I've heard philosophers talk about "dissolving" problems and questions. What does it mean to dissolve questions/problems and how do philosophers do it?

Dissolving a philosophical problem involves challenging the presuppositions -- often unrecognized presuppositions -- that give rise to the problem. Consider two examples near to my own heart. Newcomb's Problem in decision theory has generated enormous controversy since it was first brought to the attention of philosophers in 1969, and the dispute over the "correct solution" to the problem shows little sign of being settled anytime soon. But some philosophers think the problem is unsolvable because it's ill-posed. On their view, it's a pseudo-problem, perhaps because it's based on the false presupposition that we can understand the set-up of the problem in the first place. They think the problem is therefore one to be dissolved rather than solved. A second example is the perennial question "Why is there something rather than nothing at all?" Many philosophers have spent tremendous energy concocting elaborate metaphysical answers to that question. But I think the question, as it's usually intended by those who ask it, is based on a confusion that makes it ill-posed and therefore unanswerable, as I argue here. So I think the question (again, as it's usually intended) is to be dissolved rather than answered at face value. I hope these examples help.

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