Wittgenstein's Beetle and Other Classic Thought Experiments / Edition 1

Wittgenstein's Beetle and Other Classic Thought Experiments / Edition 1

by Martin Cohen
     
 

ISBN-10: 1405121912

ISBN-13: 9781405121910

Pub. Date: 11/22/2004

Publisher: Wiley

Wittgenstein’s Beetle and Other Classic Thought Experiments invites readers to participate actively in discovering the surprisingly powerful and fruitful tradition of "thought experiments."


  • Gives a lively presentation of an "A to Z" of 26 fascinating and influential thought experiments from
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Overview

Wittgenstein’s Beetle and Other Classic Thought Experiments invites readers to participate actively in discovering the surprisingly powerful and fruitful tradition of "thought experiments."


  • Gives a lively presentation of an "A to Z" of 26 fascinating and influential thought experiments from philosophy and science
  • Presents vivid and often humorous discussion of the experiments, including strengths and weaknesses, historical context, and contemporary uses
  • Provides a "how to" section for engaging in thought experiments
  • Includes illustrations, mini-biographies, and suggestions for further reading.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781405121910
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
11/22/2004
Pages:
152
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.65(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures vii

Forward! viii

Introduction: Deep Thought – a brief history of thought experiments 1

The A–Z

A is for Alice and Astronomers Arguing about Acceleration 15

B is for Bernard’s Body-Exchange Machine 18

C is for the Catholic Cannibal 20

D is for Maxwell’s Demon 25

E is for Evolution (and an Embarrassing Problem with it) 28

F is for the Forms Lost Forever to the Prisoners of the Cave 30

G is for Galileo’s Gravitational Balls 33

H is for Hume’s Shades 37

I is for the Identity of Indiscernibles 41

J is for Henri Poincaré and Alternative Geometries 45

K is for the Kritik and Kant’s Kind of Thought Experiments 48

L is for Lucretius’ Spear 52

M is for Mach’s Motionless Chain 55

N is for Newton’s Bucket 58

O is for Olbers’ Paradox 62

P is for Parfit’s Person 65

Q is for the Questions Raised by Thought Experiments Quotidiennes 67

R is for the Rule-Ruled Room 70

S is for Salvatius’ Ship, Sailing along its own Space-Time Line 74

T is for the Time-Travelling Twins 78

U is for the Universe, and Einstein’s Attempts to Understand it 81

V is for the Vexed Case of the Violinist 84

W is for Wittgenstein’s Beetle 87

X is for Xenophanes and Thinking by Examples 90

Y is for Counterfactuals and a Backwards Approach to

History 93

Z is for Zeno and the Mysteries of Infinity 97

Notes for Experimenters

How to Experiment 103

Notes and Cuttings 117

Who’s Who of Experimenting 126

Acknowledgements 131

Index 132

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