When questions contain an error about philosophy, do we downvote, comment, or vote to close?

e.g. the following question

Is philosophy a good fit for stackexchange?

which is on meta, so maybe a bad fit. I should confess, I very much like the idea of posing questions to find out if I'm wrong.

2 Answers 2


My opinion has always been to either make a comment explaining what they got wrong or make an answer that also addresses their misunderstanding. Voting down the question won't teach them what they misunderstand, neither will voting to close. I'm assuming that you mean some small misunderstanding as opposed to something that makes the question itself incomprehensible. If the question gets something wrong about philosophy but is also incomprehensible then voting to close is probably the best option (although that should always come with a comment explaining that the current question is too confusing and they should try to edit the question to explain themselves).

I also think it's bad to try to edit the question and put the correct information into it from there. That falls under the 'conflicts with the author's interest' category of rejection, because they are asking a genuine question about what they believe even if they understood something incorrectly. Someone changing the phrasing of the question to be correct conflicts with the question the author wanted to ask.

I think the best thing you can do is answer the question and in addition explain what the person who asked the question got wrong about philosophy so that they can have a clearer understanding of the topic they're asking about. Short of that, an explanatory comment seems good to me.


I would suggest that you answer. 'You have misunderstood' is a perfectly good answer to a question that is clearly a misunderstanding.

Comments are easily met with defense, and turn into clot of exchanges that makes later comments difficult to follow. An answer gives the problem itself enough space to give a good reason and support for your contention.

(When you find the error offensive, if you make this clear in the answer, you will be lectured pointlessly. But those people are just wrong.)

  • who finds sound corrections offensive?
    – user25714
    Jun 23, 2017 at 22:03
  • 3
    Most people? I do half the time... You will often see me object three or four ways before I figure out I am actually wrong. This is one of the reasons I feel objections like this should not go in comments on the actual question. If you take correction, and fix the question, the answer can be deleted. Deleted comments look silly.
    – user9166
    Jun 24, 2017 at 0:39

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