A discussion over on Google+ had me wondering.
The original post was straightforward enough. “Is anyone here?”. Predictably, because this is the Internet, one of the first answers was “No.” And then it descended into philosophy…
There must be a scientific name for questions like “Are you asleep?” or “Is there anyone in there?” where no response is an answer in and of itself. Answering “no” to “Is there anyone in there?” or “yes” to “Are you asleep?” is also an answer, though perhaps not the one the questioner was expecting.
My Google-fu has failed me – or I can’t phrase my question well enough to get an answer – so, oh great minds of the internet, what do you call such a question? Is there, in fact, an entire branch of philosophy devoted to such questions? And if so, what’s it called?