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39 votes
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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. ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
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 ...
Tobias Fritz's user avatar
18 votes
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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).
RodolfoAP's user avatar
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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, ...
Frank Hubeny's user avatar
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13 votes
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If we encounter what appears to be an advanced extraterrestrial technological device, would the claim that it was designed be falsifiable?

Scientific theories and falsification are not generally questions about specific instances, but applied to general processes and statements about nature. Theories make predictions, then you perform ...
Barmar's user avatar
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9 votes

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

Yes; perhaps X was the result of random evolution of self-reproducing machines, like evolution on Earth but for machines. In that case, finding sufficient evidence of the evolution process (fossils/...
causative's user avatar
  • 13.6k
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 ...
CriglCragl's user avatar
8 votes

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

There are different branches of science doing different things, which are all "scientific" in a way, but still different. The requirement of making falsifiable predictions is of utmost ...
tkruse's user avatar
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7 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 ...
Willtech's user avatar
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7 votes
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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 ...
Bram28's user avatar
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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.
Carl Masens's user avatar
7 votes

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

There are a lot of valid, well-designed experiments which may be expensive, inconvenient, unethical, or demanding an unrealistic amount of patience, but I put it to you that these mere practical ...
Roger's user avatar
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7 votes

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

IMO the only attempt is to argue with Kant's Categorical Imperative: Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law. And to point out ...
Jo Wehler's user avatar
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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 ...
Acccumulation's user avatar
5 votes
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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 ...
Geoffrey Thomas's user avatar
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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 ...
simpatico's user avatar
  • 349
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 ...
AnoE's user avatar
  • 2,867
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 ...
p.s.w.g's user avatar
  • 151
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 ...
Sandejo's user avatar
  • 823
5 votes

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

I am a designer and I like to think that I am intelligent enough to shed some light on the subject of design. All designs aim to serve a purpose. There is no design without any purpose the design is ...
Pertti Ruismäki's user avatar
4 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 ...
virmaior's user avatar
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4 votes
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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 ...
rs.29's user avatar
  • 1,206
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 ...
user3294068's user avatar
4 votes
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To which philosophical direction, theory or philosopher does this panel from comic named "the allegory of the trolley problem paradox" refer to?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_room Probably this argument about how an AI would still not be conscious if it passed the Turing test as it would be like a person answering Chinese questions ...
haxor789's user avatar
  • 6,112
4 votes

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

William Dembski has made the claim, “evolutionary algorithms cannot generate specified complexity.” Therefore, if the designer was the product of either biological evolution or an evolutionary ...
Davislor's user avatar
  • 852
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 ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
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. ...
MichaelK's user avatar
  • 5,144
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-...
Chronocidal's user avatar
3 votes

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

Here's one or two objections I have to government taking on this role: All mammals and many birds are impressed by their parents about their own identity. Reasonably, humans have a need for this. ...
elliot svensson's user avatar

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