Wikiversity:Multiple points of view

This originated as a comment on the NPOV policy talk page.

This will be expanded into a discussion of MPOV from MPOV including MPOV or NPOV as discussed below.

NPOV has problematic assumptions but it is a useful principle for a first approximation of a critical approach to appreciating multiplicity of perspectives. I expect that over time that Wikiversity scholars may evolve NPOV into an MPOV (multiple points of view) principles which calls for the appreciation, based on in depth study, of how it is possible to vary the number of positions, interpretation, balance, level of coverage and summary conclusions offered for different points of view -- such that there are very many mixes of points of view possible that would all seem to satisfy NPOV.

For some wikischolars studying multiples schools of thought, reducing bias might perhaps be not an aim as much as developing ever more depth of appreciation of the biases and presuppositions of varying perspectives and their contrasts -- a richer and richer MPOV, one could say. Differing scholars and schools of scholars would have differing MPOVs. An MPOV policy would be a meta-position beyond NPOV which calls for the comparison and evaluation of differing MPOVs. MPOV would call for increasing depth in critical understanding of and comparison of varying MPOVs rather than decrease in bias ever more closely towards NPOV. I think NPOV as written assumes one root balanced POV is possible in the future as the endpoint of NPOV work of including and balancing various views. MPOV does not assume this -- it assumes that an MPOV is always constructed from an POV and can not escape this, hence there are always MPOVs and MPOVs may expand and not contract in further MPOV work. We do not know which position is correct, an NPOV endpoint or an expanding set of MPOVs. In part, it is an item of metaphysical belief to assume NPOV or MPOV as so described here. A meta position requires contrasting NPOV and this MPOVs. Note that the MPOV perspective may be more relevant to a number of schools of thought in the social sciences and humanities than to the natural sciences. Social theorists are underrepresented perhaps in Wikipedia discussions. I hope that is not the case in Wikiversity. (One could argue that the MPOV idea is present in seed form in one way of interpreting the NPOV concept, but I think it could be elaborated here or somewhere in Wikiversity space.)

A closing thought: I think it is reasonable to take a position in between their being one NPOV possible and many MPOVs as probable (between modernity and postmodernity if you will) which is that a small finite set of kinds of MPOVs are possible -- I actually favor this at times -- but it would require multiple writings from multiple MPOVs to construct that theory space - not one multidimensional writing/text/MPOV-NPOV but a finite group of MPOV texts with differing MPOV perspectives. Reswik 01:52, 21 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]

See also