Saturday, March 20, 2010

Wikipedia Articles on Concepts

In idle moments, I have been known to press the random article button on Wikipedia. What a mistake! Depressingly the Encyclopaedia is just packed with articles which in the broadest sense we might call topographical: albums, single, football players, rocks, plants, townships, high schools, shipping firms etc. etc. And it is only going to get worse. This detritus of the human existence knows no limits to its extent.

To counterbalance this trend, I thought that it would be fun to filter out articles which in the broadest sense we might call conceptual or treating of concepts. Here is the story of my journey:

21'46: Five minutes in using the Random Button and still nothing. It is clear that I am going to have to be a little forensic about digging out articles on concepts. Here is one user's experience of 250 pages and their multifarious contents: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Opabinia_regalis/Article_statistics.

21'58: Searching from 'concept*' in the Category field, I have begun to pull out one or two interesting terms:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trope_%28philosophy%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsimony
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Relativity
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essentially_contested_concept
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifiability
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Existential_quantification
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbrand_universe
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantifier_elimination
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperreal_number
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_%28model_theory%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_sufficient_reason
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KK_thesis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_justification
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axiom_of_countable_choice
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universe_of_discourse

Yawn. Sorry guys. A lot of hunting, and a reasonable trawl for the night, but at 10'36 and after many distractions, I'm away to bed (to read!)