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Questions tagged [thought-experiment]

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Divided brain thought experiment: what is an analog of Born rule in biology? [closed]

Consider the following thoght experiment: your brain is divided in two and then each part is inserted in new body and regenerated (using future medicine), including all memories being restored. So, ...
Anixx's user avatar
  • 399
2 votes
2 answers
113 views

Ethics of the unborn/non-sentient - Conflicting ideas

I hold two positions that I find to be conflicting with each other, and I wanted to see where I am going wrong. The first position is that moral weight is predicated on sentience, something lacking ...
Aph002's user avatar
  • 141
8 votes
6 answers
923 views

Would it be possible to convince a hungry alien species that human lives are valuable?

Suppose that: an extraterrestrial species comes to earth they are vastly more intelligent than us, and are capable of easily overpowering us militarily they have moral intuitions, but different from ...
ac15's user avatar
  • 1,786
1 vote
1 answer
131 views

What would it be like for a person with no senses and no motor functions at all since birth?

As a sort of thought experiment trying to go to the farthest lengths of knowing oneself from the distractions of this world, I wanted to know what it would be like for a person that was born with none ...
How why e's user avatar
  • 1,226
0 votes
1 answer
54 views

The firmament in the hexaemeral cosmogony and compatibility with Thales

I realize any GPT analytical snippet may have its flaws, but I find it an alluring tool (if it continues to improve) to offer educated conjectures on what pre-Socratics would have to say about certain ...
Arash Howaida's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
63 views

Probabilities and Certainties on the Monkey Axis: Yet more about those monkey typists

I was reading with some interest the answers and comments to this question about that familiar, weird and somewhat inhumane infinite-monkey experiment which, somehow, is still generating fresh and ...
Brandon Burt's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
341 views

Does the halfer position in the Sleeping Beauty problem make for an irrational gambler?

It's my understanding that the Sleeping Beauty problem doesn't have a consensus answer, with major camps along the lines of "halfers," "thirders," and "the-question-statement-...
Feryll's user avatar
  • 153
3 votes
4 answers
962 views

Are there any refutations to the Generic subjective continuity theory?

The Generic subjective continuity theory is a horrifying one, considering it would entail that we shall experience every concious experience including the worst of tortures ie, burning alive, etc. Are ...
Rayyan khan's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
118 views

How would Heidegger criticize Descartes' melting candle analogy?

I've recently finished reading Being and Time and have attempted to supplement my understanding with different takes on the piece. One interesting angle that I've mused upon myself but haven't seen in ...
Arash Howaida's user avatar
12 votes
8 answers
4k views

If we encounter what appears to be an advanced extraterrestrial technological device, would the claim that it was designed be falsifiable?

Suppose we go to Mars and come across what appears to be a highly advanced technological device of extraterrestrial origin. Let's call this object X. Would the claim "X was designed" be ...
Mark's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
30 views

Is there a term/name of thought experiment about what constitutes the act of "giving something away"?

This was inspired by the old "strange interview question" of "What would you do if you were given an elephant, and you could not give it away?" What constitutes "Giving ...
SchrodingersStat's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
78 views

To which philosophical direction, theory or philosopher does this panel from comic named "the allegory of the trolley problem paradox" refer to?

I figured out the rest of panels, but stuck on this one. I think it's related to philosophy of language, but I can't pin down more specific answer for this one. As far as I understand it's about a ...
Hakito's user avatar
  • 23
0 votes
2 answers
155 views

Testing of complex systems

I wasn't sure were to post this question, seems ill fitted for most content I see. In software development there is a procedure for testing software that includes unit testing, integration testing, ...
gabriel's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
139 views

Is human thought itself a fundamental force?

To begin with, as far as I understand, there are four well accepted forces of nature: Gravity Weak interaction Strong interaction Electromagnetism Now, these forces are all characterized by changing ...
tryst with freedom's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
81 views

Intersection of the Gettier problem and knowing-what or knowing-how

From what I can tell, it seems like the Gettier problem comes down to Smith not knowing that the man who has ten coins in his pocket is going to get the job. What about Smith knowing what the ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
276 views

Is the existence or causing of suffering inherently bad?

