Based on a comment received on a recent PhilSE post I'm interested in discussing some "trends" in the way the two different populations act on SE.

The said post has been asked the same day on MathSE, with the "philosophy" tag, where it has been closed being considered "poorly focused".

The same post on Phil is considered very interesting with multiple answers.

My first consideration regards the unrestrainable trend showed by PSE: very few posts have accepted answers, especially "interesting" ones that receive multiple answers.

Also the "voting pattern" seems relevant to me: on PSE we find many many cases where the question received more upvotes than all the answers together, a practice that is quite uncommon in MSE.

Why so? It seems that on MSE people ask questions searching for "solutions" while in PSE people ask questions only for debating: is this a sign of the different nature of the two topics: mathematics vs philosophy?

My second concern is with the way people react to the way questions are formulated; in MSE a vague question is considered bad written and closed, while an obscure question in PSE is considered "interesting". Is this again a sign of the difference in topics, or is it due to a massive trend in adopting (maybe unconsciously) a post-modern approach to philosophy that equate it with nonsensical?

Disclaimer: the linked posts are referred only as exemplification; no attempt to rise discussion concerning their (and the related answers) content.

  • 1
    Just cleaned up a few typos, spellings etc including in the title
    – Rushi
    Apr 10 at 4:11

2 Answers 2


I think the whole idea that there can be "answers" in philosophy is borderline absurd.1,2


Yes mathematicians can be pretentiously precise whereas philosophers can be brazenly obscure and shamelessly vague. 3

Philosophy-Math back n forths

This math answer was deleted and expanded here as this answer. Started from this insightful comment which was to this question that was mauled out of shape by well-meaning but not quite mathematically informed editors.

In the same vein, this philosophy answer was inspired by this comment.

Reverse direction: This question has been mauled by a well-meaning editor bringing the gratuitous reference to "tautology". Yet it provided the opportunity to expand as this math answer which on math reached +5.

Voting Pattern

Dunno why voting pattern is a thing. People relate to the question, they find all answers quite unsatisfying. Is that odd?


One of my earliest experiences here is this deleted answer re. pomo, that was converted to a comment. As you can see that was a 'tumultuous' experience 😂.

1 Wonder is the feeling of a philosopher; and philosophy begins in wonder — Plato
2 Yeah this makes it a competition between SE policy and philosophy.
Unfortunately SE wins 😑
3 I am more a mathematician than a philosopher; Ive done courses, degrees, taught and formulated math courses. In philosophy my curricular knowledge is limited to some outside-the-curriculum mindblowing classes that an outstanding Jesuit priest took when I was in college.


I'm surprised that the question was not closed here, too. It should be reasked on Literature SE, Worldbuilding SE, or Writing SE, with a more focused question. As asked, it's not answerable; it's asking for a textual analysis which requires reading the mind of a fiction author in order to understand the metaphysics of their fictional universe.

Our ambit should be meta, not word-games.

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