Thought Experiment

A thought experiment or Gedankenexperiment (from German) considers some hypothesis, theory, or principle for the purpose of thinking through its consequences. Given the structure of the experiment, it may or may not be possible to actually perform it, and, in the case that it is possible for it to be performed, there need be no intention of any kind to actually perform the experiment in question. The common goal of a thought experiment is to explore the potential consequences of the principle in question.

Famous examples of thought experiments include Schrödinger's cat, illustrating quantum indeterminacy through the manipulation of a perfectly sealed environment and a tiny bit of radioactive substance, and Maxwell's demon, which attempts to demonstrate the ability of a hypothetical finite being to violate the second law of thermodynamics.

Read more about Thought ExperimentOverview, Variety, Origins and Use of The Literal Term, Uses, In Science, Relation To Real Experiments, Causal Reasoning, In Philosophy

Other articles related to "thought experiment, experiments, thoughts, thought":

Action At A Distance - Quantum Mechanics
... They proposed a thought experiment to involving an entangled pair of observables with non-commuting operators (e.g ... This thought experiment, which came to be known as the EPR paradox, hinges on the principle of locality ... Experiments testing Bell-type inequalities in situations analogous to the EPR thought experiment have been consistent with the predictions of quantum mechanics, suggesting that local hidden variables theories can be ...
Avisena - Avicennian Philosophy - Thought Experiments
... in the castle of Fardajan near Hamadhan, Avicenna wrote his famous "Floating Man" thought experiment to demonstrate human self-awareness and the substantiality and immateriality of the soul ... Avicenna believed his "Floating Man" thought experiment demonstrated that the soul is a substance, and claimed humans cannot doubt their own consciousness ... The thought experiment told its readers to imagine themselves created all at once while suspended in the air, isolated from all sensations, which includes no ...
Plank Of Carneades
... In ethics, the plank of Carneades is a thought experiment first proposed by Carneades of Cyrene it explores the concept of self-defense in relation to murder ... In the thought experiment, there are two shipwrecked sailors, A and B ... The thought experiment poses the question of whether Sailor B can be tried for murder because if B had to kill A in order to live, then it would arguably be in self-defense ...
Tyler Burge - Anti-individualism
... In his thought experiment he attempted to demonstrate that all thoughts and beliefs have wide contents ... Burge argues that the difference in the thoughts is attributable to the difference between the nature of stuffs in the respective physical environments ... As with the "arthritis" thought experiment, dependence of thought on the physical environment is a conclusion that is supposed to follow purely from reflection on the cases in the ...

Famous quotes containing the words experiment and/or thought:

    I look on it as no trifling effort of female strength to withstand the artful and ardent solicitations of a man that is thoroughly master of our hearts. Should we in the conflict come off victorious, it hardly pays us for the pain we suffer from the experiment ... and I still persist in it that such a behaviour in any man I love would rob me of that most pleasing thought, namely, the obligation I have to him for not making such a trial.
    Sarah Fielding (1710–1768)

    Ugarte: You despise me, don’t you?
    Rick: Well, if I gave you any thought I probably would.
    Julius J. Epstein (1909–1952)