Looked at rationally, suffering is existing neurons evaluating certain stimuli to be negative. How does one argue that causing suffering or the existence of suffering is inherently bad? Let's do a ...
onflante's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
106 views

The Philosophy of War and Value Judgement [closed]

With the war in Ukraine, I think a field has been opened up for studying the philosophy of war deeper. First of all, I would like to state that I oppose the war in Ukraine and Russian government's ...
Xemorphy's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
1k views

Can you disprove Last Thursdayism for the time since you were born?

Let's take this week for example. I know that I exist now on Monday, and that this coming Thursday won't begin all existence. Therefore Last Thursdayism for the future is disproved. This means that ...
user289980's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
162 views

Do evil actions stem from good intentions? [closed]

Good actions and bad actions exist. But could it be possible that all bad and evil actions could stem from some sort of good thing making it at its root not evil. Like say I want to do something to ...
no name the astronaut's user avatar
-1 votes
5 answers
209 views

Is an action that causes a paradox impossible?

Suppose you went back in time and tried to murder your 2 year old self. Since murdering yourself in the past erases you, then you can no longer kill anything because you don't exist. Therefore, no ...
Phil Grave's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
78 views

Are there any points that can't be made without thought experiments?

Are all thought experiments simply another way to assert certain claims and examples or does it have inherent epistemological value? Edit: is there any point that can't be made without thought ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
1k views

Examples for real-world instances of trolley cases [closed]

Trolley cases are scenarios that play an important role in a specific kind of thought experiment, famously published by Philippa Foot. Here's just one of the many formulations: Consider a pair of ...
Felix Emanuel's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
222 views

A thought experiment for free-will, individuality and one-way functions?

Here is a thought experiment I have been thinking about concerning Free Will, Individuality and One-Way functions: Assumptions: Each conscious being in a world has material body which distincts it ...
mathoverflowUser's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
113 views

Experiencing and sensing time dilation when a person dies and the logic of

It is well known that when a person goes to sleep, there are instances when we do not experience time which has phenomenological implications. There is a temporal discontinuity. It is also known that ...
Anirban Mandal's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
198 views

Mechanics of Thought Experiment

How do thought experiments work? We constantly see usage of thought experiments to argue some statements about 'real' world. I am interested in the operating mechanics of such experiments, the ...
Ajax's user avatar
  • 1,139
11 votes
7 answers
6k views

What is a "demon"?

The term demon appears in several thought experiments: Maxwell's demon, Laplace's demon, Descartes' demon, maybe others. What is this term supposed to mean? For example, I understand the term oracle: ...
kutschkem's user avatar
  • 2,290
0 votes
2 answers
157 views

Can biological evolution comsummate?

Can biological evolution comsummate? In biological evolution, living organisms continues to change. However, is there a point wherein evolution stops due to an organism not needing change anymore? ...
R. Brown's user avatar
  • 155
-1 votes
2 answers
134 views

Is living with constant mindfulness necessarily good? or does it limit one's potential? [closed]

Isn't mindfulness is difficult for a thinker which usually philosophers are? Mindfulness by definition is bringing awareness to present moment non judgmentally and I agree it may relax you. I believe ...
old-monk's user avatar
1 vote
5 answers
2k views

Can somebody explain the "thought experiment" about the tree falling in the forest?

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Of course it does, assuming that there is no freak occurrence like the wind blowing in just the right direction for ...
Jermichael Mannheimer's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
429 views

Can the scientific method ever disprove Magic and Miracles (Simulated)?

I have seen the idea behind this question before but I don’t think it was well formulated. Here is my attempt to ponder on reality based on Plato's “Myth of the Cave” and show how valid it still is. ...
user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
500 views

Does Shoemaker's thought experiment about time really work?

Shoemaker gives us an interesting thought experiment about time: Assume that an entire universe is divided into three parts -- A, B, and C. Every 3 years, everything in A freezes for a year. ...
Francesco D'Isa's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
738 views

Thought experiment: The distorted brain in a vat

[This is the second version of another question: How does consciousness depend on spatiality?] I admit that the technical details of the following thought experiment sound completely weird but that's ...
Hans-Peter Stricker's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
203 views

Why does Searle's room receive three batches of Chinese characters and two English instruction manuals as input?

