This page is copied from Wikireason, and documents the discussions leading up to the adoption of the name "Wikireason". The demo site was previously called The Pittsburgh Forum and the Wikireason proposal was previously called "Wikibate"

The Pittsburgh Forum was originally intended to provide an improved platform for a number of Internet discussion groups focused on Pittsburgh, PA. However, before any meaningful progres was made, the Wikibate proposal was discovered and the WikiMedia community was invited to develop this platform. Therefore, we need a new name that reflects this community. This page is dedicated to finding a new name for this wiki: this name will be used as the domain name and on the front page.

After much discussion and community input, the name Wikireason was adopted without a formal vote. This page is now locked. Please add any comments to the talk page.

Proposed namesEdit

Archive:Proposals that are no longer being considered


I rather like this one, could go with Wikiopolis as well. Maybe we could have an instant-runoff vote at some point? Crazyeddie 23:07, 28 Apr 2005 (EDT)

Instant runoff? Beats plurality, but Concordet might be more accurate. David Bruhn
Concordet is also a pain. How much accuracy do you need? Crazyeddie 00:35, 30 Apr 2005 (EDT)

Not bad. Tuf-Kat

You know, Wikipolis would be a great overhead name for two projects, a wiki debate and a wiki think tank. Like wikimedia, except for original thought. David Bruhn

Wiki reason fits nicely under that too (or at the top, as Adam says it's unoccupied).. Could we also use wiki logic for science and mathematics. Agora and bundu for sociology/anthropology. While I'm at it, can I get a WikiPhilo for philosophy? There is little reason we would have to dump any of these.. simply tree order or neural net, by Knowledge hierarchy. Order by solution cascade effect. Erin Sebastian 12:22, 1 May 2005 (EDT)

As of May 1: Number 7 in the wikipedia village pump, the idea of a think tank is awaiting a good name. If a name for this forum can be reached, be that an overarching umbrella, or single doorway... Drop it in with an example debate and let fly. It seems that eyes are keeping lookout for good items there. Link right back to the forum entrance for fresh wikipedian feedback. Do not buy into the notion, that the encyclopedia is uninterested in this project.

Sounds like a good idea to check there. We currently don't have an ideal sample, but when we do Wikipedia might be a good place to check out. David Bruhn
Deciding on a name would be a good opportunity for a "press release" to Wikipedia. Perhaps another little PR blitz could commence once we have demonstrated that this is a serious project: settle on a format and get more than 10 active contributors (we have 5 right now). -Adam
Pick a format, then write a really good debate in it. I think we could get members fairly easily on Wikipedia- we've only mentioned this on Mediawiki, which has next to no-one compared to wikipedia. David Bruhn
New Page:wikireason:wikireason:Milestones. We can collect a list of milestones here. Each milestone represents real progress for the project and will be an opportunity to show others how much progress we're making. It will also focus our efforts. Adam 19:38, 1 May 2005 (EDT)

Polis means city, right? This is reminicent of Wiki-cities. I don't really see how this project is comparable to a city. Wikipolis may be good for some sort of umbrella project that includes many separate aspects, but it doesn't seem right for this project. Adam 16:39, 1 May 2005 (EDT)

I agree, although 'polis' has some connotations that make me think of ancient Athenian debate. David Bruhn
Exactly - it goes well with the "dudes in togas" logo. Crazyeddie 14:36, 4 May 2005 (EDT)

I dislike the "city" connotation, and dislike the Greek/Western connotation. The site should be more universal in its appeal. -- Beland 01:23, 29 May 2005 (EDT)


I don't particularly like any of the English-derived proposals. The only one I'm really opposed to is Wikibate though, for reasons that are perhaps obvious. I think it's appropriate to look to non-English words that might sound better. My suggestion is Wikibuntu, from ubuntu. Tuf-Kat 17:18, 27 Apr 2005 (EDT)

