[Vocabulary] unsettling thought experiment

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jaleel2007

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hi there can a teacher tell me what does " unsettling thought experiment"
mean?
 

5jj

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Welcome to the forum, jaleel. :hi:

Your phrase could mean several things. In what context did you see it?
 

Nehushtan

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Re: “Unsettling thought experiment”

A thought experiment is a consideration of some hypothesis, theory, or principle for the purpose of thinking through its consequences (rather than any physical experiment conducted in a laboratory): Wikipedia. The result of such an experiment may (and often does) go against our common sense or intuitive notion of how the world works.
 

Nehushtan

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Re: “Unsettling thought experiment”

hi there can a teacher tell me what does " unsettling thought experiment"
mean?
A thought experiment is not an experiment carried out in a laboratory but a mental exercise in which the consequences of an idea, hypothesis or theory are “thought” through. Often the result of such an exercise challenges our common sense or intuitive notion of what the world is like. Thus an “unsettling thought experiment” is a thought experiment whose result is distubing to our common sense.
 

jaleel2007

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thank you 5jj "Trying to imagine what their emotional response to proposal would be, I have come up with an unsettling thought experiment that seems to me to do the trick."







from BREAKING THE SPELL,

Daniel C. Dennett







 

jaleel2007

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Re: “Unsettling thought experiment”

A thought experiment is not an experiment carried out in a laboratory but a mental exercise in which the consequences of an idea, hypothesis or theory are “thought” through. Often the result of such an exercise challenges our common sense or intuitive notion of what the world is like. Thus an “unsettling thought experiment” is a thought experiment whose result is distubing to our common sense.

thank you you do mach help
 

Nehushtan

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Re: “Unsettling thought experiment”

You’re welcome.

“Thought experiment” is an expression in theoretical physics; it is used mostly in analyses of modern theories such as relativity and quantum mechanics. I did a search on book you took the expression from (Breaking the Spell by Daniel C. Dennett) and from what I gathered it’s a book that tries to apply scientific analysis to the study of religion. So yes, such a book would employ the phrase “thought experiment” in the sense I described above.
 
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