Search results for 'THOUGHT EXPERIMENTS' (try it on Scholar)

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  1. Thought Experiments (1992). Thought Experiments and the Epistemology of Laws. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 22:15-4.score: 1140.0
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  2. John Zeimbekis (2011). Thought Experiments and Mental Simulations. In Katerina Ierodiakonou & Sophie Roux (eds.), Thought Experiments in Methodological and Historical Contexts. Brill.score: 210.0
    Thought experiments have a mysterious way of informing us about the world, apparently without examining it, yet with a great degree of certainty. It is tempting to try to explain this capacity by making use of the idea that in thought experiments, the mind somehow simulates the processes about which it reaches conclusions. Here, I test this idea. I argue that when they predict the outcomes of hypothetical physical situations, thought experiments cannot simulate physical (...)
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  3. Yiftach J. H. Fehige & Harald Wiltsche (2012). The Body, Thought Experiments, and Phenomenology. In Thought Experiments in Philosophy, Science, and the Arts.score: 210.0
    An explorative contribution to the ongoing discussion of thought experiments. While endorsing the majority view that skepticism about thought experiments is not well justified, in what follows we attempt to show that there is a kind of “bodiliness” missing from current accounts of thought experiments. That is, we suggest a phenomenological addition to the literature. First, we contextualize our claim that the importance of the body in thought experiments has been widely underestimated. (...)
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  4. Edouard Machery (2011). Thought Experiments and Philosophical Knowledge. Metaphilosophy 42 (3):191-214.score: 180.0
    Abstract: While thought experiments play an important role in contemporary analytic philosophy, much remains unclear about thought experiments. In particular, it is still unclear whether the judgments elicited by thought experiments can provide evidence for the premises of philosophical arguments. This article argues that, if an influential and promising view about the nature of the judgments elicited by thought experiments is correct, then many thought experiments in philosophy fail to provide (...)
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  5. Simon Beck (2009). Martha Nussbaum and the Foundations of Ethics: Identity, Morality and Thought-Experiments. South African Journal of Philosophy 28 (3):261-270.score: 180.0
    Martha Nussbaum has argued in support of the view (supposedly that of Aristotle) that we can, through thought-experiments involving personal identity, find an objective foundation for moral thought without having to appeal to any authority independent of morality. I compare the thought-experiment from Plato’s Philebus that she presents as an example to other thought-experiments involving identity in the literature and argue that this reveals a tension between the sources of authority which Nussbaum invokes for (...)
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  6. Darrell P. Rowbottom (forthcoming). Intuitions in Science: Thought Experiments as Argument Pumps. In Anthony R. Booth & Darrell P. Rowbottom (eds.), Intuitions.score: 180.0
    In this piece, I advocate and motivate a new understanding of thought experiments, which avoids problems with the rival accounts of Brown and Norton.
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  7. David Atkinson (2003). When Are Thought Experiments Poor Ones? Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 34 (2):305 - 322.score: 180.0
    A characteristic of contemporary analytic philosophy is its ample use of thought experiments. We formulate two features that can lead one to suspect that a given thought experiment is a poor one. Although these features are especially in evidence within the philosophy of mind, they can, surprisingly enough, also be discerned in some celebrated scientific thought experiments. Yet in the latter case the consequences appear to be less disastrous. We conclude that the use of (...) experiments is more successful in science than in philosophy. (shrink)
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  8. Jeremy Pierce (2013). Glasgow's Race Antirealism: Experimental Philosophy and Thought Experiments. Journal of Social Philosophy 44 (2):146-168.score: 180.0
    Joshua Glasgow argues against the existence of races. His experimental philosophy asks subjects questions involving racial categorization to discover the ordinary concept of race at work in their judgments. The results show conflicting information about the concept of race, and Glasgow concludes that the ordinary concept of race is inconsistent. I conclude, rather, that Glasgow’s results fit perfectly fine with a social-kind view of races as real social entities. He also presents thought experiments to show that social-kind views (...)
