Indian space programme essay writer

Print this page The heart of the Empire Black British literature, or that literature written in English by Caribbean, Asian, African, and other people who originated from the ex-British Empire, has an ancient pedigree, as ancient as the Empire itself. Black writers have been at the forefront of unravelling the economic and psychological relationships at the heart of the Empire. Their books, as well as being campaign tracts against slavery, also sought to declare through a first person insistence, their own humanity, against the abuses of Empire. Over the years the preoccupation of much of the literature has been with this troubled quest for identity and liberty.

Indian space programme essay writer

Support Aeon Donate now Conducting thought experiments from the armchair has long been an accepted method in analytic philosophy.

indian space programme essay writer

What do thought experiments from the armchair look like? Philosophers think about real and imagined scenarios involving knowledge, morality, free will and other matters. Named after the American philosopher Edmund Gettier, these are scenarios used to question a particular notion of knowledge, and are based on a range of examples he provided in a journal article in One might plausibly think of knowledge as a belief that is indian space programme essay writer true and justified ie, based on evidence.

For example, imagine that at noon you look at a stopped clock that happens to have stopped at noon. While this example and others might seem frivolous — other cases involve fake zebras and imitation barns — they are intended to make headway in analysing knowledge.

Rather than just speculate about whether differences existed, Stich and colleagues decided to do some real-world experiments. In their initial research, they focused on common thought-experiments in epistemology a subfield of philosophy that studies topics such as justified belief and knowledge.

They recruited people of East Asian and Western descent, as well as people of Indian-subcontinent descent, and asked them to read and think about some classic vignettes in epistemology.

In their paperthey claimed that among their most interesting findings was something unexpected: Stich and colleagues argued that this kind of variation in intuitions should cause a big shift in the way that analytic philosophy is practised. Until this point, most philosophers had traditionally thought it was fine to sit in their armchairs and consider their own intuitions.

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It was the way that philosophy was done. But experimental evidence, they claimed, undermined this traditional practice. If such differences of intuition existed, they wrote: Rather, the philosopher must at the very least specify whose intuition is relevant, and why that intuition should matter rather than another one.

Over subsequent decades, experimental philosophy x-phi for short grew significantly. They also looked at variation in intuitions based on irrelevant factors such as the order in which cases are presented. Beyond that, some x-phi practitioners also found significant sources of funding.

Conducting experiments uncovers interesting effects, and researchers then hypothesise about mechanisms that might explain these effects.

The vice-president of a company went to the chairman of the board and said: It will help us increase profits, but it will also harm the environment. I just want to make as much profit as I can. Sure enough, the environment was harmed.

The striking result was that, in most cases 82 per centparticipants said that the chairman brought about the harmful side-effect intentionally, but only 33 per cent of participants said that he intentionally brought about the helpful side-effect.

Since then, many philosophers have conducted hundreds of these kinds of experiments. Some of them involve repeating and extending the Knobe effect, and many others venture into new directions to run experiments involving questions about moral responsibility, free will, causation, personal identity and other topics.

Analysing concepts from the armchair is a poor method, because of the evidence of demographic variation First, as the positive programme in x-phi shades into psychology and vice versa, some have asked: Knobe and some of his colleagues argue that it is.

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They describe the work as continuous with a long tradition of philosophers trying to understand the human mind, and point to the likes of Aristotle, David Hume and Friedrich Nietzsche as precedents.

In their manifesto, Knobe and Nichols write: It used to be a commonplace that the discipline of philosophy was deeply concerned with questions about the human condition.

Some philosophers, even those who identify as part of the x-phi movement, disagree with this viewpoint. Instead, he argues in his book Philosophy Within Its Proper Boundsphilosophers should make use of experiments as a way of clarifying and assessing important philosophical ideas. A second kind of response comes from those who question the usefulness of eliciting intuitions from people outside of philosophy.

In some cases, philosophers have even run experiments on fellow philosophers, claiming that they are susceptible to various kinds of bias in their intuitions. This extreme conclusion is one that, Williamson takes it, x-phi practitioners would prefer to avoid.Disclaimer: This work has been submitted by a student.

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Beyond the armchair: must philosophy become experimental? | Aeon Essays