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Topic: Thought experiment

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  Thought experiment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thought experiment methodology is a priori, rather than empirical, in that it does not proceed by observation or experiment.
Thought experimentation is an a priori, rather than an empirical process, in that the experiments are conducted within the imagination (i.e., Brown’s (1993) "laboratory of the mind"), and never in fact.
Thought experiments have been used in philosophy, physics, and other fields (such as cognitive psychology, history, political science, economics, social psychology, law, organizational studies, marketing, and epidemiology).
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Thought_experiment   (2447 words)

 Thought Experiments
Often a real experiment that is the analogue of a thought experiment is impossible for physical, technological, or financial reasons; but this needn't be a defining condition of thought experiments.
The thought experiment is effective in distinguishing two concepts that had previously been run together: “right to life” and “right to what is needed to sustain life.” The fetus and the violinist may each have the former, but it is not evident that either has the latter.
The main division is constructive vs destructive, that is, a thought experiment might be used positively to establish a theory or it might be used negatively to undermine a theory.
plato.stanford.edu /entries/thought-experiment   (3796 words)

 Andrew D. Irvine :: UBC Department of Philosophy
A thought experiment is an experiment that occurs in thought.
The grounding relationship holds between the components of the thought experiment and the theoretical context of the thought experiment.
In order for the thought experiment to be successful, both the experimental set-up and our responses to it need to be grounded in the thought experiment's theoretical context.
www.philosophy.ubc.ca /irvine/student/harland2.htm   (435 words)

 [No title]
The function of real experiments that is simulated by thought experiments is the isolation of those features of the world that are represented in a theoretical model and the approximation, as closely as possible, of the idealizations that are employed therein.
This function of real experiments, which is to narrow the gap between theory and the world as it naturally presents itself to us, is nowadays almost exclusively guided by theory, and it indicates that thought experiments lie much closer to theory than to the world, or even its experimental refinements.
As in general relativity and cosmology, there exist thought experiments whose sole purpose is to test the coherence of string theory or to justify its applicability in principle, but which are hardly accessible by real experiments that arise from them.
philsci-archive.pitt.edu /archive/00000626/00/ATKINPAP3.doc   (5081 words)

 Can the Zombie Thought Experiment Support Physicalism
Chalmers's zombie thought experiment has led to two different reactions: some philosophers say it shows that physicalism is false, and others say it does nothing of the sort because in general we cannot rely on conceptual analysis in arriving at metaphysical conclusions.
However, if the participant is presented with variations of the zombie thought experiment that contain different stipulated background information, she may become sensitive to the significance of certain background assumptions she actually brings to bear in her answer to the original canonical question.
If this is what is going on in the zombie thought experiment, then, unless we ask the participant to consider other related thought experiments which differ in stipulated background information, she will answer the canonical question in accordance with her background assumption, which may not be true.
facweb.bcc.ctc.edu /wpayne/zombies.htm   (2232 words)

 Simon's Rock College tests Alan Turing theories with 'Imitation Game' experiment - Wikinews
The experiment was funded by the departments of Natural Science and the department of Social Science at the college.
Richard Wallace was on hand during the experiment to troubleshoot the AI robot, later gave a lecture about on The Anatomy of A.L.I.C.E. and blogged the event.
All subjects who participated in the experiment were required to be over 18, not affiliated with the college, and were not allowed any foreknowledge of the use of AI in the experiment.
en.wikinews.org /wiki/Simon's_Rock_College_tests_Alan_Turing_theories_with_'Imitation_Game'_experiment   (656 words)

 Heisenberg - Quantum Mechanics, 1925-1927: The Gamma-Ray Microscope
If one wants to be clear about what is meant by "position of an object," for example of an electron..., then one has to specify definite experiments by which the "position of an electron" can be measured; otherwise this term has no meaning at all.
Heisenberg turned to a thought experiment, since he believed that all concepts in science require a definition based on actual, or possible, experimental observations.
Bohr pointed out some flaws in the experiment, but once these were corrected the demonstration was fully convincing.
www.aip.org /history/heisenberg/p08b.htm   (708 words)

 Chinese Room Argument [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-22)
The nub of the experiment, according to Searle's attempted clarification, then, is this: "instantiating a program could not be constitutive of intentionality, because it would be possible for an agent [e.g., Searle-in-the-room] to instantiate the program and still not have the right kind of intentionality" (Searle 1980b, pp.
This commonsense identification of thought with consciousness, Searle maintains, is readily reconcilable with thoroughgoing physicalism when we conceive of consciousness as both caused by and realized in underlying brain processes.
That their behavior seems to evince thought is why there is a problem about AI in the first place; and if Searle's argument merely discountenances theoretic or metaphysical identification of thought with computation, the behavioral evidence - and consequently Turing's point - remains unscathed.
www.utm.edu /research/iep/c/chineser.htm   (3035 words)

