Thought Experimenter

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jautājums American English atbilde American English
What is a thought experiment?
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It is an imagined scenario that reveals something philosophically interesting.
Plato's Ring of Gyges reveals something about justice.
How can thought experiments help us get closer to the truth?
Einstein used these to come up with his theory of special relativity!
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They can provide evidence for the truth-value of a proposition.
Plato's Ring of Gyges gives us evidence that, if we could get away with being unjust, it would be good for us to be unjust.
What is the first step of creating a thought experiment?
Use your imagination!
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Tap into your inner storyteller.
Thought experiments are just very short stories that could teach us something; as with stories, imagination is needed to convey the experiment.
What is the second step of creating a thought experiment?
Think of how to design a good scientific experiment.
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Keep your thought experiment focused on only one variable or on determining only one thing.
Like scientific experiments, there should only be one independant variable and one dependant variable so as to avoid any confounding variables. Your thought experiment may be boring, but these are meant for truth, not beauty.
Is the example thought experiment good or bad?
We're trying to figure out which things make a life go better for the one living it.
Imagine 2 people. The 1st is tall Will, who loves life and has friends, money, a good job, tasty food, and an attractive appearance. The 2nd is small Bill, who hates life and has no friends, money, job, or food except rice and beans. Whose life is better?
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This is a bad thought experiment.
It isn't focused on any one thing that might be relevant to how well a life is going.
Is the example thought experiment good or bad?
We're trying to figure out which things make a life go better for the one living.
Imagine 2 people. Will and Bill, who look exactly the same, live nearly identical lives. The only difference between their lives is the Will dies painlessly at 30 and Bill dies painlessly at 50. Whose life went better for him, Will's or Bill's?
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This is a good thought experiment.
It is focused on only one thing that might be relevant to how well a life is going.
It seems clear that Bill's life went better for him than Will's. So it seems that, as long as a life is going well for the one living it, living for longer is better than living for shorter.
What is the third step of creating a thought experiment?
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Practice!
Designing thought experiments is an art, so it's best to learn more about the nature and use of thought experiments.
You can visit https://plato. stanford. edu/entries/thought-experiment for more information about thought experiments and their application in critical thinking.

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