There's a question that has been bouncing between Puzzling.SE and Worldbuilding.SE lately. I think it would be a good candidate for inclusion on this stack instead. Do you have thoughts about its migration?



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    It's a little more "openly speculative" than our remit...
    – Joseph Weissman Mod
    Nov 28, 2016 at 16:55

1 Answer 1


I have actually been watching that post because I liked the question. However, it does not seem appropriate on this site.

We accept questions that are directly related to the study of philosophy. Informal questions are welcome, but they should still be directly related to philosophy. An example of an appropriate informal question would be "Could cogito ergo sum possibly be false?", while an example of an inappropriate informal question would be "What if gravity would be reversed tomorrow?".

The post in question seems to be general "what if" without particularly philosophical content.

  • Does this imply that the question "How do I prove that the world isn't a figment of my imagination?" is not philosophical? Nov 29, 2016 at 6:25
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    @IanMacDonald that is really a different question. It would depend on the context, but that kind of question could certainly work here. However, the question about mirrors introduces many unreasonable assumptions and the philosophical problem as defined in the help center is unclear.
    – user2953
    Nov 29, 2016 at 7:44
  • I see. It's the arbitrary rules as part of the post that make it not philosophical. If it were simply posed as "How do I prove that mirrors are not windows into other dimensions?", then it would work here. Nov 29, 2016 at 14:17
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    @IanMacDonald I don't think so. Even then it would remain devoid of philosophical content - it would be a dorm-room physics question. Your example question is appropriately philosophical because it makes inquiries into epistemology and self-knowledge. The mirror question is essentially asking "implement the scientific method in this particular situation".
    – commando
    Dec 1, 2016 at 16:39
  • @commando Is it? It sounds to me like you're making assumptions about the answer. How would you prove it? With physics? Don't you think that using physics (defined with the caveat that they only apply in our 3-dimensional reality) would limit your results to things that verify that mirrors are not another dimension? That would be the same as using physics to prove that I am thinking unique thoughts and not simply perceiving thoughts from a "thought cloud" that surrounds my head similar to smell or sight or touch. Dec 1, 2016 at 16:52
  • @IanMacDonald sorry, I overlooked that comment. Into which bullet point in the help center would you suggest that question would fall?
    – user2953
    Dec 1, 2016 at 16:53
  • metaphysics is a really good fit. Dec 1, 2016 at 17:05
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    @IanMacDonald please have a look at the questions in metaphysics? They are all more abstract; also the tag description has a much more abstract perspective.
    – user2953
    Dec 1, 2016 at 17:14
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    @IanMacDonald to echo the above, metaphysics is concerned with such questions as "can the universe be said to consist of a single monadic type?" or "how are we to give a coherent account of cause and effect?" If metaphysics were to attempt to answer the mirror question, it would be reduced to using Galilean symmetry and similar physics. And no, I don't think that using physics would limit our results in such a way. Physicists seriously discuss theories of multiple universes and exchange interpretations of these theories. Some even propose that the universe has almost a dozen dimensions.
    – commando
    Dec 1, 2016 at 17:28
  • "metaphysics — the nature of being and reality". The nature of your reality is that you are making the assumption that a mirror is simply reflecting the light that hits it. In fact, it is also possible that what you are seeing in a mirror is an alternate dimension. The nature of your reality is making the assumption for you here, and Occam's Razor is telling you it's correct. Is it not a more interesting question to ponder the truth of these assumptions? Dec 1, 2016 at 17:45
  • @IanMacDonald well, yes, if you only read the very short description in the help center. I thought that you came to meta to get clarification of that text. So, we try to clarify it. But now you seem to want to debate it. Anyway, the policy of the moderators for borderline questions has been to first see how they are received, so if you want to ask it go ahead and see what kind of reply you get.
    – user2953
    Dec 1, 2016 at 21:26

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