Consensus in a wiki environment/Practical consensus

if we refer to consensus we could describe what ought to be (normative) and what is (empirical)

normative consensus


The agreement of all participants due to an succinct and effective persuasive statement in a dialogue or argument between opposing parties.

empirical consensus


The end of one of the parties ability or desire to argue and resist a well accepted statement from the opposing party.

Futility of normative consensus


I philosophically stand by the assertion that normative consensus or rare to none existent in the discussions of mankind given a wide enough audience. Further more if there are opposing parties, it is again rare to none existant that both parties would end a argument or discussion in normative consensus.

It would seem difficult to me, than to assume that in wikiversity, we seek to achieve normative consensus on any one thing.



thus although a exchange of opposing statements might be useful to the community, it will not be enough to completely end any sincere argument.

not everything is an argument


This dour consequence should be balanced by the fact that not everything is an argument. Indeed it must not be. The whole wikimedia model is based on Collaboration between knowledgable participants, and they must minimize arguments or the resulting document will be so unified and disorganized that noone will be able to read it.

in fact I think most wiki messes are the result of arguments

Are all statements arguments?


I say that Not everything is an argument but to some people it is. Any editor has the right to move a discussion into a argument (creating the need for empirical consensus). but this is a heady responseability. One should do it only by the thought that you represent others that would strongly feel this way. education must not be brainwashing, and alternate perspectives need welcomed for the educational effect we all wish to experience.

if one user invokes an argument, it is an argument and we ought to seek Empirical consensus. Explaining our position, but clear to the practical reality that the user probably will not agree. We hope for more polite forms of empirical consensus.

minimize arguments by


carefully stating ones expertise amending all arguments with an appeal from higher expertise

;) unfortunately these experts sometimes argue as much as anybody

Keeping content specific and within material you know well Being modest Being polite stating things as clearly as possible

We all do as well as we can. I know. but we need to just keep this in mind.

Lastly seeking Empirical consensus, immediately. rather than delude ourselves that we are going to convince everyone --- but philosophically we have no right to be restrain opposing viewpoints (outside of ethical and moral policy).

we can achieve Empirical consensus



  • one side agrees to end disruptive arguments
  • the two sides agree to a grudging compromise
  • one side agrees to state their position in one document and the other side agrees to state their postion in another document
* nicest would be for each side to link the opposing side, thus giving visitors the chance to freely understand each side's point of view
  • or LASTLY (and worst) if the other side (or individuals in the other side), are prevented from further alterations



Normative (ideal) consensus is a unreasonable goal for any sincere argument. Participants must do what they can to minimize arguing. We need to look for empirical consensus, immediately. we also need to realize that in extreme cases, we are going to have to revoke peoples ability to edit if they won't agree to disagree. The opposing party, the Minority should have the right, then to state his position (provided it doesn't break ethical or moral policy).--Jolie 17:14, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Points to ponder? Under what circumstances does a user have the right to keep opposing viewpoints off his edited document, project, etc. What if one side won't coorperate/ be polite/ or is inconsistant in his argument?--Jolie 17:30, 5 November 2008 (UTC)