“The Art of Thought Experiments” in the news

si-wonexhibit2Read about the exhibit by Si-Won Song ’15 in this article.  Here is an excerpt:

The Art of Thought Experiments: Digital Paintings Capture the Ideas of Famous Philosophers

May 8, 2015

TACOMA, Wash. –  Have you ever wondered if you would survive teletransportation—where your body is broken down into particles and then reconstructed on another planet?  Or if a person who knew all the laws of nature would be able to predict the future?  Or what it would be like to plug into an “experience machine” that would allow you to experience everything you ever wanted?

These are some of the famous “thought experiments” that inspired University of Puget Sound senior Si-Won Song ’15  to create a series of nine digital paintings, The Art of Thought Experiments, on view until Friday, May 15. The exhibit is in the third-floor atrium of Wyatt Hall, at Union Avenue and N. 13th Street on campus. The hall is open to the public from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“Thought experiments have a long history in philosophy, although they have also been used in mathematics and the sciences —such as Einstein’s imagining of someone chasing a beam of light,” said Ariela Tubert, associate professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy. “In thought experiments, the imagination is used to learn about the world and our own concepts and values.”

Artist Si-Won Song was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, and moved to the United States while still in elementary school. He has lived in Tacoma ever since. He majored in painting and graphic design at Tacoma’s School of the Arts and is about to graduate from Puget Sound with a major in philosophy and minors in studio art and Japanese. He is concerned with issues of social justice and works predominately with acrylics, charcoal, and digital painting.

“After takinMarysRoom2g the course Philosophy of Mind, with Professor Justin Tiehen, and reading Frank Jackson’s Mary’s Room thought experiment, I had a vivid mental image of the thought experiment and drew a small digital painting of it,” said Song. Mary’s Room asks us to imagine whether Mary—a neuroscientist who knows all the physical facts about color, but has never seen color—would learn anything new upon seeing color for the first time….

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