The Anatomy of Three Thought Experiments in Plato's Republic, Apology, and Alcibiades Minor

Abstract
I argue that Plato’s use of thought experiments anticipate many of the themes discussed by Thomas S. Kuhn’s classic essay, “A Function for Thought Experiments.” Kuhn’s concern is that thought experiments satisfy the condition of verisimilitude. That is, thought experiments must not be conducted merely to alter the conceptual apparatus of the scientist regarding the phenomenon explored, but rather to alter the scientist’s conceptual apparatus for the sake of altering his actions (i.e., practical rationality). Plato, too, is quite concerned with getting interlocutors to appreciate that theory not be separated from practice, and that theory is necessary for the process of effective decision making. Each of the interlocutors presented in the Republic, Apology and Alcibiades Minor are confrontedwith a thought experiment that is designed to effect how they choose to live. Although the three dialogues I discuss illustrate the Kuhnian admonishment against separating theory form practice, many other dialogues in the Platonic corpus echo Kuhn’s concerns
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,322
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Plato (1931). The Dialogues of Plato. London, H. Milford, Oxford University Press.
Ana Butković (2007). What is the Function of Thought Experiments. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 7 (1):63-67.
Alisa Bokulich (2001). Rethinking Thought Experiments. Perspectives on Science 9 (3):285-307.
Nebojsa Kujundzic (1998). The Role of Variation in Thought Experiments. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 12 (3):239 – 243.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-12-02

Total downloads

12 ( #122,094 of 1,096,527 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #64,935 of 1,096,527 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.