Monthly Archives: August 2009

Thought-experiment August: (6) The Church and the Ship of Neurath

August went by too fast! But we still have time for one more thought experiment. It’s a short one, but it has many uses in philosophy of science. Consider the ship of Neurath. It was introduced by a member of … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy of Science | 13 Comments

Thought-experiment August: (5) The God of Eth and the problem of good

{A note on thought experiments: OK, some of you good folk keeping trying to ‘kobayashi maru’ the conditions of the test and rearrange it, or say you would never believe the conditions would hold, or end run the solution. In … Continue reading

Posted in Religion | 16 Comments

Thought-experiment August: (4) Should you shoot Sally to save the girls?

Here’s a twist on a classic ethics thought-experiment. You are high on a hill with a high-powered rifle and scope and you know you never miss (you are an ex-navy sniper say), even with a moving target. Down below on … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics | 20 Comments

Thought-experiment August: (3) Would it matter if you switched to an identical universe?

Suppose that you are captured by aliens who can travel to other universes. Furthermore, they tell you they are going to drop you into a different universe but, and here’s the catch, it is identical to this one. And by … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 26 Comments

Thought-experiment August: (2) The gasatroids and their incredibly shrinking ladder

So let’s borrow from Henri Poincaré for our next Gedankenexperiment, Suppose the kindly gas people of Sigma Alpha Tau wonder how high the heavens go. Sigma Alpha Tau is a Jovian-like gas giant wherein float the gasatroids who wander about … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Thought-experiment August: (1) What Mary—a future neurobiologist—knows

Welcome to the end of summer, thought-experiments bash! For the month of August we will be exploring classic thought-experiments from science and philosophy! So put on your thinking caps. It’s Gedankenexperiment August! What Mary Knows:

Posted in Uncategorized | 18 Comments