Donald Davidson – Swampman

Suppose Davidson went for a walk in a swamp. Whilst in the middle of the swamp Davidson is struck by lightening and he dies instantly. However in the same instant, the lightening rearranges some molecules into the same form of Davidson’s body, copying every...

Two kinds of Thought Experiment?

Aristotle distinguished two kinds or modes of reasoning - reasoning because subject to the stricture of the Principle of Non-Contradiction, but reasoning concerned with two very different kinds of questions.  On the one hand there is reasoning concerned to...

Two Famous Australian Thought Experiments

As this blog is largely Australian based, it seems appropriate to introduce a couple of famous Thought Experiments from Australia and Australians. The first comes from Richard Routley - Richard Routley, ‘‘Is There a Need for a New, an Environmental, Ethic?,’’...

Suffering & Death: A Thought Experiment

I would call this Thought Experiment “Singer’s Choice”, except for Peter Singer I don’t think there would be any choice involved. So let’s call it “Lynch’s Choice”. The Earth is visited by an obviously very advanced, and apparently non-hostile, Alien Species. They...

How the lab works…

Welcome to the TEL. To kick things off — and for everyone to get a feel for how the lab works — we begin with one of the most famous, and deepest, thought experiments in modern philosophy: Robert Nozick's Experience Machine. This TE (thought experiment) is widely...