39 votes
Accepted

How do materialists respond to the thought experiment of the perception of blue and red colors being swapped?

The famous version of this is Twin Earth thought experiment, which explores two worlds which are identical, except one has no H2O. The H2O in this world is instead replaced with a substance XYZ. ...
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20 votes

Can time exist without change?

You already seem to know the scientific perspective on this, but perhaps it's still worth elaborating a bit on it. You can define a second as the amount of time that passes between two ticks of the ...
18 votes
Accepted

What is a "demon"?

A demon is a skilled entity, used in thought experiments, that remarks some fact. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demon_(thought_experiment).
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14 votes

Can time exist without change?

The OP asks the following questions: Does the minimum unit of time coincide with the smallest change? Does time dissolve without differences between things? Bradley Dowden surveys two perspectives, ...
11 votes
Accepted

How does Putnam's twin earth thought experiment disprove functionalism?

The Twin Earth argument undercuts functionalism because it undercuts the identification of the mental with the functional. But the problem is not with creating "meanings", but with capturing them ...
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10 votes
Accepted

Is Galileo's argument about falling bodies logically flawed?

Galileo's argument shows that the magnitude which determines the speed of free fall must be intensive, not extensive. In the case of charges, the relevant magnitude is charge per mass unit. Same in ...
8 votes
Accepted

Was the Brain-in-a-Vat thought experiment explored philosophically before Putnam?

Putnam certainly deserves credit for the colorful realization, but philosophically brain in a vat/isolated brain issues are traced back (including by SEP) to Cartesian evil demon , which predates not ...
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8 votes

What is a "demon"?

Consider Descartes I will suppose therefore that not God, who is supremely good and the source of truth, but rather some malicious demon [mauvais génie] of the utmost power and cunning has employed ...
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7 votes
Accepted

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

I would encourage you to read the very original paper (here is a copy) ... If you read this from the very beginning, you'll find that Searle's use of three different batches of symbols is really in ...
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7 votes

What is a "demon"?

A demon in these contexts refers to "a forceful or skilful performer of a specified activity." In these thought experiments, a demon performs a task exactly as intended.
6 votes

How does Putnam's twin earth thought experiment disprove functionalism?

I will focus here on the first part of the question, which pertains to Putnam's argument to the effect that "meanings ain't in the head". I take this (rather than functionalism) to be the main issue. ...
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6 votes

How do materialists respond to the thought experiment of the perception of blue and red colors being swapped?

Twin A experiences the perception, call it PR, of the color red (that is, the material event, call it MR, of photons of a particular wavelength hitting the retina and stimulating neurons). Can you ...
6 votes

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

This answer is almost entirely opinion, if it will be permitted. Whose morals, whose ethics, whose values do you believe should be passed down to children, taught to them? Should the government just ...
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5 votes
Accepted

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

It's hard to find spot-on literature. This is connected with what you are interested in : BEHAVIORIST THOUGHT EXPERIMENT Possibly if we had absolute control over food, sex, shelter, if we had ...
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5 votes

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

Consider Plato's idea for how (Guardian) children ought to be raised in the kallipolis and all the objections Socrates' interlocutors find with it. Without a nuclear family, Plato thinks children ...
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5 votes

Can time exist without change?

You seem to be asking "what is time?". If you are asking in the sense of our science of physics, then time is defined by its measurement: time is what a clock reads. Quite literally that. And since ...
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5 votes

Can time exist without change?

I once read a thought experiment (I wish I could remember where see below) which attempted to establish that there is a subtle difference between the passage of time and change. It basically went like ...
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5 votes

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

Your argument basically boils down to "the universe wasn't (won't have been?) created next Thursday, therefore, it wasn't created last Thursday," which is a non sequitur, since conclusion is ...
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4 votes

If you are predictable do you have free will?

Free will is having a choice. Just because one can predict what choices another will make does not mean that the actor does not have choices. Computers do not have free will. They do what they are ...
3 votes

Is Galileo's argument about falling bodies logically flawed?

Galileo's logic is correct, but an important part of his reasoning is not so explicit, that it need to be. The main statement he bases on is that weight is additive. He uses this statement when ...
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3 votes

Is Galileo's argument about falling bodies logically flawed?

Take the example of momentum and apply Galileo's logic. Momentum equals mass x velocity. If you double the mass, you double the momentum. A ball with twice the mass will have twice the momentum. If ...
3 votes

Could some of our conceptions about the physical universe be wrong?

The answer to your title question would be an unequivocal "yes." Its absolutely possible that some of our conceptions about the physical universe may be wrong. In fact, I believe that most ...
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3 votes

"Jim and the Indians" and killing someone to harvest organs, is it equivalent?

Yes, Williams "Jim and the Indians" and the drifter problem (the usual name for what you describe as the five transplant recipients vs. one drifter case) are philosophically distinct and generally ...
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3 votes

How do materialists respond to the thought experiment of the perception of blue and red colors being swapped?

It already happened The Dress... ...describes your thought-experiment already. With this we can verify that two different people seeing the exact same image, can perceive the colours differently. ...
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3 votes

How do materialists respond to the thought experiment of the perception of blue and red colors being swapped?

If the twins are, in fact, receiving the same signals from their eyeballs, but interpreting them differently (which would need to be proven first), then the following experiment provides a half-...
3 votes

Does life imply death or the other way around?

I am guessing the "song" is the video of Alan Watts reading from his 1960 book The Nature of Consciousness (renamed into What Is Reality? in 1989): "If you awaken from this illusion, and you ...
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3 votes
Accepted

Does life imply death or the other way around?

I see that death implies life, in that anything that's dead was alive before. I don't suppose that life implies death, because who knows? Maybe you will be frozen in a black hole time sink and never ...
3 votes

Is this event undetermined?

You toss a coin in a perfectly isolated box...you want to check what face it shows... With the logical underpinning of this question, you have already come to a problem. Who is to say the coin even ...
3 votes
Accepted

Would we choose to become psychopaths if we could?

We could but it would not be beneficial for the species First of all, empathy and other social functions exists among other mammals (dogs, wolves, horses, all kind of apes etc ...) . Why have they ...
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