26 - Against Thought Experiments

Jul 20, 01:00 AM
I’m suspicious of ethical thought experiments. These short hypothetical scenarios are often presented context-free, eliminating morally relevant detail. And in the course of probing our intuitions, they often include detail that we wouldn’t have in the real world. In effect, we end up discussing a world vastly different from our own. The elimination of information that we usually possess and inclusion of information that we don’t ordinarily possess renders many ethical thought experiments worse than useless. They can confuse more than they clarify, derail ethical discussions, and often don’t translate to our lives at all.




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