User talk:Monochroma

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Gunther1987 (talk) 08:15, 7 August 2020 (UTC)

Btw, if in need of any help, go to the Mod noticeboard, start a topic by clicking on the "Add Topic" button on top of the page and end your question with "baaah" :P. Gunther1987 (talk) 08:29, 7 August 2020 (UTC)


Because of your edits to and time on the wiki, Autopatrolled has been added to your user rights. This lets you bypass most of the abuse filters, bypass the CAPTCHA, and edit more frequently. If you have questions, bleat ask away.

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I swear I'm not a hardcore derridean it's just what I'm in the process of working on lol Monochroma (talk) 01:02, 1 January 2021 (UTC)


Because of your edits to and time on the wiki, wizard Sysop has been added to your user rights. Feel free to let your newfound POWER course through your veins. Once the high wears off, see RationalWiki:Sysop guide for more information. If you have questions, bleat ask away.

You've been here for a long time, I'm surprised no one gave you sysop. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 09:44, 21 September 2022 (UTC)


Not sure if this is the right place to put this, but I think the Althusser article really needs to focus more on the issues with his non-expert intrusion into debates in the philosophy of science and with his rhetoric surrounding science in general. If you think this should be done in a less snarky and more substantive, thorough way I have no problem with that. However, there are things you deleted from my additions that makes me suspect you are sympathetic to aspects of his philosophy which go against RW’s mission. If you think this is not the case I’d like you to explain to me the counterarguments to the claims that he wrote almost nothing of value on the subject of science, was purposely verbose in order to seem knowledgable on the subject, and actively contributed to the spread of ideas which preclude the process of using new empirical evidence to revise old beliefs. I do not see any good ones and that’s why I think he is basically only worthy of ridicule, but perhaps you can change my mind and I can work the nuance into the article, otherwise I fear we are going to enter into an edit war.

PS this has nothing to do with deleting the large quote from the beginning, it was way too long, though I would’ve liked to keep part of it. FirmlyGraspIt (talk) 20:04, 26 November 2023 (UTC)

