• In art, essentialism is the idea that
each medium has its own particular
strengths and weaknesses, contingent on its
mode of communication. How expandable
is your database storage?
• Epistemological problems are
concerned with the nature, scope
and limitations of knowledge.
Epistemology may also be
described as the study of
• The Molyneux problem dates back to the
following question posed by William
Molyneux to John Locke in the 17th
century: if a man born blind, and able to
distinguish by touch between a cubeand
a globe, were made to see, could he now tell
by sight which was the cube and which the
globe, before he touched them?
• Overlooking for a moment the
complications posed by Gettier
essentially continued to operate
on the principle that knowledge is
justified true belief.
• purports that it is impossible to
prove any certain truth even in
fields such as logic and
mathematics. According to this
argument, the proof of any theory
rests either on circular reasoning,
infinite regress, or unproven
• The question hinges on whether color is a
product of the mind or an inherent property
of objects. While most philosophers will
agree that color assignment corresponds to
light frequency, it is not at all clear whether
the particular psychological phenomena of
color are imposed on these visual signals by
the mind, or whether such qualia are
• Moral luck
• The problem of moral luck is that some
people are born into, live within, and
experience circumstances that seem to
change their moral culpability when all
other factors remain the same.
• Although this problem has received
relatively little attention, it intrigued
philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein when G.
E. Moore presented it to the Moral Science
Club at Cambridge. The statement
"Albany is the capital of New York, but I
don't believe it" is not necessarily false, but
it seems to be unassertable.
are numbers, sets, groups, points, etc.? Are
they real objects or are they simply
relationships that necessarily exist in all
structures? Although many disparate views
exist regarding what a mathematical object
is, the discussion may be roughly
partitioned into two opposing schools of
thought: platonism, which asserts that
mathematical objects are
real, and formalism, which asserts that
mathematical objects are merely formal
• Otherwise known as the "paradox of the
heap", the question regards how one defines a
"thing." Is a bale of hay still a bale of hay if
you remove one straw? If so, is it still a bale of
hay if you remove another straw? If you
continue this way, you will eventually deplete
the entire bale of hay, and the question is: at
what point is it no longer a bale of hay? While
this may initially seem like a superficial
problem, it penetrates to fundamental issues
regarding how we define objects. This is
similar to Theseus' paradox and
the Continuum fallacy.
• A counterfactual is a statement that follows
this form: "If Joseph Swan had not invented
the modern incandescent light bulb, then
someone else would have invented it
anyway." People use counterfactuals every
day; however, its analysis is not so clear.
Swan, after all, did invent the modern
incandescent light bulb, so how can the
statement be true, if it is impossible to
examine its correspondence to reality?
• People have a pretty clear idea
what if-then means. However,
in formal logic, if-then is defined
by material implication, which is
not consistent with the common
understanding of conditionals.
• the problem of determining the
relationship between the human
body and the human mind.
Philosophical positions on this
question are generally predicated
on either a reduction of one to
the other, or a belief in the
discrete coexistence of both.
Cognition and AI
• This problem actually defines a field,
however its pursuits are specific and easily
stated. Firstly, what are the criteria
for intelligence? What are the necessary
components for definingconsciousness?
Secondly, how can an outside observer test
for these criteria? The "Turing Test" is
often cited as a prototypical test of
consciousness, although it is almost
universally regarded as insufficient.