At http://stackexchange.com/sites, the short description under Philosophy is "Q&A for those interested in logical reasoning". I think this is somewhat misleading and diverts potential traffic away from us because people think the site is only about logic. I use that /sites portal page to browse the SE sites fairly often, and I imagine others who use it could be thrown off by our description. Can we get this description changed?

This has been brought up before, and I provided alternative short description as well: https://philosophy.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/171/update-the-faq-what-is-a-good-summary-for-this-site

Here are some ideas I offered:

For those interested in the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge, or conduct.


For those interested in the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence.

  • There was some discussion on this here -- I raised the issue there since it seemed messy to say one thing in our FAQ, and something else on other spots on SE
    – Joseph Weissman Mod
    Dec 2, 2011 at 2:51
  • 2
    I want to continue to push for this, as I think even these little changes over time can increase our numbers significantly.
    – stoicfury
    Jan 27, 2012 at 16:56
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    Agree @stoicfury it looks like Joseph is working to aggregate some of the prior ideas. I have provided a new shell under a recently asked version of this one .. meta.philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/3065/…
    – sourcepov
    Dec 20, 2015 at 4:34
  • Yay, glad this was finally fixed. :D
    – stoicfury
    Nov 17, 2017 at 7:44

3 Answers 3


Is there some reason to avoid the word "philosophy" in the short description?

I mean, "Q&A for those interested in the discipline of philosophy" sounds reasonable to me.

In fact, "Q&A for those interested in the academic discipline of philosophy" sounds even better.

(My criteria for "better" in this context is one which would lead to more questions like this and fewer like this.)

  • I like this. It avoids the problem of trying to define philosophy within the short description and is nevertheless very clear.
    – Joseph Weissman Mod
    Apr 25, 2012 at 18:16
  • I feel the way this particular short description is used around the site is more of a definition for the site, thus it seems strange to define 'philosophy' using the word itself. More importantly, I worry that the latter description in particular will dissuade some people from joining and asking questions which aren't rooted in a particular historical context but would otherwise be very valid here. Our site needs more questions and more visits per day; at this point in time I think the description which is least restrictive/most inviting would be best to that end.
    – stoicfury
    Apr 25, 2012 at 18:42
  • So I could live with the first one you provided (though I still prefer my own suggestion more), but I would personally be against the second one for including "academic", simply because questions involving novel concepts or otherwise not rooted in some historical text/figures views can still be valid here.
    – stoicfury
    Apr 25, 2012 at 18:45
  • This seems rather circular.
    – user2953
    Sep 21, 2016 at 15:34

Upvote if you want to change it to:

"For those interested in the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence."

Given that we have like 4 people that browse meta with any regularity, I imagine this will cap at like 3 votes... haha.

Please feel free to add your own answer if you want another wording!

  • I worry this emphasizes doing over studying philosophy, but that said this is significantly better than the existing text
    – Joseph Weissman Mod
    Dec 7, 2011 at 19:24
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    True and true. I think "for those interested in the study of the fundamental nature..." ought to make it clear enough, and is certainly better than simply "for those interested the fundamental nature..."
    – stoicfury
    Dec 8, 2011 at 5:36
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    Agreed. This is good for me
    – Joseph Weissman Mod
    Dec 8, 2011 at 21:17
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    I like this. Sorry I haven't been around for a while. It's not perfect, but all I can think of are criticisms in the vein of what it might not include (to be fair, I primarily study continental philosophy). I don't have any particularly constructive suggestions, though, and it does seem an improvement over what we have now. Feb 7, 2012 at 21:42
  • stackexchange.com/sites was just changed to the new look, so I think having a better description is more important than ever! @RebeccaChernoff ;) :D
    – stoicfury
    Feb 29, 2012 at 16:29
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    I am fine with this; definitely a major improvement
    – Joseph Weissman Mod
    Apr 11, 2012 at 22:41
  • I still don't see what is wrong with 'For those interested in philosophy'...
    – M. le Fou
    Jan 29, 2016 at 0:10
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    I used this version. It might take a bit to propagate to the site listing, however. Sep 21, 2016 at 16:09

Yes, this is certainly possible. The last discussion wasn't much of a discussion. It was mentioned that the current audience might be a bit lengthy. There weren't any responses to that. Even a "might be lengthy, but it works". It's just a matter of coming up with what the audience that works best and we'll get everything updated to match this time.

  • Yes, I think "For those interested in the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence." is most encompassing while being quite short.
    – stoicfury
    Dec 5, 2011 at 19:13
  • "for teachers and students of philosophy, and those interested in the history of ideas" might be another rendering
    – Joseph Weissman Mod
    Dec 6, 2011 at 4:48
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    Right, so my point was...consensus! People suggesting different things...not a consensus. Figure something out together and then I'll change it. Dec 6, 2011 at 4:57
  • @Joeseph: "history of ideas" seems too vague and makes it seem like this is a history website. Also, in some minor way the phrase "for teachers and students" might discourage people who aren't teachers or currently students (even though you meant it in a very liberal sense, "student of philosophy"), but that's not as big of a deal as the "history of ideas" part, imo.
    – stoicfury
    Dec 6, 2011 at 19:45

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