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  9. Roy A. Sorensen (1992). Thought Experiments. Oxford University Press.score: 180.0
    Sorensen presents a general theory of thought experiments: what they are, how they work, what are their virtues and vices. On Sorensen's view, philosophy differs from science in degree, but not in kind. For this reason, he claims, it is possible to understand philosophical thought experiments by concentrating on their resemblance to scientific relatives. Lessons learned about scientific experimentation carry over to thought experiment, and vice versa. Sorensen also assesses the hazards and pseudo-hazards of (...) experiments. Although he grants that there are interesting ways in which the method leads us astray, he attacks most scepticism about thought experiments as arbitrary. They should be used, he says, as they generally are used--as part of a diversified portfolio of techniques. All of these devices are individually susceptible to abuse, fallacy, and error. Collectively, however, they provide a network of cross-checks that make for impressive reliability. (shrink)
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  10. Jeanne Peijnenburg & David Atkinson (2003). When Are Thought Experiments Poor Ones? Journal for General Philosophy of Science 34 (2):305-322.score: 180.0
    A characteristic of contemporary analytic philosophy is its ample use of thought experiments. We formulate two features that can lead one to suspect that a given thought experiment is a poor one. Although these features are especially in evidence within the philosophy of mind, they can, surprisingly enough, also be discerned in some celebrated scientific thought experiments. Yet in the latter case the consequences appear to be less disastrous. We conclude that the use of (...) experiments is more successful in science than in philosophy. (shrink)
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  11. James Maffie (1997). “Just-so” Stories About “Inner Cognitive Africa”: Some Doubts About Sorensen's Evolutionary Epistemology of Thought Experiments. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 12 (2):207-224.score: 180.0
    Roy Sorensen advances an evolutionary explanation of our capacity for thought experiments which doubles as a naturalized epistemological justification. I argue Sorensens explanation fails to satisfy key elements of environmental-selectionist explanations and so fails to carry epistemic force. I then argue that even if Sorensen succeeds in showing the adaptive utility of our capacity, he still fails to establish its reliability and hence epistemic utility. I conclude Sorensens account comes to little more than a just-so story.
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  12. Aspasia S. Moue, Kyriakos A. Masavetas & Haido Karayianni (2006). Tracing the Development of Thought Experiments in the Philosophy of Natural Sciences. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 37 (1):61 - 75.score: 180.0
    An overview is provided of how the concept of the thought experiment has developed and changed for the natural sciences in the course of the 20th century. First, we discuss the existing definitions of the term 'thought experiment' and the origin of the thought experimentation method, identifying it in Greek Presocratics epoch. Second, only in the end of the 19th century showed up the first systematic enquiry on thought experiments by Ernst Mach's work. After the (...)
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  13. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2011). Gedankenexperimente in der Offenbarungstheologie? Eine Erste Annäherung/ Thought Experiments in Revealed Theology? A First Approach. Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 59 (1):209-229.score: 180.0
    Thought experiments play an important cognitive role in many fields of inquiry, especially in physics and philosophy. Do they also matter in revealed theology? In addressing this question, I will argue first why it is important to do so, then elaborate on the characteristic features of such thought experiments in revealed theology, and finally discuss two instances of thought experimenting in Augustine.
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  14. Robert Klee (2008). Physical Scale Effects and Philosophical Thought Experiments. Metaphilosophy 39 (1):89–104.score: 180.0
    The scales across which physical properties exist are vast and subtle in their effects on particular systems placed locally on such scales. For example, human experiential access is restricted only to partial segments of the mass density, size, and temperature scales of the universe. I argue that philosophers must learn to appreciate better the effects of physical scales. Specifically, thought experiments in philosophy should be more sensitive to physical scale effects, because the conclusion of a thought experiment (...)
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  15. Rafal Urbaniak (2012). “Platonic” Thought Experiments: How on Earth? Synthese 187 (2):731-752.score: 180.0
    Brown (The laboratory of the mind. Thought experiments in the natural science, 1991a , 1991b ; Contemporary debates in philosophy of science, 2004 ; Thought experiments, 2008 ) argues that thought experiments (TE) in science cannot be arguments and cannot even be represented by arguments. He rest his case on examples of TEs which proceed through a contradiction to reach a positive resolution (Brown calls such TEs “platonic”). This, supposedly, makes it impossible to represent (...)
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  16. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2012). 'Experiments of Pure Reason': Kantianism and Thought Experiments in Science. Epistemologia 35 (1):141-160.score: 180.0
    Marco Buzzoni has presented a Kantian account of thought experiments in science as a serious rival to the current empiricist and Platonic accounts. This paper takes the first steps of a comprehensive assessment of this account in order to further the more general discussion of the feasibility of a Kantian theory of scientific thought experiments. Such a discussion is overdue. To this effect the broader question is addressed as to what motivates a Kantian approach. Buzzoni's account (...)
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  17. Martin Cohen (2005). Wittgenstein's Beetle and Other Classic Thought Experiments. Blackwell Pub..score: 180.0
    A is for Alice and astronomers arguing about acceleration -- B is for Bernard's body-exchange machine -- C is for the Catholic cannibal -- D is for Maxwell's demon -- E is for evolution (and an embarrassing problem with it) -- F is for the forms lost forever to the prisoners of the cave -- G is for Galileo's gravitational balls -- H is for Hume's shades -- I is for the identity of indiscernibles -- J is for Henri Poincaré (...)