he Zulu word ubuntu can be defined as an attitude of togetherness in spirit and humanness, humanity to others, humanness and I am what I am because of who we all are. It is also apparently the name of a Linux distribution. It serves as the spiritual foundation of African societies. It is a unifying vision or world view enshrined in the Zulu maxim umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu, i.e. a person is a person through other persons (Shutte, 1993:46). At bottom, this traditional African aphorism articulates a basic respect and compassion for others. It can be interpreted as both a factual description and a rule of conduct or social ethic. It both describes human being as "being-with-others" and prescribes what "being-with-others" should be all about. Later, Ubuntu underscores the importance of agreement or consensus. African traditional culture, it seems, has an almost infinite capacity for the pursuit of consensus and reconciliation (Teffo, 1994a:4). Democracy the African way does not simply boil down to majority rule. Traditional African democracy operates in the form of (sometimes extremely lengthy) discussions (cf. Busia, 1967:28). Although there may be a hierarchy of importance among the speakers, every person gets an equal chance to speak up until some kind of an agreement, consensus or group cohesion is reached. This important aim is expressed by words like simunye ("we are one", i.e. "unity is strength") and slogans like "an injury to one is an injury to all" (Broodryk, 1997a:5, 7, 9). Also, Ubuntu inspires us to expose ourselves to others, to encounter the difference of their humanness so as to inform and enrich our own (cf. Sidane, 1994:8-9). Thus understood, umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu translates as: "To be human is to affirm one's humanity by recognising the humanity of others in its infinite variety of content and form" (Van der Merwe, 1996:1). This translation of Ubuntu attests to a respect for particularity, individuality and historicality, without which decolonization cannot be. and The Ubuntu respect for the particularities of the beliefs and practices of others (cf. also Wiredu, 1995), is especially emphasised by a striking, yet (to my mind) lesser-known translation of umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu, viz.: "A human being is a human being through (the otherness of) other human beings" (Van der Merwe, 1996:1� italics mine). For post-apartheid South Africans of all colours, creeds and cultures, Ubuntu dictates that, if we were to be human, we need to recognise the genuine otherness of our fellow citizens. Ubuntu's respect for the particularity of the other, links up closely to its respect for individuality and Ubuntu defines the individual in terms of his/her relationship with others (Shutte, 1993:46ff). According to this definition, individuals only exist in their relationships with others, and as these relationships change, so do the characters of the individuals. Thus understood, the word "individual" signifies a plurality of personalities corresponding to the multiplicity of relationships in which the individual in question stands. Being an individual by definition means "being-with-others". "With-others", as Macquarrie rightly observes, " not added on to a pre-existent and self-sufficient being; rather, both this being (the self) and the others find themselves in a whole wherein they are already related" (1972:104). (Much of the previous from [1]).

I think the name is too obscure, and not clearly related. Compared especially with something like Wikidebate, whihc is immediately understandable. David Bruhn
Although somewhat "obscure" ("what the hell is a wiki", my grandpa asks) I do like Tuf-Kat's suggestion of widening the options to non-english words. One way could be in translating out of a particular english word we grow an affinity toward, and linking say "forum" with "agora" with "debate" with "ubuntu" until a new word or such emerges?Erin Sebastian
Unfortunately, the word "Ubuntu" is now being used for a Linux-distribution. That is, it's a very good name for what that specific project tries to accomplish, but it is unfortunate that this somewhat lowers the usefulness here. Aliter

Ick. No one will know what it means! -- Beland 01:25, 29 May 2005 (EDT)


Also returns no results at Google. Short for wiki philosophy, of course. - dcljr 01:50, 29 Apr 2005 (EDT)

Trade "sophy", for in this case wiki becomes the word for "study". And use the first half of philosophy being love of life and big questions. Another choice under the Agora Entrance, or by using the portal they may choose to "skip" debates over gold and government, and head straight to WikiPhilo (study of life) Erin Sebastian 12:47, 29 Apr 2005 (EDT)
Not bad, but the name doesn't really ring right to me. Tuf-Kat 17:32, 29 Apr 2005 (EDT)
I like the sentiment but I can't figure out how to pronounce it, and it is pretty general. Adam 00:37, 9 May 2005 (EDT)
I was thinking "WIH-kee-SOH-fee", even though that doesn't match the pronunciation of philosophy. Anyway, this one's about to bite it, anyway... - dcljr 05:14, 17 May 2005 (EDT)

There's talk on Wikipedia-I about changing Wikiversity to Wikisophia. I can't tell how likely this is, but I think there was a good criticism of the name--it's way too broad. In the context of this project, it assumes that wisdom is best expressed as a dialogue, which is a debatable assertion. Hmm.. that might be a good name, Wikilog or Wikilogue. Adam 14:54, 22 May 2005 (EDT)

