Intelligent Design Philosophy Science

Online Encyclopedia of Nature in English and German announced

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Like Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Should come in handy for securing responsible definitions of terms like “life,” “chaos,” and “naturalness”

Online Encyclopedia Philosophy of Nature

It is planned that the Encyclopedia will have entries on over 300 concepts. These will be written by academic experts, though their intended audience is not only academics but anyone who wants to understand what nature can be for us – and who is therefore interested in the philosophy of nature.

The entries should be historical and pluralistic: they thematise selected historical changes in the concept under discussion and inform the reader as neutrally as possible (while still systematically classifying and commenting) of selected competing meanings and interpretations of the concept. In addition, authors may argue for or against certain uses of the concept – or even for a general abandonment of the concept. Terms that have significance beyond the field of the philosophy of nature, such as “spirit” and “possibility”, are treated by emphasizing their specific natural philosophical meanings (without divorcing them from their broader philosophical contexts).

All published manuscripts have been subjected to a peer review procedure (blind, if possible double blind).

One gets the sense that these people are not interested in being mobbed by a swarm of Wikipedia trolls. Let’s hope that’s a trend.

4 Replies to “Online Encyclopedia of Nature in English and German announced

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    It’s peer-reviewed, therefore it’s NOT neutral. It will reflect current fashions and nothing else.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    jawa says:

    Here’s a real example (@2) of evolution that could be included in the new encyclopedia:

    “the evolution of operational definitions of a gene over the past century—from the abstract elements of heredity of Mendel and Morgan to the present-day ORFs enumerated in the sequence databanks.”

    The classical view of a gene as a discrete element in the genome has been shaken by ENCODE

    The discrepancy between our previous protein-centric view of the gene and one that is revealed by the extensive transcriptional activity of the genome prompts us to reconsider now what a gene is.

    Are they going to rewrite textbooks?

    Some folks may not like the above comment, but keep in mind that in Russian language “horror show” means “good”


  4. 4
    jawa says:


    before the advent of the ENCODE project, there were a number of aspects of genes that were very complicated, but much of this complexity was in some sense swept under the rug and did not really affect the fundamental definition of a gene.

    “swept under the rug”?

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