 No. 576: Thought Experiments
It was "thought experiment." It's a wonderfully contradictory idea.
Experiment and thought seem to be separate roads to learning.
Mach's ideas about thought experiments finally faded because the world is much stranger than our capacity to imagine it.
www.uh.edu /engines/epi576.htm   (405 words)

 Thought experiments | Cosmic Variance
For the purposes of this thought experiment, we may assume it is a perfectly fair coin, and that you like bananas, although not any more so than would generally be considered healthy.
The reason why we experience a flow of time is simply because any generic observer state has a memory of being in states related to him by a time translation operations.
In case of suicide experiments, the probability of finding yourslelf in a state in which you remeber have survived such experminets is much lower than states in which you don’t have recollections of participating in these experiments.
cosmicvariance.com /2005/12/30/thought-experiments   (10456 words)

 Dictionary of Philosophy of Mind - silicon chip thought experiment   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-22)
To begin the thought experiment, imagine that you are the subject of some mental event--perhaps you are experiencing an intense pain.
At the core of this thought experiment is the presumption that such a replacement would be unnoticeable to you or to anyone observing your behavior.
Presumably, you would continue to experience pain even though the physical realization of those mental events includes a silicon chip where an organic neuron used to be.
www.artsci.wustl.edu /~philos/MindDict/siliconchip.html   (305 words)

 Einstein's Thought Experiment
I believe it was the Michelson-Morley experiment which was the first to notice that they couldn't measure light at any other speed than c.
Light is onlt thought of as a wave in a probability sence, not in a mechanical sence.
Einstein thought a lot about various alternatives, and decided that the simplest one which matched experimental results was that the speed of light was constant to all observers.
www.physicsforums.com /showthread.php?p=301173   (1477 words)

 Matthew Yglesias: Philosophy Fun
Matthew Yglesias' fascinating thought experiment, in which his higher brain function is nefariously swapped with that of Terri Schiavo, inspires me to take a new perspective on the pro-life mind.
Neuroscience thought experiments are more useless than most.
Thought experiments can be fun, but this one, under the circumstances, strikes me as being in bad taste -- or even a bit worse than that.
yglesias.typepad.com /matthew/2005/03/philosophy_fun.html   (4124 words)

 TAT Forum
Sometimes a thought experiment takes us to the limits of the mind and the edge of what is beyond.
The immediacy of this thought experiment, the fact that at any moment you may cease to be, mirrors the immediacy of the answer to the above questions.
Many of us may have had the experience of being stuck in a repeating pattern, not knowing how this particular set of circumstances is kept alive.
www.tatfoundation.org /forum2003-03.htm   (6015 words)

 Cog as a Thought Experiment
The improvement over traditional philosophical methods is that your thought experiments are prosthetically controlled and enhanced by the requirement that you actually make your models and demonstrate their competences.
In philosophers' thought experiments, the sun always shines, the batteries never go dead, and the actors and props always do exactly what the philosophers' theories expect them to do.
There are no surprises for the creators of the thought experiments, only for their audience or targets.
ase.tufts.edu /cogstud/papers/cogthogt.htm   (3020 words)

 Chapter Three: The Chinese Room Thought Experiment
Comparable (thought) experimental procedures to Searle's -- blind CPU simulations or blind tracings -- yield (for Turing 1950, Newell and Simon 1963) contrary "observations" to Searle's: Searle's "experimental" results are not reliably replicable and hence not credible.
Had he thought to pose the problem in the manner of our indirect reading of Searle's thought experiment, I submit, Turing would also have judged Wrens and Bombes alike to be processing information about the locations of German U-boats, etc., unawares.
According to the systems reply, doubts concerning the identity of the understanding subject in the "experiment" undercut the relevance of Searle's introspective unawareness or sincere disavowal of any understanding of the Chinese symbols being processed because the subject who is properly accorded understanding in the scenario is not Searle.
members.aol.com /wutsamada/chapter3.html   (12662 words)

 thought experiments lain: a serial experiments lain information site
Logical/rational thought is a function of the 3rd Circuit (Leary and Wilson).
In serial experiments lain, the Knights were used by Eiri Masami, who needed them to believe in him so he would be perceived as a "God." Therefore: Religion, like Real World and the Wired, is a consensual hallucination.
On at least one level, then, serial experiments lain might be described as the story of the Goddess discovering who she is (hence, the multiple-personality Lain motif).
www.cjas.org /~leng/lain.htm   (5332 words)

 Thought Experiment
What may be innovative about the Thought Experiment is way in which the incremental steps are chronicled through a sequence of unit tests using inheritance.
The Thought Experiment consists of a sequence of unit tests, each written to test a feature of the AP framework as it evolves.
If there is any aspect of this technique that is innovative in the context of the Thought Experiment, it is that two copies of each unit test are maintained.
mindwrapper.org /thought/experiment/design.html   (569 words)