Wikisophy is too similar to Wikisophia, which even if it isn't used for Wikiversity, is still the name of the Wikitex site, and therefore likely to be confusing. Angela 02:32, 28 May 2005 (EDT)

This site should be about more than philosophy, which I think of as boring and disconnected with reality. Practical politics should also be a major component, so this name seems too narrow. -- Beland 01:26, 29 May 2005 (EDT)

How about Wikiosophy? I think that sounds better. Paris456 15:13, 14 December 2006 (UTC)


Along the same lines a Wikilogic, but inclusive of rational rather than purely logical arguments, thus allowing more for 'social plicy questions'. David Bruhn

Quite diplomatic.... Someone, please come along and shoot at this. I like it, but I want to hear "reasons" why it's no good. Erin Sebastian
OK: "Reason" is what you do when you already know what you want the outcome to be. And "reason" as a noun takes away from the idea from the discussion. After all, you only give the reason for it. (Is that enough?)Aliter 21:34, 1 May 2005 (EDT)
I think I like it. Tuf-Kat

A Google search only returns one hit, and that's at the Wikipedia Village Pump. I typed the URL and got no response. Adam

Of the options listed here, this would be my second choice, but I don't like it all that much. Political arguments are often not made through reason, but from conviction. Both are perfectly good. And it's not like people's convictions don't change with new evidence or after discussion. "Reason" is something you do in science, math, or philosophy, where you dispassionately weigh evidence and attempt to make conclusions about how the universe works. Politics is a realm where reason often fails. Sometimes not enough is known about a problem to produce a clear and obvious solution. Sometimes there is no one "right" answer, especially on values questions. Sometimes politics is more about marketing ideas or forming social coalitions than it is about arriving at reasoned conclusions. There is also a slight dissonance from the secondary definition of reason - a causal explanation. It doesn't really align with what the site is supposed to be for. -- Beland 01:49, 29 May 2005 (EDT)


  • Moot: Assembly.
  • Moot: Raise for discussion
  • Moot: Not yet determined, open for debate

I realize some will read:

  • Moot: Of no practical consequence

but that make us appear less threatening to long-held convictions, and will also help us to stay modest. Aliter 21:41, 1 May 2005 (EDT)

I think I like the sound of the word, but I was unaware of any of the meanings that you listed for it: they are very obscure. Adam 00:42, 9 May 2005 (EDT)
I agree with Adam. I think most people will get the message "come here, and argue about something that doesn't matter." Which is almost the opposite of what I'd want people to do. -- Beland 01:28, 29 May 2005 (EDT)

Good enough, as far as I'm concerned. "Come here and argue about something" is what we want to get across. If they come here to argue about things that don't matter, they're likely to also take a look in other discussions. I'd rather use Moot than Truth, as it's far less threatening yet the contribution of arguments comes across anyway. Aliter 11:38, 7 Jun 2005 (EDT)


This is amended from Wikirecord. It has the same idea of wikirecord (a record of the proceedings), but has the greek root and also emphasizes the point-counterpoint structure by allusion to dialogue. Adam 15:12, 22 May 2005 (EDT)

Well, part of the genius is that it's not just a transcript of a conversation, it's also pages where views are summarized and distilled. I think this is too narrow. -- Beland 01:29, 29 May 2005 (EDT)


"You've got a point there". Emphasizes the point/counterpoint style, along with the ideal of a concise assertion that puts the issue in a new light. Adam 00:19, 9 May 2005 (EDT)

I like this name, although I think I prefer Wikipoints. David Bruhn
"Is that like PowerPoint?" -- Beland 02:12, 28 May 2005 (EDT)


Adam seems to have supported this in the past (I'll allow him to add his own vote, if he chooses to) and I really like it, so I'm taking the liberty of re-adding it here. Views on issues (of all kinds) are exactly what you'll find here, whether they are expressed in discussion or in summary form. It combines "wiki" with a good synonym for "opinions" (which would be bad, because it sounds like "epinions", which is a different concept, and because it starts with a vowel). I support a lowercase "v" because it's easy enough to parse the word without it, because it's easier to type, and because it a capital letter will atrophy as time goes by, anyway. -- Beland 01:36, 29 May 2005 (EDT)


