Intuition pumps and the proper use of thought experiments

Dialectica 58 (1):89–108 (2004)
I begin with an explication of "thought experiment". I then clarify the role that intuitions play in thought experiments by addressing two important issues: (1) the informativeness of thought experiments and (2) the legitimacy of the method of thought experiments in philosophy and the natural sciences. I defend a naturalistic account of intuitions that provides a plausible explanation of the informativeness of thought experiments, which, in turn, allows thought experiments to be reconstructed as arguments. I also specify criteria for distinguishing bad "intuition pumps" from legitimate thought experiments. These criteria help us to avoid being seduced by the dangerous suggestive power of misleading intuitions.
Keywords Epistemology, Experiment, Intuitionism, Thought
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DOI 10.1111/j.1746-8361.2004.tb00293.x
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Moti Mizrahi (2014). Does the Method of Cases Rest on a Mistake? Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (2):183-197.

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