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  18. Marcus Schulzke (2014). Simulating Philosophy: Interpreting Video Games as Executable Thought Experiments. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Technology 27 (2):251-265.score: 180.0
    This essay proposes an alternative way of studying video games: as thought experiments akin to the narrative thought experiments that are frequently used in philosophy. This perspective incorporates insights from the narratological and ludological perspectives in game studies and highlights the philosophical significance of games. Video game thought experiments are similar to narrative thought experiments in many respects and can perform the same functions. They also have distinctive advantages over narrative thought (...)
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  19. Hayley Clatterbuck (2013). The Epistemology of Thought Experiments: A Non-Eliminativist, Non-Platonic Account. [REVIEW] European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (3):309-329.score: 180.0
    Several major breakthroughs in the history of physics have been prompted not by new empirical data but by thought experiments. James Robert Brown and John Norton have developed accounts of how thought experiments can yield such advances. Brown argues that knowledge gained via thought experiments demands a Platonic explanation; thought experiments for Brown are a window into the Platonic realm of the laws of nature. Norton argues that thought experiments are (...)
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  20. Katerina Ierodiakonou & Sophie Roux (eds.) (2011). Thought Experiments in Methodological and Historical Contexts. Brill.score: 180.0
    Thought experiments being central to contemporary philosophy and science, the following questions were asked in recent literature. What is their definition? Are they heuristic devices, arguments, paradoxes? Are they comparable to real experiments? Do intuition and conceivability intervene? Equally imaginative thought experiments are found in ancient, medieval, and Renaissance texts. Paying attention to prime historical examples of thought experiments, we show that historical perspectives help answer these general questions.
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  21. Kristian Camilleri (2014). Toward a Constructivist Epistemology of Thought Experiments in Science. Synthese 191 (8):1697-1716.score: 180.0
    This paper presents a critical analysis of Tamar Szabó Gendler’s view of thought experiments, with the aim of developing further a constructivist epistemology of thought experiments in science. While the execution of a thought experiment cannot be reduced to standard forms of inductive and deductive inference, in the process of working though a thought experiment, a logical argument does emerge and take shape. Taking Gendler’s work as a point of departure, I argue that performing (...)
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  22. Yiftach Fehige (2013). The Relativized a Priori and the Laboratory of the Mind: Towards a Neo-Kantian Account of Thought Experiments in Science. Epistemologia 36 (1):55-73.score: 180.0
    Building on a previously published contextualization of Marco Buzzoni’s Neo- Kantian account of scientific thought-experiments, this paper examines the explanatory power of this account. It is argued that Buzzoni’s account suffers from a number of shortcomings. Einstein’s clock-in-the-box thought experiment facilitates the demonstration of these deficits. In the light of both the identified inadequacies of Buzzoni’s account and the long-standing history of Kantian approaches to thought experiments, this paper finally sketches an alternative Neo-Kantian account. This (...)
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  23. Thomas Grundmann & Joachim Horvath (2013). Thought Experiments and the Problem of Deviant Realizations. Philosophical Studies:1-9.score: 150.0
    Descriptions of Gettier cases can be interpreted in ways that are incompatible with the standard judgment that they are cases of justified true belief without knowledge. Timothy Williamson claims that this problem cannot be avoided by adding further stipulations to the case descriptions. To the contrary, we argue that there is a fairly simple way to amend the Ford case, a standard description of a Gettier case, in such a manner that all deviant interpretations are ruled out. This removes one (...)
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  24. James Robert Brown (1991). The Laboratory of the Mind: Thought Experiments in the Natural Sciences. Routledge.score: 150.0
    The book concludes with chapters on the nature of Einstein's work and on the interpretation of quantum mechanics which stand as a test of the author's central ...
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  25. Adrian Walsh (2011). A Moderate Defence of the Use of Thought Experiments in Applied Ethics. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (4):467-481.score: 150.0
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  26. Michael T. Stuart & James R. Brown (2013). REVIEW: Katerina Ierodiakonou and Sophie Roux, Eds. Thought Experiments in Methodological and Historical Contexts. HOPOS 3 (1):154-157.score: 150.0
  27. Roger N. Shepard (2008). The Step to Rationality: The Efficacy of Thought Experiments in Science, Ethics, and Free Will. Cognitive Science 32 (1):3-35.score: 150.0
  28. Ian Winchester (1990). Thought Experiments and Conceptual Revision. Studies in Philosophy and Education 10 (1):73-80.score: 150.0
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  29. Sophie Roux (2011). Introduction : The Emergence of the Notion of Thought Experiments. In Katerina Ierodiakonou & Sophie Roux (eds.), Thought Experiments in Methodological and Historical Contexts. Brill.score: 150.0
    Roux begins by exploring the texts in which the origins of the scientific notion of thought experiments are usually said to be found. Her general claim is simple: the emergence of the notion of thought experiments relies on a succession of misunderstandings and omissions. She then examines, in a more systematic perspective, the three characteristics of the broad category of thought experiments nowadays in circulation: thought experiments are counterfactual, they involve a concrete (...)
