On thought experiments as a priori science

Against Norton's claim that all thought experiments can be reduced to explicit arguments, I defend Brown's position that certain thought experiments yield a priori knowledge. They do this, I argue, not by allowing us to perceive “Platonic universals” (Brown), even though they may contain non-propositional components that are epistemically indispensable, but by helping to identify certain tacit presuppositions or “natural interpretations” (Feyerabend's term) that lead to a contradiction when the phenomenon is described in terms of them, and by suggesting a new natural interpretation in terms of which the phenomenon can be redescribed free of contradiction.
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DOI 10.1080/02698599908573622
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Marco Buzzoni (2007). Zum Verhältnis Zwischen Experiment Und Gedankenexperiment in den Naturwissenschaften. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 38 (2):219 - 237.

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