"What if there's an alternative universe with a different moral code? What if we are being deceived by an evil genius? Examining the deep philosophical topics addressed in superhero comics, this entertaining book reads plot lines for the complex "thought experiments" they contain and analyzes their implications as if the comic authors were philosophers. In doing so, authors Chris Gavaler and Nathaniel Goldberg--a comics expert and a philosophy scholar, respectively--find that superhero comics often depict philosophical thought experiments more fully than philosophers do, and with surprising results. For example, René Descartes briefly worries that we are being deceived by an evil genius, but Marvel Comics explores this concern--and its consequences--over decades. Similarly, in a few paragraphs philosophers Terry Horgan and Mark Timmons imagine a "moral twin earth" with deviant morality, while DC Comics dedicates multiple comics to different moral twin earths in which readers see multiple deviant moralities play out"--
This accessible, hands-on text has now been revised and updated, with expanded coverage of topics including how theory may emerge from exploratory data analysis. The book prepares graduate students, new researchers, and even seasoned investigators to develop their own theories and build on existing ones. Concrete strategies are provided to help readers generate ideas, define constructs, and think through relationships and processes that link constructs. Compelling examples from multiple disciplines illustrate the use of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods orientations to theory construction. The text also offers practical advice for writing effectively about theories in papers and grant applications. Readers learn by doing via application and concept exercises, demonstration boxes, and practical guidelines. The extensive companion website includes (www.theory-construction.com) PowerPoint slides of all of the book's figures, primers on advanced topics, video demonstrations, supplemental exercises, and other resources. New to This Edition *Emergent theory is now covered in mixed methods as well as qualitative approaches, plus in a new chapter on exploratory quantitative methods that can help generate new theory through data mining. *Chapter on whether and how to revise a theory when faced with disconfirmatory data. *Two chapters on the theoretical underpinnings of measurement practices. *New or expanded discussions of what constitutes a theoretical contribution, conceptual logic models, thought experiments, and more. Pedagogical Features *Application and concept exercises in every chapter. *Lists of key terms and engaging topical boxes. *Annotated suggestions for further reading. *New companion website with rich resources for students and instructors. *Chapters stand on their own and can be used in any order.
From Lucretius throwing a spear beyond the boundary of the universe to Einstein racing against a beam of light, thought experiments stand as a fascinating challenge to the necessity of data in the empirical sciences. Are these experiments, conducted uniquely in our imagination, simply rhetorical devices or communication tools or are they an essential part of scientific practice? This volume surveys the current state of the debate and explores new avenues of research into the epistemology of thought experiments.
Inquiries Into Philosophical Progress, Method, and Societal Relevance
Author: Julia Hermann
This book brings together well-known philosophers to examine how philosophy can and should contribute to our understanding of today's world and the challenges that it faces. --Jeroen de Ridder, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
The new field of experimental philosophy has emerged as the methods of psychological science have been brought to bear on traditional philosophical issues. Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy is the place to go to see outstanding new work in the field. It features papers by philosophers, papers by psychologists, and papers co-authored by people in both disciplines. The series heralds the emergence of a truly interdisciplinary field in which people from different disciplines are working together to address a shared set of questions. The papers in this third volume illustrate the ways in which the field continues to broaden, taking on new methodological approaches and interacting with substantive theories from an ever wider array of disciplines. Some recent research in experimental philosophy is going more deeply into well-established questions in the field, while other strands of research are exploring issues that scarcely appeared in the field even a few years ago. Thus, we see the introduction of new empirical and statistical methods (network analysis), new theoretical approaches (formal semantics), and the development of entirely new interdisciplinary connections (in the emerging field of "experimental jurisprudence").
This text analyses a variety of thought experiments, and explores what they are, how they work, and what their positive and negative aspects are. It also sets the theory within an evolutionary framework of advances in experimental psychology.
Any design process involves an imaginative act, a picturing of the world as other than it is. Fiction has long played a part in design research in the form of scenarios, personas, sketches, paper-based prototypes, simulations, prototypes and speculative design. The term "design fiction" has been adopted to describe more elaborate and detailed representations of products and services that do not exist yet. Design fiction is an emerging practice and there are several competing definitions and forms. This article traces design fiction from the Italian radical design of the 1960s through British Art Schools in the late 1990s to contemporary adaptations of the practice by companies like Google, Microsoft and Facebook. Design fiction is now produced regularly by individuals launching Kickstarter campaigns, corporations selling visions of future products and governments imagining new digital services. But there is little agreement about the status of such fictions: what constitutes a good fiction? How does fiction relate to research? In what sense does fiction contribute to existing knowledge? Although fiction can sometimes result in accurate prediction this is not its main value. It is rather the creation of ambiguous artefacts that help us think carefully about emerging technologies and their potential impact. Although fiction may seem to be the antithesis of empirical enquiry it is often employed in the form of "thought experiments" in Physics, Mathematics, Ethics and Philosophy. This article argues that design fiction can also be considered as a form of thought experiment. Excerpts from a fictional Wikipedia article about Valdis Ozols, a Latvian historian and author writing design fiction in the 1940s precede each section as think pieces about the nature and value of fiction. The text is illustrated with pages from a fictional design workbook written in an invented language.