Isn't it a wiki to show what's on our minds? --Wiki und Ylvie 18:21, 6 January 2007 (UTC)


Although "Wikiforum" already exists, i think it's alright that a wiki with the same can exist. Above all this seems to me the most obvious name. And maybe one day there can be a connection between the mediawiki extension and the wiki itself. This name has already been proposed here: Talk:Wikireason#Name--Wiki und Ylvie 18:21, 6 January 2007 (UTC)


The more academic approach of naming this wiki.--Wiki und Ylvie 18:21, 6 January 2007 (UTC)


This vote is to decide on a name to be used as the domain name and on the front page of this project












Wikireason talk pageEdit

The meaning of the nameEdit

It seems we're concentrating on certain aspects of this (proposed) site in the name choices that have been offered so far:

  1. the process or activity of debate
  2. the tools or techniques used in debate
  3. the forum in which debate takes place
  4. the topics of debate
  5. the participants in the debate

I don't really have anything else to add; I just figured I'd point this out in case it leads to other possible names or types of names for the site. - dcljr 02:22, 29 Apr 2005 (EDT)

I think the name should be from the first category. The other Wikimedia projects include two derived from the ending of a word meaning "collection of (subject)" (wiktionary, wikipedia), and the rest come from the subject itself (wikiquote, wikisource, wikispecies, and kinda wikibooks, but that's not a very good name anyway). So... what is our subject? I guess debate, the issue being that Wikibate is unsavoury and Wikidebate kinda awkward. Really, though, I don't think our subject should be debate, it should be opinions. Wikiopinions is terrible and Wikipinions even worse. I also have nothing more to add (I've already said we should use a non-English word). Tuf-Kat 17:40, 29 Apr 2005 (EDT)
Maybe think Greek or Latin... Respectable, with only a touch of the grandiose. Moreso, benefiting from a long history and global dissemination. Erin Sebastian

(moved from main page)

What, actually, do we want to express with the name? Distributed over multiple proposals above, I gave my opinion that the primary message should be: "Here all sides are (/can be) presented." But what do others think? Aliter 10:48, 5 May 2005 (EDT)

Well, let's look at the possibilities:
  • At the process of debate
  • At the collection and arrangement of rational arguments
  • At the sides represented by the arguments
I think the process of debating is a bad idea, as this is far different in aim than, say, message boards. I think emphasizing the rational arguments is better than emphasizing the issues they represent- it shows the more unique aspects of the project, as opposed to other formats for debate that have been proposed, in which opinion pieces for each side are created. David Bruhn
While this is an outlet for those who want to debate, I think it's best to focus on the "finished" product--the collection of proposals along with the arguments for or against that proposal. So, I support the second and third points, but I also agree with David that it is really the second point that distinguishes us from other projects. Adam 23:40, 8 May 2005 (EDT)

Naming ProcedureEdit

This might be premature, but at some point we're going to need to decide, after enough time for brainstorming. Any thoughts on the procedure...? A vote...? Consensus...? Adam's choice? David Bruhn

Since Wikibate is out of the running, does that mean that we'll change the name of the proposal on the WikiMedia page? Adam
I was thinking when we come up with the best name for the project we could propose it there, perhaps as a new project, and include a demo page from this site. Probably could draft the proposal here before placing it there. David Bruhn

Pre votingEdit

Some names seem to currently have no support, such as Wikibate. Before any type of vote, perhaps we should run an approval vote, everyone can have as many votes as they like, and choices with less than two supporting votes and disqualified. David Bruhn

Ya, let's cull the herd of sickly, dying or dead..... Erin Sebastian
I saw you were adding sections for voting for or against names. I think we only we 'for' sections, as the only ones that should probably be deleted before a vote are the ones with lack of support. David Bruhn
Is that better?Erin Sebastian 20:15, 29 Apr 2005 (EDT)
I think approval is good for the first round, and consensus would be ideal for the final decision. Give everybody a chance to sound off before culling anything (another week, perhaps?). Since I have to implement the decision, I guess I have the ultimate say. If the group decision is absolutely horrid, I wouldn't implement it, but none of the current options meet that standard of "horridness". Adam 20:32, 29 Apr 2005 (EDT)
What you want is seconding. I adapted the wording. (Those who still remember they proposed a name but didn't sign it, please move your vote to the proposal to be fair. (Feel free to remove your name if you no lnger second a proposal.) Aliter 21:34, 1 May 2005 (EDT)

