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Is the glass half full or half empty?

Have to do a philosophy paper on this infuriating question!
Question asked by: agent6

Asked on: 22 Nov 2008

Well, if your examiner gives you a good mark for what you write then the glass is half full, and if they give you a bad mark, then the glass is half empty.

The truth is that each description is equally valid in the case where literally the glass is half full, due to the fact that 1/2 + 1/2 = 1 and 1/2 - 1/2 = 0

By: knowitall
Replied at: 23 Nov 2008
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Comments and other answers:

The cup is neither half empty nor half full - it is always completely full of matter. However, if what you mean is whether or not the cup is half empty or half filled with a specific substance - e.g. water - then I would suggest that it is indeed both half 'empty' and half full simultaneously. Since a whole is made up of exactly two halves, we can say that if exactly half of it consists of one substance then exactly half of it also does not consist of that substance. Whether the proposition 'the cup is half empty' is true or not is dependent on whether the proposition 'the cup is half full' is true or not. If one is true then so is the other. Therefore, if a person makes one of these propositions, then they are also implying that the other is true. In the same sense, a cup which is quarter full may be just as accurately described as being three-quarters empty - the same rules apply here. It simply depends on whether you choose to describe the cup in terms of its relative fullness or its relative emptiness. The concepts 'full' and 'empty' are dependent on each other, for one cannot exist without the other. Just as small cannot exist without large. Clearly then, describing the cup in terms of its relative fullness or its relative emptiness does not change the actual contents of the glass. Language should not be allowed to confuse the issue - what should be considered is the factual content which is expressed by the language.
By: Wyess.

Date of comment: Fri, Dec 24th 2010

Is half a glass of water half full or half empty? Half a glass of water is never ever just half full nor is it ever just half empty. It is always half full and half empty at the same time. So when we see half a glass of water as just half full we are basing our observation on a half truth. Basing our behavior on a half truth has consequences. Optimists run out of money faster than pesimists. We do not need to be any one of them. We need to be realists! Who see the full truth!
By: sajidkhan

Date of comment: Sun, Aug 16th 2009

It depends on whether you're filling the glass up or drinking from it.
By: faraway

Date of comment: Wed, Apr 29th 2009

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empty  full  glass  

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