From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Notability is the property of being worthy of notice, having fame, or being considered to be of a high degree of interest, significance, or distinction. It also refers to the capacity to be such. Persons who are notable due to public responsibility, accomplishments, or, even, mere participation in the celebrity industry are said to have a public profile.
The concept arises in the philosophy of aesthetics regarding aesthetic appraisal. There are criticism of art galleries determining monetary valuation, or valuation so as to determine what or what not to display, being based on notability of the artist, rather than inherent quality of the art work.
Journalism and marketing
Notability arises in decisions on coverage questions in journalism. Marketers and newspapers may try to create notability to create celebrity, fame, or notoriety, or to increase sales, as in the yellow press.
Notables as the privileged class
The privileged class are sometimes called notables, when compared to peasants.
Notability of a subject determines which articles will be included or not at Wikipedia. In his book, The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia, Andrew Lih writes that notability is at the center of the debate as to what the world's greatest encyclopedia should be -
- "One faction believes Wikipedia should contain pretty much anything, as long as it’s factual and verifiable.... On the other side of the debate are the ‘deletionists’, although this somewhat unfairly characterizes their view in a destructive way. Some prefer the word ‘exclusionists’. This camp believes it is important to strictly determine not only whether something is factual, but whether it is notable, whether it is worthy of being included in the pantheon of human knowledge..... At the center of the debate is notability, which is where inclusionists and deletionists have their skirmishes.
The number of hits from a search engine has been proposed as a measure of notability; Wikipedia does not recommend the use of Google's results.
Notability may be considered to be absolutely objective, e.g., inherently as the big bang; relatively objectively determinable using a conventional definition, which is subjectively determined by consensus, e.g., an online encyclopedia consensus to consider all towns as being notable, no matter how small; or subjective, such as a notably emotional day for an individual.
Using fallacious reasoning to confer notability
Name dropping and argument by authority are examples of attempts to confer notability by associating the name of something notable with something else in an attempt to establish notability of that thing.
Conferring notability is related to transitivity and the syllogism. If all A's are notable, and x is an A, then x is notable is true by syllogism, but if A is notable, and x is an element of A, then x is not necessarily notable. If x is more notable than y, and y is more notable than z, then x is more notable than z, but if person x considers A to be notable, and A is a subset of B, then x does not necessarily consider B to be notable; an example of an intentional context in the paradox of the name relation.