 The Prosblogion: Thought Experiment
In that case it would seem that the second world is better than the first; for in the second world there are more persons who experience blessedness than those who suffer, and those who suffer do not suffer unjustly.
If the suffering of evildoers is a good, then the very terms of this thought experiment are problematic.
Maybe a more realistic thought experiment would be: World one is defined as the current created world and world two is the uncreated, undifferentiated being "before" the creation.
prosblogion.ektopos.com /archives/2005/09/thought_experim.html   (4775 words)

 Close Range: A Thought Experiment
This is a little thought experiment I ran by a few people a while back and would love to get as much feedback as possible on it.
What he believes at t2 is that he thought at t1 that he proved that p, not that he proved that p.
I intended the case in such a way that K's response would be, "I thought so, but now I'm not sure--in fact, I kinda doubt it." As stated in the original case, K doesn't believe that p at t2, so it would hardly be reasonable to expect him to know that he proved that p!
rationalhunter.typepad.com /close_range/2004/05/stability_and_k.html   (1796 words)

 Amazon.com: God's Debris: A Thought Experiment: Books: Scott Adams   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-22)
The thought experiment is this: Try to figure out what's wrong with the old man's explanation of reality.
I see it more of an experiment on whether he can write non-humour or more profound books, so we might be willing to give him some slack on how we perceive his efforts.
What was funny to the rest of us, was that he actually thought he had come up with this image --that he was the first to liken the description of an atom to that of a planetary system or galaxy.
www.amazon.com /exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0740721909?v=glance   (2704 words)

 Encyclopedia Titanica Message Board: Which Wreck Would You Visit (Thought Experiment)
In this thought experiment, you can go poking around it as much as you wish, with no danger to yourself.
Now, what do you think the probability is that you can figure out what happened to the ship to cause her to sink.
It is interesting to think whether the freedom to do extended poking around, and the ability to "see" things well would be helpful in the more questionable cases.
www.encyclopedia-titanica.org /discus/messages/6937/98014.html?1130249259   (1108 words)

 Informed Comment : 09/01/2004 - 09/30/2004   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-22)
Such cities are a repository of the nation's memory and are symbols of the shared experiences of the people of the land.
Since the shrines were not touched, it's thought that only 400 hard-core gunmen joined the fight against the multi-national forces in Basra.
This is a piece of private correspondence with a thoughtful reserve officer who kindly took the time to remonstrate with me about comments he took to be "anti-military" on my web log.
www.juancole.com /2004_09_01_juancole_archive.html   (15526 words)

 Einstein Thought Experiment
Control King Nova Thought European think tanks In Britain, think tanks play a similar role to the United States, attempting to shape policy, and indeed there is some cooperation between British and American think tanks.
In Germany all of the major parties are loosely associated with research foundations that play some role in shaping policy, but generally from the more disinterested role of providing research to support policymakers than explicitly proposing policy.
Thought For The Day Resorting to communication with others, if this is allowed.
www.thoughtsrevealed.com /einstein-thought-experiment_351.html   (364 words)

 A Thought Experiment
For example, I know atheists who think they are models of healthy skepticism, but they refuse to examine their long-held assumption that God does not exist.
Some of these so-called skeptics are unwilling to experiment with the possibility that a divine being may exist.
Perhaps God thought the monster was cured of his perverted desires but then God wouldn't be all knowing if He did so that can't be it either.
www.infidels.org /library/modern/features/2000/proctor1.html   (1083 words)

 GiveUpAlready.com - Thought Experiment - Empathy toward the Devil
The first thing I thought of was Milton's Paradise Lost and the romanticized Satan as a battered and beaten leader.
Given my experiences, and the facts that I have read/seen/heard, I am content in the personal knowledge that God is not wrong, or anything but good.
Just a thought, but a lot of people are under the impression that a war marked the beginning and end of time.
www.giveupalready.com /showthread.php?t=32134   (2781 words)

 The Space Elevator: 'Thought Experiment', or Key to the Universe? (Part 1) | The Space Elevator Reference
At that time, there was still considerable uncertainty about the effects of the time delay in satellite telephone circuits; some thought that it might have proved intolerable in ordinary conversation.
But a funicular, strictly speaking, is a device operated by a rope or cable -- and we may be sure that the space elevator will not hoist its payloads with the aid of moving cables tens of thousands of kilometres long.
One would have thought that this correspondence, in one of the world's leading scientific journals, would have triggered a large scale discussion.
www.spaceelevator.com /docs/acclarke.092079.se.1.html   (3379 words)

 An immigration thought experiment » The Immigration Blog
An immigration thought experiment » The Immigration Blog
This is just a thought experiment, no advocacy for or against is implied by my asking or your answering this question.
Others could help out by spreading word about this experiment to bloggers who fit the description given in the first sentence of this post.
michellemalkin.com /immigration/2005/06/08/03:43.am   (266 words)

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