Exploring Philosophical Thought Experiments

For this assignment, select a thought experiment that appeals to you from the list below. Describe this experiment in your paper, including its origin (who made it and why?), and the logic of the experiment (what is it supposed to teach?). Finally, explain what you personally learned by engaging in the thought experiment, and how you might use your new knowledge.

Pay careful attention to grammar and organization. Organize using paragraphs. Edit hard by reading aloud and/or sharing the work with someone else.

Choose oneof the following Thought Experiments to investigate:

· The Ship of Theseus (Plato): A thought experiment on the nature of identity.

· The Inverted Spectrum Problem (John Locke): A thought experiment on the nature of perception and reality.

· The Swamp Man (Donald Davidson): A thought experiment on the construction of meaning.

· The Prisoner’s Dilemma (Merrill Flood and Melvin Drescher): A thought experiment on reward and punishment.

· The Private Language Argument, “Beetle in a Box” (Ludwig Wittgenstein): A thought experiment on the nature of language.

· Mary’s Room, Knowledge Argument (Frank Jackson): A thought experiment on the nature of knowledge.

· The Chinese Room Argument (John Searle): A thought experiment about Artificial Intelligence.

· The Pleasure Machine, or Experience Machine (Robert Nozick): A thought experiment on the value of pleasure.

· The Utility Monster (Robert Nozick): A thought experiment that refutes ethical utilitarianism.

· The Trolley Problem (Philippa Foot): A thought experiment in personal ethics.

· Thomson’s Violinist (Judith Jarvis Thomson): A thought experiment on the defense of abortion.

· The Original Position (John Rawls): A thought experiment on the nature of society.

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