If no-one objects to removing an option, let's remove it. I removed a few options that had no support. A few new options have not been considered yet, so I haven't removed them. I think that everyone has had their say, so let's start narrowing down the options. Adam 09:39, 5 May 2005 (EDT)


Runoff would allow for lots of discussion time. IRV would be quick. Concordet would be more accurate possibly than IRV. David Bruhn

Concordet is also a pain. It's more accurate than IRV, but not by much. IRV might require software implementation, I'm not sure - but if so, it might be handy to have that particular code hanging around. Crazyeddie 13:29, 30 Apr 2005 (EDT)

I'm not sure about software implementation- IRV seems pretty easy, just listing our preferences and running them off by hand until someone gets a majority. Alternatively, we could simply have a series of votes until someone gets a majority, in which the least popular choice is eliminated each time.
Along the lines of consensus, we might want to require, at least, a supermajority, if possible. David Bruhn
There's only about five of us, so we shouldn't need anything too complicated. Perhaps we can just slowly whittle down the options based on the approval voting system that we already have in place. Adam
Good point ;-) David Bruhn

Oh, sure, bring praticallity into it! Spoilsport. Crazyeddie 14:34, 4 May 2005 (EDT)

Multiple names for multiple projectsEdit

Erin mentioned above using Wikiopilos or Wikireason for a large, overarching project, and then using different names for subprojects. I think that's an interesting idea, so I'm making a heading down here to discuss it. We chould have a hierarchy like this, at least to start:

  • The Whole Shebang (Wikireason, Wikiopolis)
    • Scientific/Mathematical/Factual disputes (Wikilogic)
    • Social/Political/Cultural disputes (Wikidebate, Wikibundu)
    • Religious/Moral/Ethical/Philosophical disputes (Wikisophy)
    • Voter's Guide (Wikivote?)
    • Think Tank (Wikithink)
I think that the project should be defined by the format used, and we can have topics within that project (similar to Wikipedia). Of the above proposed projects, I think all but WikiThink would use the same format. Also, I expect a lot of cross-links between those proposed projects. For example, the Voter's Guide will refer to Political disputes, which will refer to Ethical and Scientific disputes. Adam 16:25, 1 May 2005 (EDT)
Only use multiple names where something fundamental is different. Aliter
I was writing the same thing, Adam, but you beat me to it, and phrased it better anyone ;-) One idea, though, that might be good would be to create a project that applies the issues of debate to modern political issues. Thus, it would contain no arguments itself but would link to the debate project, whereas debates here would link to applications rather than forming debates on them themselves. Another different format than debate might be ideal for such applications. David Bruhn
? Aliter 21:34, 1 May 2005 (EDT)
There have been some efforts, on this forum and on other places, to deal with electoral politics and related matters, ie parties and candidates. I think this would be better in a separate project, while being cross-linked to this. For example, the debate on affirmative action here would link to a page documenting parties' and candidates' stance on it, and vice-versa. David Bruhn
I see. Yes, I agree that while we might borrow their arguments, we shouldn't be directly involved in politics. Such a project should be something seperate, probably completely seperate if we aim to become part of WikiMedia. Aliter 10:04, 7 May 2005 (EDT)
While I understand the benefit of looking ahead, I'm wondering whether it's yet time to think about splitting into separate projects. As far as naming goes, perhaps we should just consider creating different areas of this one project (like the Village Pump, Help Desk, etc., of Wikipedia) and see where it goes. Such names wouldn't naturally contain wiki in them. - dcljr 05:35, 17 May 2005 (EDT)

Latin words:Edit

Some of us have expressed a desire to use Latin or Greek roots. I like that idea, so here are some words. If a number of us like it, we can put it into the list. I searched an English to Latin dictionary for each of the words below, and got the following ideas:

