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Wittgenstein argued that our entire conceptual framework, the very way we think, is defined by the form of life to which we belong. Words, and their content, take meaning from that. Many forms of life may have 'family resemblances' (points of similarity) but can often result in 'language games', or, conflicts in understanding.

Descartes’ line has become a cliché: an overused aphorism thrown in association at even the word ‘Philosophy’. It's most often translated as: “I think, therefore I am”. Descartes had argued that the possibility of an all-powerful, manipulating demon meant that we could never be 100% about anything. This reality could be a Matrix, or a Truman Show. But, even if this all was a deception, there must be a thing being deceived. The fact that we question reality, shows there’s something thinking.

Nagel's article "What Is It Like to be a Bat?" laid out the importance of 'qualia' in the philosophy of mind. His paper argued that traditional physicalist accounts of consciousness fail to account for the essential aspect of phenomena (the 'how it feels' aspect) of mental states.

In his Philosophical Investigations, #Wittgenstein wrote: "If a lion could speak, we could not understand him” The point, although notoriously opaque, argues that even if a lion were to speak our language, using the same #grammar even, the lion’s Form of Life is such that their conceptual scheme is so radically different from our own that we could engage with it. For example, what word could substitute for the ‘unique thrill of killing a gazelle in the Savannah’, as you or I have no helpful…

Alan #Turing asked: can machines think? His answer lay in how we define 'think'. If we provide a list of criteria for 'thinking', then the 'Turing Test' argues that if something (like a machine or #robot) meets this criteria, then it must also have thoughts (and appear indistinguishable from other 'thinking things' like persons).

Descartes’ Substance Dualism maintains that both the mind and body exist as two separate and distinct substances. He argued using Leibniz’s Law - where two identical things must have completely identical properties. From here, he thought we are...

Machiavelli's #Prince has (rightly or wrongly) been given a fairly harsh treatment. In his work, #Machiavelli suggested that the good ruler (not the just ruler) was one that did whatever he could to maintain his position. For The Prince, the end always justified the means - #manipulation, #deception and disloyalty were all tools, to be used if necessary for a 'greater good' - as defined by the #sovereign.

Pascals' wager argued that if you believe in God, and he exists, you will be rewarded with eternal paradise. Even if he does not exist, you have lost nothing in trying - choosing between a possible return of infinite paradise, against finite loss is rational.

#Hobbes thought that man, free of all #authority, would resort to a 'state of nature': a bitter struggle for resources, resulting in a 'short nasty and brutish' existence. To avoid this bleak state, we must surrender absolute personal autonomy to give authority to a sovereign government. The Social Contact is therefore formed between society and the #sovereign: a compromise of #liberty on one hand #security and #comfort on the other.