10 March 2008

How to deal with know-it-all philosophy majors:

Eliezer Y. introduces a technique bound to make college parties much less violent (if somewhat less fun):

When you are faced with an unanswerable question - a question to which it seems impossible to even imagine an answer - there is a simple trick which can turn the question solvable. Compare:

"Why do I have free will?"

"Why do I think I have free will?"

The nice thing about the second question is that it is guaranteed to
have a real answer... [...]

Cognitive science may not seem so lofty and glorious as metaphysics. But at least questions of cognitive science are solvable. Finding an answer may not be easy, but at least an answer exists.