made such contributions is one of the most important points of the article, and is both desirable and necessary to mention it. The precise proportion of the literature on Being and Nothingness that discusses the topic has no relevance to anything. The exact amount of space that Sartre devotes to discussing the subject in Being and Nothingness is likewise an utter irrelevance. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 21:24, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
    • FreeKnowledgeCreator, please reread Wikipedia:Requests for comment, a request for comment is not a last resort and can be run alongside a third opinion request. You are welcome to offer your own response, but this comment is disruptive to the RfC process and is not appropriate to include here. Please remove it or move it to a different section for further discussion. --Drevolt (talk) 21:30, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
      • No, I will do no such thing. My comment directly addresses the issue being discussed. I have suggested to Robert McClenon that he decline to give a third opinion. As I said, third opinions are for disputes between two people, and placing requests for comment will inevitably mean that the dispute is no longer between two people only. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 21:33, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
        • A request for comment is a place for considering the reasons in favor or against a given editing decision. I think that inserting this argumentative comment rather than simply participating in the RfC process reflects very poorly on your position, but if you choose to leave it in, I won't stop you. --Drevolt (talk) 21:39, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
  • No It seems to me that placing a significant emphasis on the topic would give undue weight on the subject material. However, a general, passing reference discussing the points made in the book WOULD be appropriate: "In his book, the author discusses the role of X, Y, sex, and Z and its impact on society and the psyche. It was well-received by the community..." Buffs (talk) 19:47, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment FreeKnowledgeCreator, this is a collaborative encyclopedia. As such, the discussion between you two is not confined to just both of you. If it cannot be resolved or others feel they can contribute, they are welcome to do so. Buffs (talk) 19:47, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
    • With more than a decade of experience, I understand perfectly well that "this is a collaborative encyclopedia." I have done nothing to stop others from commenting, and I welcome their comments. I simply noted that a request for comment makes a third opinion request misplaced. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 21:31, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
  • That's not how the lead works - The lead summarizes the rest of the article. Based on the current state of the article, It seems so. If, through the process of editing, there is no longer enough material to merit inclusion in the lead, then it can be removed. (Coming to this through the RfC, so if there's additional context required here, beyond some basic knowledge of the subject, include it in this section). — Rhododendrites talk \\ 21:34, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
    • Hello, Rhododendrites. It would help if you could indicate a little more clearly whether you support inclusion of the (short) material about the philosophy of sex in the lead or not. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 21:36, 17 May 2019 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Lead wordingEdit

Drevolt, thank you for this edit. I believe it is reasonable for both of us to respect the outcome of the request for comment, whatever it proves to be. However, I am not sure that I prefer the exact wording that you added ("Many have praised the book's central notion that "existence precedes essence", its introduction of the concept of bad faith, and its exploration of nothingness, as well as its novel contributions to the philosophy of sex."). The lead should certainly note what Sartre's main contributions are seen as being, but the precise wording should be open to discussion. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 03:43, 18 May 2019 (UTC)

  • I'm glad to hear you say that, and I feel the same way. As far as the wording of the lead is concerned, I'm open to changes being made to it. The more I've thought about it, the more I've realized that my concern was less that about the mention of the philosophy of sex in the lead at all, and more that it seemed like its discussion was disproportionate compared to the major issues in Being and Nothingness, so I thought I would try to work out how we could write a more balanced introduction. There are almost certainly better ways to phrase it, but hopefully this was at least a good first attempt. If we're able to find a way to word the lead that we can agree on, I would be fine with declaring the issue settled and closing the request for comment. --Drevolt (talk) 04:42, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
    • The request for comment was closed prematurely. Per WP:RFCCLOSE: "An RfC should last until enough comment has been received that consensus is reached, or until it is apparent it won't be." The request for comment was open for such a short time that it is by no means clear that a consensus will not be reached. The relevant page suggests 30 days as a length for an RfC. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 04:15, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
      • Hi FreeKnowledgeCreator, it seems to me that we don’t need an RfC now that we’ve come to a mutual understanding here, there’s no point in drawing it out any further if the question no longer applies. Per RfC policy, “the question may be withdrawn by the poster“, and since I was the one who posted it and I no longer feel that it’s needed, it seemed like the right way to handle it. —Drevolt (talk) 18:06, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
Return to "Being and Nothingness" page.