I mean, every cognitive field has its own jargon. I'm not sure how fair the criticism that something is "overly verbose" actually is. Carthage (talk) 20:10, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
Taking it to the Althusser talk page would have been better. I'm not an expert on Althusser, but I do not think a page on him is honestly warranted on this wiki. As such, I've tried to make that page as short and as to the point as possible without removing information. The initial page spent a lot of time basically character-assassinating Althusser by accusing him of getting away with the murder of his wife (despite being deemed unfit for trial). It might be true that Althusser was involved in excessive "non-expert intrusion" (as no shortage of philosophers of all strokes are guilty of), but that wasn't being stated in the parts I edited out, and no citation has been provided to back that up. I would never claim he contributed anything of value to science (he wasn't a scientist), or that he wasn't extremely prolix (he was a French philosopher), or that he wasn't anti-empiricist (I don't know enough about him). Those claims were not in any of what I removed.
Everything I removed in this bout of editing was commentary that did not contribute to the actual information on the page. "Why would anyone dedicate tomes to [insert quote]" is not helpful or informative; it provides no actual criticism or perspective for the reader, and thus makes the page, in my view, worse. I also removed statements that say Althusser is "puzzlingly large" because I have yet to see that bear out; if you have any evidence to support that I'd be happy to keep it in. I will admit I didn't even read the cquote because I could tell without even reading it that it shouldn't be there; it was just hideously long. If you have a shorter version of the quote, I might be chill with it, though again I really do not think his views on the philosophy of science are what he is known for, so it's weird to put it at the top. I think a subsection on his views on science would be good though.
As for being "sympathetic to the aspects of his philosophy which go against RW's mission", I honestly don't know what you're talking about? I've done very little to defend Althusser's philosophy explicitly (again, I'm not an expert) and only focused on clearing up overly snarky writing that I think is unfair. My opinions on Althusser more or less boil down to, "I think ISA/etc seem like valuable frameworks for discussing cultural hegemony" and that's about it, which has basically no contradiction with "RW's mission". But that's not really what I was going after. I just don't really like snarky, mid-2000s New Atheist-style wiki pages. I also prefer for an editor's personal ideology (or the community's for that matter) to be easy to identify in the text as separate from the presentation of facts. A lot of this wiki has issues like this and I've tried to remedy that where I can. It's a preference of style. Monochroma (talk) 20:40, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
The snarky with no substance new atheist style of editing can definitely be off-putting for some readers that would otherwise be more interested in our content. It doesn't help that, while (sometimes) funny, labeling any criticism, sound or not, as simply being "pissed with us" can be kind of a thought-terminating cliche. Carthage (talk) 20:53, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
Let me respond to some of your points individually: (1) as for the issue of whether a page on him should be on this wiki, I would actually be in favor of deleting the page, (2) I disagree that the parts you edited out are not examples of Althusser’s non-expertise, but perhaps you are right that I didn’t clearly state that claim. I don’t think the claim that “philosophers of all strokes” are subject to that criticism is an accurate one. The major analytic philosophers of science of the 20th. century (ex. Hempel, Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos, Dennett) all contributed some individual area of scientific research in their own right (as examples Popper—probability theory, Lakatos—metamathematics, Dennett—neuroscience) or were sufficiently familiar with the real practices of scientists—contemporary and historical—as to inveigh on the question of the nature of scientific practice in general from a place of genuine expertise. (3) I certainly could provide evidence that Althusser’s influence is quite large in the scholarly work on Marx/Marxism that deals with Marxism’s relationship to science or Marx’s philosophy of science. (4) I’m not sure what would constitute good evidence for his non-expertise other than examples of his writing on science itself (which I did cite) are you hoping for some sort of reliable biographical source detailing his academic credentials? I can go sentence by sentence through a longer passage and explain how these sentences would translate into premises and why the premises themselves, or the arguments they add up to are effectively nonsense or at least so ambiguous as not to warrant serious consideration (I only meant to emphasize the prolixity in this regard: the ratio of the verbosity in which an argument is expressed and the level of ambiguity of the individual words in the premises which that argument translates into is one of a philosopher’s only tools in determining which texts are basically crap and which are worth struggling with—there’s no exact procedure on this issue). (5) I have nothing against changing the style up, I personally was originally attracted to RW because of the pages in the style Carthage calls “mid-2000s New Atheist” but I can see how that can be off putting. FirmlyGraspIt (talk) 22:50, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
1) Then maybe we should delete it. If you look at the talk page I've actually been suggesting deletion for a while.
2) I would argue you didn't make the claim at all. The "Althusser's One Good Idea" section only said that he remains popular and then says that you think it isn't well written. The only actual thing that you provided to show that was a massive unedited quotation with a snarky comment that also did not make any claim about his relationship to empiricism. And I definitely wouldn't say every philosopher makes this mistake, jeez. Just that all sorts make this mistake. It's an incredibly common issue in philosophy to find philosophers making claims about subjects they are not experts in. There's no need to scrutinize the exact phrasing like that.
3) Then do so! But frankly, it doesn't matter. I mostly removed that part because it didn't really make sense without the preceding sentence. I'm willing to take your word on it, legit.
4) Again, the quote was too long and you did not actually provide commentary on it. If Althusser's work on the philosophy of science in relation to Marxism are central to his milieu, then at least explain what it is you're critiquing and make some actual criticisms! Monochroma (talk) 23:37, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
I would definitely want to open a case for it to be deleted (is that how this works I’m new to editing?); I did read the talk page btw, but I didn’t realize it was a serious suggestion. But just to set the record straight I still think you’re not reading what I wrote carefully enough, the long quote was not the one I was referring to as evidence of his dubious ability to contribute to the philosophy of science, as I said in my first comment I agree with the deletion of the quote and your rationale. I thought the other quote I added where he claims something about psychoanalysis was obviously ridiculous enough that I wouldn’t have to add commentary and quoting alone would suffice to defend my claim about his non-expertise (which I still insist was at least implicit in what I originally wrote, though I agree with you it should have been more explicit). I was also evidently wrong about the not needing commentary part and I thank you for checking me on that. Also my point was not to say that you accused every philosopher of pronouncing on subjects which are way beyond the scope of their expertise, I know you weren’t making ‘’that’’ point. I was trying to make the point that the French Marxists/Maoists of the 1960s and 70s were especially guilty of this. I would disagree that philosophers (at least compared to other academics/intellectuals) are somehow extra culpable in making claims that are outside of their immediate expertise, and I don’t really understand the point you were trying to make with vis-a-vis Althusser that is all I was saying. And I do make the claim very explicitly in the introduction of the article so I really am unsure of what you are talking about, also if exact phrasing didn’t matter then there would be no point in debating this at all.FirmlyGraspIt (talk) 00:41, 27 November 2023 (UTC)
Right, sorry, I'm saying you didn't make that claim in any of what I removed. And yes, it is true that French philosophers of that period are especially guilty of this, but it's not limited to them. But I don't think this is a particularly important point.
I want to be unequivocal that I'm supportive of criticizing Althusser for being anti-empiricism. Rejection of empiricism can absolutely be an element of a lot of philosophy like his and it's absolutely worth criticizing. However, I think it is vital to actually criticize, and actually demonstrate the failures of these theories rather than just showing it and mocking it without any incisive critique. Monochroma (talk) 01:41, 27 November 2023 (UTC)

Didn't we have a template for deleting articles and alerting their editors? Mhmhmhm, whatever...[edit]

Hi pal! I think you wrote the Andrew Wilson article? It's up for deletion at RationalWiki:Articles_for_deletion/Andrew_Wilson.

May your blade be sharp and true. - Rairyu75 (Talk) 19:37, 28 December 2023 (UTC)

Yeah, that's fine. If folks agree he shouldn't have a page, I don't really care. Monochroma (talk) 19:40, 28 December 2023 (UTC)