David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Organon F 18 (2):154-188 (2011)
The paper is a contribution to the debate on the epistemological status of thought experiments. I deal with the epistemological uniqueness of experiments in the sense of their irreducibility to other sources of justification. In particular, I criticize an influential argument for the irreducibility of thought experiments to general arguments. First, I introduce the radical empiricist theory of eliminativism, which considers thought experiments to be rhetorically modified arguments, uninteresting from the epistemological point of view. Second, I present objections to the theory, focusing on the critique of eliminativism by Tamar Szabó Gendler based on the reconstruction of famous Galileo's Pisa experiment. I show that her reconstruction is simplistic and that more elaborate reconstruction is needed for an appropriate assessment of the epistemic power of general argument. I propose such a reconstruction and demonstrate that general version of Pisa experiment is epistemically equal to the particular one. Thus, from an epistemological perspective, Galileo's thought experiment is reducible to a straightforward argument without particular premises.
|Keywords||thought experiment epistemology argument Galileo|
|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
Boris Grozdanoff (2007). Reconstruction, Justification and Incompatibility in Norton's Account of Thought Experiments. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 7 (1):69-79.
Michael A. Bishop (1999). Why Thought Experiments Are Not Arguments. Philosophy of Science 66 (4):534-541.
David Atkinson (2003). Experiments and Thought Experiments in Natural Science. Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science 232:209-226.
Tamar Szabó Gendler (1998). Galileo and the Indispensability of Scientific Thought Experiment. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (3):397-424.
John D. Norton (2004). Why Thought Experiments Do Not Transcend Empiricism. In Christopher Hitchcock (ed.), Contemporary Debates in the Philosophy of Science. Blackwell. 44-66.
Ksenija Puškarić (2007). Brown and Berkeley. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 7 (2):177-180.
Elke Brendel (2004). Intuition Pumps and the Proper Use of Thought Experiments. Dialectica 58 (1):89–108.
Nenad Miščević (2012). Plato's Republic as a Political Thought Experiment. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 12 (2):153-165.
David J. Cole (1984). Thought and Thought Experiments. Philosophical Studies 45 (May):431-44.
Jean-Yves Goffi & Sophie Roux (2011). On the Very Idea of a Thought Experiment. In Katerina Ierodiakonou & Sophie Roux (eds.), Thought Experiments in Methodological and Historical Contexts. Brill.
Marco Buzzoni (2007). Zum Verhältnis Zwischen Experiment Und Gedankenexperiment in den Naturwissenschaften. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 38 (2):219 - 237.
Added to index2011-05-19
Total downloads141 ( #7,366 of 1,410,171 )
Recent downloads (6 months)24 ( #8,662 of 1,410,171 )
How can I increase my downloads?