96 votes

What is the moral difference between abortion and infanticide?

A toddler can (with a minimal amount of assistance) continue living and developing on its own. Setting aside that you underestimate the cognitive capacities of infants, an infant is a fully formed and ...
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27 votes

What is the moral difference between abortion and infanticide?

There's no one answer to your question, because this is a live debate, and different thinkers have very different moral intuitions about it. Traditional Catholic theology represents perhaps the ...
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20 votes
Accepted

Why is a set with one element distinct from the element itself?

In computing, there are data models (such as the XPath data model used for XML) in which an item and a singleton collection containing that item are treated as indistinguishable. You can build a ...
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19 votes

What is the moral difference between abortion and infanticide?

First, a toddler is a child in the technical sense approximately between 12-36 months year old. If you're looking for a counter argument to your specific wording: Some would say you can abort a ...
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  • 9,253
19 votes

Why is it wrong to answer a question with a tautology? Isn't "2+2" correct when answering 'What is "2+2"'?

The teacher's goal when asking is not merely to obtain a correct answer (spoiler alert, because they already know the answer), but for the students to demonstrate knowledge, in order to make sure the ...
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  • 2,683
19 votes

Why is a set with one element distinct from the element itself?

One reason why this is true is because there is such a thing as the empty set - the set with no elements at all. Consider a set X that contains only the empty set, and nothing else. How many elements ...
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17 votes
Accepted

Why is it wrong to answer a question with a tautology? Isn't "2+2" correct when answering 'What is "2+2"'?

The unstated assumption is that the person asking the question is asking for an answer that is in the simplest form. "What is 2+2?" could better be expressed as "What natural number is ...
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  • 15.4k
17 votes

Why is it wrong to answer a question with a tautology? Isn't "2+2" correct when answering 'What is "2+2"'?

Short Answer When you use talk about "expressions" and "objects" to which they refer, you are in the domain of semiotics, linguistics, and the philosophy of language. Semioticians ...
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  • 9,253
10 votes

If I upload my brain into a computer is it still me?

My friend, you stopped where things get really interesting. The result of the process you described is a human consciousness whose substratum is a computer program instead of a bodily organ. Much ...
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10 votes

What is the moral difference between abortion and infanticide?

To answer the question in the title, the matter of abortion revolves around two aspects: the killing of a developing human and the capacity to which a pregnant woman has bodily autonomy. So a moral ...
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  • 1,113
9 votes

How can a stream of thoughts and perceptions have freewill?

James was not the first one to realize that central "I" or "consciousness" as an entity is not in any way helpful in explaining the will, or any other mental faculties. It is just a homunculus in the ...
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  • 40.7k
9 votes
Accepted

Why should we care about personal identity?

The question of personal identity falls under the general heading of metaphysics, and so one answer to your question(s) is: We study the question of personal identity for whatever reason we study ...
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9 votes

What is the moral difference between abortion and infanticide?

I'll offer an emphatic answer by Philip K. Dick. Wikipedia claims without corroboration that it is a response to the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe vs. Wade. In his chilling story "The Pre-Persons"1 ...
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9 votes

Why is a set with one element distinct from the element itself?

Why do we need a zero when it's conceptually the same as nothing? Because zero, as a number, has very different properties from being nothing at all. The reasoning is similar about the empty set ...
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8 votes

Why is it wrong to answer a question with a tautology? Isn't "2+2" correct when answering 'What is "2+2"'?

Language is about communication, not formal logic. Most of the time, a question is asked to gain information. Usually, the information desired is about the subject of the question (e.g. “When's the ...
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  • 674
8 votes

How does one determine the boundary of an object?

It's a pragmatic thing more than a linguistic thing. If you want to go to the store, you think about your car If your car won't drive, you think about what part of it is at fault: engine, ...
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8 votes

Why is a set with one element distinct from the element itself?

You may consider a collection as a container: Apparently a thing included in a container is different from the thing without container. Aside: Set theory provides operations to handle sets (= ...
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  • 19.9k
7 votes
Accepted

What would be the implications if the equality of opposites was true?

Did Heraclitus believe in the identity of opposites? I do not think so. He is popularly quoted as having said, No man ever steps in the same river twice. But what he actually said is quite ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Is steam necessarily ice?

Ice is H2O in solid state, and steam is H2O in gaseous state, so neither is H2O simpliciter and necessarily (or even actually) the other. The correct versions will be "the material of ice is ...
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  • 40.7k
7 votes

What are the philosophical solutions to "ship of Theseus" problem of identity?

The Ship of Theseus is one of the more illuminating thought problems in philosophy, and it having been around for something like 2500 years indicates how insightful the early Greek philosophers were. ...
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  • 4,161
6 votes

Why am I this particular human being?

You could be interested in reading the IV chapter of The view from Nowhere, by Thomas Nagel, since it's all about this topic. His arguments are related to the issue of a subjective/objective view, but ...
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6 votes
Accepted

The Immortal Jellyfish

Welcome to SE Philosophy! This is what is known in philosophy as a question of identity and is related to the metaphysical discipline of ontology, or the study of what is. In essence, identity is the ...
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  • 9,253
6 votes

"v = 1 m/s": predicate or relation? Any literature?

The statement "The ball is red" can be rewritten with subject-predicate form: "Red(ball)" where "Red( )" is a predicate (a property predicated of something) and "ball" is the subject (an object of ...
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5 votes

How can one differentiate nonexistent entities?

Obviously you can't differentiate things that do not exist, given that there is nothing to differentiate. However you can differentiate descriptions. (1) "Ectoplasm" was supposed to be a substance ...
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5 votes
Accepted

How does Parfit's "brain division" thought experiment refute the brain theory of personal identity?

It's an incredibly unhelpful thought experiment because it is far from clear that someone with a severed corpus callosum is actually "one person" in the cognitive sense that we normally mean. (Also, ...
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  • 15.6k
5 votes

Does a transgender person become a different person after transitioning?

Philosophy makes a distinction between the identity of material objects* (and immaterial objects if those are thought to exist) and what is called "personal identity." From the Stanford ...
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  • 2,790
5 votes

What is the moral difference between abortion and infanticide?

There's some great philosophy written on this topic (see Thomson). Suffice to say, even if you assume that a fetus is a child, a pregnant person still has the right to terminate the pregnancy. The ...
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5 votes

How can I maintain integrity when requested to use gender pronouns yet still be loving?

Well, I think we do have to consider the elephant in the room, here: do you want to keep these people as friends, are are you willing to sacrifice their friendship for the sake of your principles? ...
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5 votes

Why is it wrong to answer a question with a tautology? Isn't "2+2" correct when answering 'What is "2+2"'?

It is not wrong to state that P is P, but it is implicitly assumed so, according to Aristotle's law of identity. So, in case of having such type of question, "What is P?", an answer of the ...
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  • 4,351

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