In this talk I will explain an infinite generalization of the transitivity property. I will then use it to argue that it is always good to create lives worth living and bad to create lives not worth living (thereby answering the main question of variable population ethics) and that infinite ethics is impossible. I will also provide an account of the procreation asymmetry at the level of choice.
In empirical science, the value of thought experiments (TEs) has been widely acknowledged.1 However, in an abstract domain like pure mathematics, thought experiments (MTEs) can also be valuable. 2 A more careful look at mathematical practice suggests that MTEs actually extend the limits of rule-governed uses of diagrams and in certain cases they can be more effective than diagrams.
Through analyzing examples, I will show what advantages MTEs may have over standard diagram uses, with the aim of contributing to understanding how mathematical practices develop, in particular, how experimental they can be and how their empirical factors can be valuable.
Ockham Society Convenor: Sean Costello | Ockham Society Webpage