Canadian Journal of Philosophy

Whatever the original intent, the introduction of the term 'thought experiment' has proved to be one of the great public relations coups of science writing, For generations of readers of scientific literature, the term has planted the seed of hope that the fragment of text they have just read is more than mundane. Because it was a thought experiment, does it not tap into that infallible font of all wisdom in empiricist science, the experiment? And because it was conducted in thought, does it not miraculously escape the need for the elaborate laboratories and bloated budgets of experimental science? These questions in effect pose the epistemological problem of thought experiments in the sciences: Thought experiments are supposed to give us information about our physical world. From where can this information come? One enticing response to the problem is to imagine that thought experiments draw from some special source of knowledge of the world that transcends our ordinary epistemic resources. My purpose in this paper.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 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 Translate to english
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 13,597
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
Jeanne Peijnenburg & David Atkinson (2003). When Are Thought Experiments Poor Ones? Journal for General Philosophy of Science 34 (2):305-322.
David Atkinson (2003). When Are Thought Experiments Poor Ones? Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 34 (2):305 - 322.
David Atkinson (2003). Experiments and Thought Experiments in Natural Science. Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science 232:209-226.
Sören Häggqvist (2007). The A Priori Thesis. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 7 (1):47-61.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

12 ( #149,661 of 1,692,469 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #184,284 of 1,692,469 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

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