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Thought Experiment June 21, 2007

Posted by Brian L. Belen in Odds and Ends.

Here’s an interesting thought experiment (it will be familiar to anyone who read Kevin Smith’s run on Daredevil, but probably has appeared elsewhere): if you could go back in time to when Hitler was an infant, knowing all that he would do in his lifetime, would you kill him?

Now there’s some food for thought just ripe for debate.

Of course, there are loads of other thought experiments out there: Kant’s concept of a categorical imperative is by itself an example, as is the token discussion on whether all swans are white that consumes classes on logic, positivism or empiricism (take your pick). In any event, Wired has put together a list of supposedly the best thought experiments. While undoubtedly neither comprehensive nor detailed, it is intriguing reading that makes for equally engaging conversation (and the comments appended to the article are already proof of this).

Note, however, that the ones they feature are mostly close-ended, unlike the one above.

[Wired: The Best Thought Experiments]



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