What if x isn't the number of sheep? Wittgenstein and Thought-Experiments in Ethics

Philosophical Papers 31 (3):227-250 (2002)
Wittgensteinian ethics, it may be thought, is committed to detailed examination of realistically described cases, and hence to eschewing the abstract hypothetical cases, many of them quite bizarre, found in much contemporary moral theorizing. I argue that bizarre cases may be helpful in thinking about ethics, and that there is nothing in Wittgenstein's approach to philosophy that would go against this. I examine the case of the ring of Gyges from the Republic; and I consider also some contemporary arguments about thought-experiments in philosophy
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