  • Discuss-Confero, disputo, discepto. These may work with "wiki" as a suffix: Conferowiki (like a conference?) , disputowiki, etc.
  • Decide-Constito, cognosco
  • Wisdom Sophiowiki
  • Reason Cogitato, ratio, verus

Do any really sound good? Adam

I also found some terms for mediators in ancient Rome, who were called internuncius, medium, intercessor, philantropus, interpolator, conciliator, interlocutor, interpres, and finally mediator.
I think Wikicogno is a nice name. Tuf-Kat 21:51, 16 May 2005 (EDT)
WikiErgoSum? (j/k) - dcljr 05:10, 17 May 2005 (EDT)

This Latin thing sounds too pretentious to me. -- Beland 01:38, 29 May 2005 (EDT)

Analysis for first round of votingEdit


Wikireason seems to have the most support, though some other names also have strong support. First, I would like to narrow the options down some more, and will do so by removing some of the options that required my vote to make it through. I believe it would be unfair for me to remove those options unilaterally, so I will confer with the other contributors who voted for those. The number of options should be smaller soon. Adam


The options can be divided into three classes:

  1. Community (forum, ubuntu, polis, moot)
  2. Ideal (reason, sophy)
  3. Human interaction (sides, points, record)

Of course, this scheme does not embody everything, and the options may not be classified perfectly, but I'd rather not argue over those points in detail, but I would like to know if you see other connections between options. This may allow us to narrow down to the best representative of that class (if they really can be placed into separate classes).

I like the options that de-emphasize the combative nature of debate, but I also like the options that emphasize the reference that we are creating (these goals seem to be in opposition). I also like the emphasis on the community effort involved, but perhaps the fact that this is a "wiki" is enough to convey that idea. Adam


The ideal proceedure is to find a name we all like. WikiReason seems like it could become the consensus choice, but I don't want us to rush into a decision--I want to find the name that will be the greatest asset to this project. If you strongly support an option, tell us why it is the best. If you voted for an option with weak support, reconsider your choice so that we can focus on the best names.

If worse comes to worst we can do an explicit vote. Condorcet's (round-robin) and Runoff (instant or not) have been suggested. It isn't clear which method is best because they give qualatatively different outcomes: Condorcet's method tends to find a compromise candidate, whereas IRV tends to find a candidate that is strongly supported by a majority.

They are also susceptable to strategic voting, and since anyone's votes are immediatly visible to everyone, the last person voting has an unfair ability to influence the outcome.

Regardless, if it does come down to a vote I think we should consider a few variants before we officially change the domain name. For example, if we choose WikiReason, we could also consider ReasonWiki, Ratiowiki, and one or two others.

Anyway, for now I hope that we can continue to narrow down the options and discuss which one's are the best. Adam 00:39, 16 May 2005 (EDT)

Voting clarificationEdit

I'm not sure I completely understand the voting process. It looks like anyone can vote on any number of proposals. Is this correct? (I added 3 votes, but didn't mark any as "first choices".) - dcljr 05:26, 17 May 2005 (EDT)

Sorry, you actually missed the official vote (polls were open for a week), but it's still good to have your input about the remaining options. With the previous vote, I was looking to eliminate options by consensus -- elimination could be blocked if the option had two individuals backing it or if one person really liked it, which was indicated by placing "(1)" next to their name. Adam 09:43, 18 May 2005 (EDT)

Discussion on Wikimedia-IEdit

The Wikimedia mailing list has a discussion about (re)naming a project. There are proposals to turn Wikiversity to Wikisophia. It's got some interesting ideas about what we expect from a name. Adam 14:49, 22 May 2005 (EDT)

Voting methodEdit

Three suggestions have been made: runoff voting, condorcet, and instant runoff voting. I believe that only multi-round runoff voting can be fairly implemented with the current technology (lack of secret and simultaneous ballots). Otherwise, each person would have to list their entire preference list, which would allow later voters to strategically modify their own preference list. Please provide any feedback. Adam 05:55, 1 Jun 2005 (EDT)


This wiki seems to be dying a slow death. I think there's a pressing need for a Wikimedia Foundation project of this type. See, for example, [2]. Are we going to finish this naming process? Will there be enough participation from the Wikimedia communities to make the outcome meaningful? Or should we move this question to -- Beland 22:35, 26 Jul 2005 (EDT)