Searle's Chinese room receives input in the form of a batch of chinese characters, then twice after receives a batch of Chinese. The second batch of Chinese comes with English instructions for "...
BLUC's user avatar
  • 143
2 votes
4 answers
2k views

If you are predictable do you have free will?

Let there be a person that acted in some way. Also there is another person who had predicted that behaviour of first person. Does the first person has free will? Is it just possible to do something ...
mkultra's user avatar
  • 155
2 votes
2 answers
344 views

Why should we even think about determinism?

So I've browsed through some questions here but none of them really fits my thought process: If you assume that determinism is not the case, your actions will therefore be the right decision. If ...
miep's user avatar
  • 161
29 votes
23 answers
8k views

Can time exist without change?

Imagine an event of one second in length, like two hands clapping. Suppose that another interval of time elapses between the clap, a period in which nothing happens in the whole universe (or in all ...
Francesco D'Isa's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
73 views

Mach and Norton thought experiments in science

Both Mach and Norton hold empiricist views on the notions of the role of thought experiments. Could someone please explain the difference? Have done some reading but it’s not totally clear.
Maths's user avatar
  • 167
3 votes
3 answers
113 views

Can a single thought experiment have multiple outcomes?

Is it possible for a particular thought experiment to have multiple outcomes based on the view point of the person conducting said experiment? Or can a thought experiment never yield multiple ...
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
261 views

Thought experiments and empiricism

The debate between Norton and Brown regarding whether thought experiments transcend empiricism is interesting with Norton suggesting that thought experiments do not transcend empiricism. If one had ...
ADG's user avatar
  • 41
3 votes
5 answers
443 views

If time is discrete, does moving means teleporting?

Please follow this thought experiment: 1) A ball moves one centimeter in one unit of time. 2) A ball disappears. Then, after a unit of time, it reappears one centimeter far away. By now we don't ...
Francesco D'Isa's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
458 views

Would we choose to become psychopaths if we could?

Deep Brain Stimulation to stop major depression is a reality in its infancy hence let’s make a thought experiment: Presume a much more advanced version was created and everybody could inhibit any ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
40 views

Is it okay to have multiple aims? [closed]

From childhood we were told to have only one aim. All the stories we were told were around this concept (for example, Arjuna and Fish Eye from the Mahabharata). If we vacillate between different ...
Akhilesh's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
154 views

Is complete isolation possible?

Imagine an ideal box, whose contents are perfectly isolated. Whatever is inside it, it has not, has had or will have any relations with the rest of the universe. We could say that its content does not ...
Francesco D'Isa's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
168 views

Is this event undetermined?

You toss a coin in an ideal, perfectly isolated box. If nothing and no one will ever check what face it shows, is this event objectively undetermined? (My guess is yes – if the isolation is perfect ...
Francesco D'Isa's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
283 views

Is this a paradox about clairvoyance?

You play a game with a fortune teller. There are two cards with the face down on the table; he wins if you raises the card's suit he foresees, you win if his prediction turns out to be wrong. Suppose ...
Francesco D'Isa's user avatar
2 votes
7 answers
429 views

Consciousness doesn't need your body - a thought experiment

1) During a deep sleep, your consciousness deactivates to reactivate upon awakening 2) During a deep sleep, you are narcotized and killed, to be replaced instantly by an identical copy, which wakes ...
Francesco D'Isa's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
79 views

Authors on the philosophical impact of the discovery of an Extraterrestrial civilization [closed]

Is humanity ready to accept the existence of an extraterrestrial species? Would the average citizen of the XXI century would like to know or perhaps It would be better to society to remain ignorant? ...
user avatar
1 vote
7 answers
1k views

Does life imply death or the other way around? [closed]

I just heard that good ol' statement in a song and I automatically started wondering, since what's more logical to me is that death implies life? Any thoughts?
Milan Velebit's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
696 views

Wanted: literature on the ethics of creating a fake world (The morality of God)

WARNING (reader discretion is advised. Don't do these experiments if you are not familiar with existential philosophy or if you suffer from some mental disorder) This question is subtle. I think ...
user avatar
7 votes
7 answers
3k views

What ethical studies have been performed on what would happen if a government raises kids without parents?

This is a thought experiment that deals with morality and ethics: Due to low natality governments decide to create schools in which kids are raised by professional caregivers and people trained ...
user avatar