How to Expand Your Mental Horizons, Understand Metacognition, Improve Your Curiosity, and Think Like a Philosopher
Author: Patrick King
Publisher: PKCS Media
Use the mental tools that the world's greatest thinkers used to generate epiphanies, explore the world, and hone their reasoning. In traditional education, you're taught to recite and regurgitate. Going a step farther, you might learn some critical thinking skills. But what about applying them in the most audacious, fascinating, and inquisitive ways possible with thought experiments? Philosophical and exploratory thinking pushes your boundaries and opens new worlds. Learn to Think Using Thought Experiments is about how to analyze, perceive, and interact with information and situations - all in your mind and imagination. It poses a hypothetical and forces you to engage it and answer questions and reason through arguments you've never known. This book will confuse, frustrate, and ultimately improve your thinking prowess like nothing else, on account of being thrown into the mental deep end. Challenge yourself and you will grow. Improve critical thinking by applying it in innovative and novel ways. Patrick King is an internationally bestselling author and social skills coach. His writing draws of a variety of sources, from scientific research, academic experience, coaching, and real life experience. Become more naturally curious, inquisitive, and Sherlock Holmes-like. - The curious case of two cats and what they teach us about uncertainty. - What choosing between 1 and 5 people says about you. - Why this entire world might just be a dream or simulation. - What a javelin has to do with infinite. - How Zeno's tortoise represents the point where reality and numbers diverge. - How Chinese logicians, beetles, fish, and monkeys demonstrate different angles of reality and perception. Learn to thrive in uncertain situations and contemplate more thoroughly and deeply. Thought experiments are a classic tool that everyone can use, and they enable us to explore more abstract situations and reason through them. Master thought experiments and you can master simply dealing with difficult, uncertain, impossible, or confusing questions and situations.
An exciting reference work which captures current thinking about the workings of the mind and brain, focusing on problems that are as old as recorded history, but reflecting new approaches and techniques that have emerged since the 1980's. The Encyclopedia contains 696 articles covering in depth the entire spectrum of the cognitive sciences. Reviewing the common themes of information and information processing, representation and computation, it also covers in depth the core areas of psychology, philosophy, linguistics, computer science, and neuroscience. Ancillary topics such as education, economics, evolutionary biology and anthropology are also covered. The articles have been written to provide multiple levels of information so that readers from various levels can benefit from this set – from undergraduate and postgraduate students to university lecturers. With extensive cross-referencing, a glossary and subject index to further aid the reader through the book, the Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science is an essential addition to any library or office shelf. The Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science (ECS) includes: 4 Volumes 4000 pages 696 articles Contributions from the world’s leading experts 1,500 illustrations Detailed indexes and appendices Extensive cross-referencing
This book offers a novel analysis of the widely-used but ill-understood technique of thought experiment. The author argues that the powers and limits of this methodology can be traced to the fact that when the contemplation of an imaginary scenario brings us to new knowledge, it does so by forcing us to make sense of exceptional cases.
What If. . .Collected Thought Experiments in Philosophy is a brief collection of over 100 classic and contemporary “thought experiments,” each exploring an important philosophical argument. These thought experiments introduce students to the kind of disciplined thought required in philosophy, and awaken their intellectual curiosity. Featuring a clear and conversational writing style that doesn't dilute the ideas, the value of the book is in its simplicity–in both format and tone. Each thought experiment is accompanied by commentary from the author that explains its importance and provides thought-provoking questions, all encapsulated on two pages.
God's Debris is the first non-Dilbert, non-humor book by best-selling author Scott Adams. Adams describes God's Debris as a thought experiment wrapped in a story. It's designed to make your brain spin around inside your skull. Imagine that you meet a very old man who—you eventually realize—knows literally everything. Imagine that he explains for you the great mysteries of life: quantum physics, evolution, God, gravity, light psychic phenomenon, and probability—in a way so simple, so novel, and so compelling that it all fits together and makes perfect sense. What does it feel like to suddenly understand everything? You may not find the final answer to the big question, but God's Debris might provide the most compelling vision of reality you will ever read. The thought experiment is this: Try to figure out what's wrong with the old man's explanation of reality. Share the book with your smart friends, then discuss it later while enjoying a beverage. It has no violence or sex, but the ideas are powerful and not appropriate for readers under fourteen.