The academics_anon discussion of the Middlebury decision re. Wikipedia reminded me of the time I looked up "autonomy" on Wikipedia, just out of curiosity (since it's my research area).

Yikes. Oh dear.

Actually to be more careful, here is the link to the latest edit, in the history page, in case someone updates it. Excerpts below.



"Self governance. In this sense, only asocial ferals and governments are autonomous. This restriction of Autonomy applys to everything; human, animal, mineral, and vegetable. Anything that is governed is not autonomous." One must always respect the self-governing decisions of asocial ferals.

"Philosophy adds the concepts of intelligence, being informed, and not being coerced." Philosophy should add these concepts more often.

"Within self-determination theory in psychology, autonomy refers to 'autonomy support versus control', "hypothesizing that autonomy-supportive social contexts tend to facilitate self-determined motivation, healthy development, and optimal functioning."" Cutting and pasting is fun, kids! Just throw quotation marks around it, and you're good to go

At least there is a "cleanup" needed tag on the page.

But even the talk page discussing what needs to happen in the article is lame. Why does someone need to specifically point out Kurdistan?

There was a discussion about whether or not to delete the entry, which concluded they should keep it since basically "Even if the current content needs work, apparently a number of people think something belongs here, and the current content certainly has at least a little utility" [Interiot 05:33, 1 March 2006 (UTC)]

Freedom (in the philosophical sense) is also pretty bad. But they refer to Susan Wolf's book, so that's helpful at least.

I suppose if I were a nice person I would go in and fix the autonomy page. But it's more fun to mock it. And continue to hold it up as an example to my students of awful-osity.

From: [identity profile] kataplexis.livejournal.com


The autonomy article makes no reference to its actual development and use as a term int eh Greek world. It was more important even than the term eleutheria (freedom) and actually developed, I would argue, as a way to filter the ideology attached to freedom in a more positive manner.

You should read the entry on auctoritas. It is a travesty. Absolutely ignores the actual Roman usage and its representation of it in more modern contexts is abysmal.

From: [identity profile] kataplexis.livejournal.com


Oh, and on the topic of Freedom, perhaps a rather important work for understnding its history and origins as a political (and philosophical) concept might be Raaflaub's seminal (and now in English) The Greek Discovery of Freedom.

From: [identity profile] owl-of-minerva.livejournal.com


Thanks! I keep being intrigued by Raaflaub whenever you mention it, and our library has it, so I am putting it on my to-read (or at least, to-thoroughly-skim) list.

By the way, I just ordered something on amazon which, once it arrives, I will copy and send on to you for sheer awesomeness. Expect a quasi-mysterious package to your office address.

From: [identity profile] max-ambiguity.livejournal.com


The "film theory" entry is very, very sad. It's far too short, for one. But it also says things like this: "Cahiers was more concerned with film criticism than with film theory, but it was the birthplace of the auteur theory. This "theory" is not accurately named as it is more a method of film criticism, which evaluates films based on their directors, than it is a 'theory'."

There is indeed a distinction between film theory and film criticism, however the term "auteur theory" is in fact a theory. It is a theory about how films create meaning. That it can be used to do film criticism does not make the "theory" half of the term a misnomer. But why should I waste my time correcting wikipedia entries? I have found so many that need work, and although it is fun to imagine a world where information is free and professors are freedom fighters who volunteer their hard earned expertise to anyone who wants it, the fact of the matter is that I am hard up for money, and I want paying for any extra work I do.
.

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