I understand why opinion-based questions are not allowed on most of the Stackoverflow boards, however it makes no sense to me that questions can be put on hold or closed for being opinion based on a board that focuses on philosophy.
Isn't the very concept of philosophy fundamentally opinion based? Isn't this what seperates it from science?
And if opinion based questions don't belong on the philosophy board, what is the purpose of the philosophy board and what criteria are used to make the distinction between an opinion based question and another question on a board that explicitly focuses on philosophy?
Consider this answer by Matthew Read to the question Is this site for doing philosophy or discussing philosophy? :
How would you plan to distinguish? No one knows everything every philosopher has said or written, and requiring every question to come with a bibliography is a bit ridiculous. Additionally if a truly original question did come up (doubtful) one should be able to give an answer informed by previous philosophical work. No philosophy is an island.
Answers, though, should generally be referenced when they delve into opinion. I would say that original work is still OK, as long as they can point to a paper or something they've written that provides support for their opinion. "It's this way because I said so" is never OK.
All you need to do is look at Programmers in order to see that this can work. Subjective questions can thrive on StackExchange, and we can even have whole sites devoted to them. It's certainly harder to write a good subjective question than an objective one -- that's why there are guidelines for them. As long as we write good questions, we should be fine. We're going to have to work hard in this department.
What if I never wrote a paper or essay backing up my answer, but my answer is a conclusion based on decades of life experience, including daily philosophical meanderings?!
Is decades of life experience and logical reasoning less relevant than someone else's random scribblings just because the latter took the time to elaborate on them in a blog post or college paper?
When referencing source material, there's also the issue of defining what source qualifies as philosophical. Does Richard Linklater's masterpiece Waking Life qualify as philosophical? What about Jaco Van Dormael's Mr Nobody? Or Guy Richie's Revolver? Or are works of fiction disqualified in spite of philosophical profoundness?! I go into this particular issue in greater depth at Must every answer contain a source? Which kind of sources are accepted and why?
- Must every answer contain a source? Which kind of sources are accepted and why?
- Subjective answers and questions stimulating subjectiveness
- How to determine in which cases is it strictly necessary to add citations to reliable sources that support my assertions?
- Users acting as authorities
- Friends, we are not philosophers
- Is this site for doing philosophy or discussing philosophy?