Should 'Programming psychology and philosophy' be added to the list of topics for questions in the faq?

A lot of questions fall under that description

Edit: This answer to Questions barely or not related directly to programming. We need handling them, got me thinking about it.

  • 1
    I support this suggestion.
    – user2567
    Commented Apr 15, 2011 at 13:36
  • 2
    Can you add a few links to the question as examples of such questions? I'm not saying they're off-topic because in general they aren't, but I want to see some proof of "a lot of" before modifying the FAQ.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Apr 15, 2011 at 13:37
  • This question was completely changed from the original to the point the new question really should've been asked as a separate question in and of itself. Rolling this question back.
    – user8
    Commented Apr 18, 2011 at 18:35
  • @Mark - Ok, makes sense. Thanks
    – John Shaft
    Commented Apr 19, 2011 at 8:31

1 Answer 1


The goal of any Stack Exchange site is ask and provide expert answers that deal with the site's domain: answers that are based in reality and supported by cogent arguments and verifiable data.

The goal is not, however, to provide a place to discuss whatever topic tangentially related to the site's domain. That is, Stack Exchange sites are not for the merely curious; for the armchair philosophers and armchair psychologists. The questions that appeal to them don't attract experts willing to offer their knowledge and experience.

So if the purpose of this is to give free license to the questions linked in the answer you linked to, then no.

Indeed, the questions mentioned in the answer you linked support this: not a single question there has answers from expert psychologists or philosophers. And most (if not all) of the highest-voted answers are complete non-answers showing no expertise at all, but instead merely play to the crowd.

Right now, the site's problem is a lack of good answers, not a lack of good questions. It doesn't help the problem by introducing a whole new class of questions that invite bad answers.

  • I added the link to my question to provide a bit of context to the discussion in the sense that a lot of questions seem to be falling outside the scope of the site and that the scope is evolving. I wasn't necessarily highlighting those questions. I've had the weekend to let this idea mature a bit and I think 'Programming psychology and philosophy' might be a bit broad. I think a topic such as 'programmer relations' could be useful and possibly 'programmer development' in the sense of developing yourself as a programmer might also be relevant.
    – John Shaft
    Commented Apr 18, 2011 at 7:17
  • (continued) - I'll add some links to questions to clarify this a bit more throughout the day
    – John Shaft
    Commented Apr 18, 2011 at 7:18
  • @Josh: Let's take your implication that the questions linked in the original post are among those that would be considered "exceedingly good". Fine, but exceedingly good in what context and on what topic? Surely you would agree that a well-written question about network administration is still off-topic here because, as a rule, the community has little to no expertise on that subject. A psychology question might (might) fit the "good subjective" bill, but is it actually on topic? I see no reason why it should be - it's an entirely separate area of expertise.
    – Aaronaught
    Commented Apr 18, 2011 at 17:44
  • Yes, noticed that since you pointed it out.
    – Josh K
    Commented Apr 19, 2011 at 0:27

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