36

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. Denizens of both worlds call their substance "water." This thought experiment has countless arguments made on both sides. Your particular argument presupposes ...


20

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 second hand of a clock. Our modern definition of the second is essentially a more precise version of the same idea, where the oscillations of the radiation ...


14

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, substantivalism and relationalism, with regards to the question whether time requires change: Substantivalism is the thesis that space and time exist ...


11

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 faithfully. It is worth recalling that Putnam was a champion of computational functionalism back in 1960s, before he wasn't. According to functionalism human mind ...


8

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 the case of cross sections: it is cross-section per mass unit. These magnitudes are intensive. When attaching two objects, you double the resistance of the air, ...


7

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 only Putnam, the Matrix and other modern implementations of non-stop hallucinations, but even 1812 and Frankenstein. Even before Descartes Avicenna's Floating ...


7

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 specific response to Roger Schank's computer program that answers questions about stories given to it. Searle writes: Very briefly, and leaving out the ...


6

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. Putnam says that while talking about indexicals ("I", "That", "now") - intention doesn't determine extension. It seems right, because when I say "I" and when ...


6

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 define "perception"? Is it a material event? It is a valid materialist position, if not the materialist position, that "perception" is not an atomic concept, ...


6

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 decide what people should believe because it saves on propaganda? The discussed situation is not justifiable unless you allow any means to justify an end and, ...


5

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 some great reconditioning laboratory where the individual could be brought for a year for rigorous study and experimentation, we might be able to undo ...


5

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 develop familial attachments to their fellow citizens instead, binding individuals to each other and the state in new ways. The myth of the metals serves not only ...


5

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 Einstein, that is a rather flexible definition. Anyways, it does not tell you anything about what time actually is. But by that definition, in your example, ...


5

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 this: Imagine a hypothetical universe which is composed four islands separated by force fields that no matter could pass through, but which was permeable by ...


4

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 programmed to and cannot choose to do otherwise. People, on the other hand, almost always have choices. Sometimes the choices are dire ("Give me the ...


3

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 scientists are rather confident that some of our conceptions are wrong. However, the goal of rectifying this issue may be out of scope of mere mortals. One famous ...


3

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 considered different. Working from memory, that's also a difference Williams is aware of when he comes up with it. In the drifter problem, the agent is killing ...


3

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 you take two balls, each having the same velocity, and tie them together, the new ball has more momentum than the heavier ball alone. The smaller ball does not ...


3

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. You object to this of course, and state that you wanted the twins to be identical. But this is not something that we can achieve in our present reality. We can —...


3

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-solution: Construct an experiment such that Twin A adjusts levels of light wavelengths λX and λY until the blend is - to them - completely indistinguishable from ...


3

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 understand that black implies white, self implies other, life implies death — or shall I say, death implies life — you can feel yourself. Not as a stranger in the ...


3

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 actually die by virtue of getting stuck in a moment forever! Also, classical notions of God/god imply that he/she/He/etc is eternal, meaning never dying. So ...


3

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 shows a face? Who is to say the coin ever landed, as there is no air in the box to carry the sound of the coin landing to you? Perhaps the coin is still falling ...


3

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 developed ? Simply, group is stronger than the sum of individuals. Five lonely wolves have lesser chance to survive than five wolves in a pack. With humans this ...


3

I'm not familiar with that Norton&Brown debate, but it's nevertheless abundantly and historically clear that it's empiricism which transcends thought experiments, rather than the other-way-around. The enormously famous EPR thought experiment is the historical example I had in mind, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EPR_paradox   And you'll note ...


3

Since one might say that one of the important properties of time is to allow for change; to then suppose time exists, but that there is no change, rather goes against this. It's a logical possibility, but then so is a universe with nothing in it; or indeed, no universe at all.


3

Time is conceived by mind. There is no absolute time only brownian movement everywhere. We are scanning the world through our eyes at a rate of around 16 Hz. For a honey bee it is higher. So in Honey bee's perception we are slow. We have chosen some band width to scan this world and relatively we are calculating. Time also relative. one second can be ...


3

Further expanding upon the computer simulation idea brought up in MattClarke's answer: One interesting idea is the idea of mind uploading. If human consciousness happens to be Turing-compatible, then it would be theoretically possible to convert a human mind into a piece of software. Then, just like normal software, the host computer would be able to ...


2

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 regards compound body, made from two glued bodies, as the same as two bodies, connected by wire. What we see as body's weight is it's attraction force towards Earth,...


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