Like many of you, I suspect, I regularly use Wikipedia as a first-stop when looking something up on the internet. It has many limitations, of course, but often enough it proves useful. It is only as useful as its contributors make it, though. Since I have been struck by the paucity of informaton in Wikipedia concerning topics in 20th-century Chinese philosophy, I decided to see what would happen if I made improving a Wikipedia page one of the assignments in my Modern Chinese Philosophy course this semester.
After doing a bit of research, I realized that this was in some ways more complicated than I had initially realized, for at least three reasons:
- Learning to use the Wikipedia editing environment takes a bit of time; I had to make sure that students realized this, and got used to the way one cites references, adds links, and so on.
- Writing for Wikipedia is importantly different than writing a typical philsoophy essay or research paper. Wikipedia articles need to be neutral, balanced, and based on existing secondary scholarship, not primarily on one’s own reading of the primary sources.
- Publishing one’s edits or new entry is not the end of the process: there is often on-going discussion of issues on the “Talk” page associated with a given Wikipedia page, and of course other people can edit your changes. Sometimes changes will be rejected by Wikipedia editors, and one has to understand how that process works.
- Mou Zongsan
- Nishi Amane
- Xiong Shili
- Zhang Binglin
- Chinese Skepticism of Democracy
- Chinese New Left
- New Confucian Manifesto
- Jin Yuelin
- Jiang Qing
- Liang Shuming
- On Contradiction
- On Practice
- New Confucianism
- (One more entry, on “The Legitimacy of Chinese Philosophy,” is still under review by Wikipedia editors as a new entry. I’m not sure how long that process will take. I will add it here if/when it is approved.)
I look forward to any comments or questions you might have.