Tag Archives: thought experiment

A Philosopher on an Island

Are knowledge and introspection enough to sustain man? That is the question I ask. If a philosopher were placed on a deserted island with no means of communicating with the outside world, yet had no need to worry about corporeal issues, is thought alone enough to sustain him? Or, to be more specific, a philosopher is placed on a deserted island with all his corporeal needs met and given an infinite amount of time and access to the treatises of Hume and Locke and Kant and the likes. He has everything he could need with one limitation: he has no means of communication and no one to share his theories with save for himself. Is isolated philosophizing enough to sustain him or will he feel a compelling, but unfulfillable, urge to share his thoughts with another?

I do not purport to know the answer, but I feel like the question is an interesting one.