David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Metaphilosophy 37 (2):222-239 (2006)
In part because "imagination" is a slippery notion, its exact role in the production of scientific knowledge remains unclear. There is, however, one often explicit and deliberate use of imagination by scientists that can be (and has been) studied intensively by epistemologists and historians of science: thought experiments. The main goal of this article is to document the varieties of thought experimentation, not so much in terms of the different sciences in which they occur but rather in terms of the different functions they fulfil. I argue that thought experimentation (and hence imagination) plays a role not only in theory choice but in singular causal analysis and scientific discovery as well. I pinpoint, moreover, some of the rules governing the use of thought experiments in theory choice and in singular causal analysis, that is, some of the criteria they should meet in order to fulfil those functions successfully
|Keywords||Choice Imagination Metaphysics Science Scientific Discovery Thought Experiment|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Roy A. Sorensen (1992). Thought Experiments. Oxford University Press.
Gregory Currie & Ian Ravenscroft (2002). Recreative Minds: Imagination in Philosophy and Psychology. Oxford University Press.
Tim Mey (2006). Imagination's Grip on Science. Metaphilosophy 37 (2):222-239.
Douglas Sloan (2008/1983). Insight-Imagination: The Emancipation of Thought and the Modern World. Barfield Press.
Mary Domski (2010). Kant on the Imagination and Geometrical Certainty. Perspectives on Science 18 (4):409-431.
Un-Chol Shin (1994). The Role of Imagination in Integrative Knowledge. Tradition and Discovery 21 (2):16-28.
Sarah L. Gibbons (1994). Kant's Theory of Imagination: Bridging Gaps in Judgement and Experience. Oxford University Press.
Amy Kind, Imagery and Imagination. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads45 ( #44,967 of 1,681,636 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #39,990 of 1,681,636 )
How can I increase my downloads?