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  30. Simon Beck (2006). These Bizarre Fictions: Thought-Experiments, Our Psychology and Our Selves. Philosophical Papers 35 (1):29-54.score: 148.0
    Philosophers have traditionally used thought-experiments in their endeavours to find a satisfactory account of the self and personal identity. Yet there are considerations from empirical psychology as well as related ones from philosophy itself that appear to completely undermine the method of thought-experiment. This paper focuses on both sets of considerations and attempts a defence of the method.
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  31. Stephen R. Coleman (2000). Thought Experiments and Personal Identity. Philosophical Studies 98 (1):51-66.score: 148.0
    Thought experiments are profitably compared to compasses. A compass is a simple but useful device for determining direction. Nevertheless, it systematically errs in the presence of magnets ...it becomes unreliable near the North Pole, in mine shafts, when vibrated, in the presence of metal ...experts will wish to use the compass as one element in a wider portfolio of navigational techniques. Analogously, thought experiments are simple but useful devices for determining the status of propositions. Sadly, they (...)
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  32. Lawrence Souder (2003). What Are We to Think About Thought Experiments? Argumentation 17 (2):203-217.score: 148.0
    Arguments from thought experiment ask the reader to imagine some hypothetical, sometimes exotic, often fantastic, scenario for the sake of illustrating or countering some claim. Variously characterized as mental experimentation, imaginary cases, and even crazy cases, thought experiments figure into both scientific and philosophical arguments. They are often criticized for their fictive nature and for their lack of grounding. Nevertheless, they are common especially in arguments in ethics and philosophy of mind. Moreover, many thought experiments (...)
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  33. Rawad El Skaf & Cyrille Imbert (2013). Unfolding in the Empirical Sciences: Experiments, Thought Experiments and Computer Simulations. Synthese 190 (16):3451-3474.score: 148.0
    Experiments (E), computer simulations (CS) and thought experiments (TE) are usually seen as playing different roles in science and as having different epistemologies. Accordingly, they are usually analyzed separately. We argue in this paper that these activities can contribute to answering the same questions by playing the same epistemic role when they are used to unfold the content of a well-described scenario. We emphasize that in such cases, these three activities can be described by means of the (...)
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  34. Marco Buzzoni (2014). On Thought Experiments and the Kantian a Priori in the Natural Sciences: A Reply to Yiftach J.H. Fehige. Epistemologia 2:277-293.score: 148.0
    This paper replies to objections that have been raised against my operational-Kantian account of thought experiments by Fehige 2012 and 2013. Fehige also sketches an alternative Neo-Kantian account that utilizes Michael Friedman’s concept of a contingent and changeable a priori. To this I shall reply, first, that Fehige’s objections not only neglect some fundamental points I had made as regards the realizability of TEs, but also underestimate the principle of empiricism, which was rightly defended by Kant. Secondly, in (...)
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  35. András Kertész (forthcoming). The Puzzle of Thought Experiments in Conceptual Metaphor Research. Foundations of Science:1-28.score: 148.0
    How can thought experiments lead to new empirical knowledge if they do not make use of empirical information? This puzzle has been widely discussed in the philosophy of science. It arises in conceptual metaphor research as well and is especially important for the clarification of its empirical foundations. The aim of the paper is to suggest a possible solution to the puzzle of thought experiments in conceptual metaphor research. The solution rests on the application of a (...)
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  36. Elke Brendel (2004). Intuition Pumps and the Proper Use of Thought Experiments. Dialectica 58 (1):89–108.score: 144.0
    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 (...)
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  37. David J. Cole (1984). Thought and Thought Experiments. Philosophical Studies 45 (May):431-44.score: 144.0
    Thought experiments have been used by philosophers for centuries, especially in the study of personal identity where they appear to have been used extensively and indiscriminately. Despite their prevalence, the use of thought experiments in this area of philosophy has been criticized in recent times. Bernard Williams criticizes the conclusions that are drawn from some experiments, and retells one of these experiments from a different perspective, a retelling which leads to a seemingly opposing result. (...)
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  38. Maarten Van Dyck (2003). The Roles of One Thought Experiment in Interpreting Quantum Mechanics. Werner Heisenberg Meets Thomas Kuhn. Philosophica 72 (3):79-103.score: 132.0
    Recent years saw the rise of an interest in the roles and significance of thought experiments in different areas of human thinking. Heisenberg's gamma ray microscope is no doubt one of the most famous examples of a thought experiment in physics. Nevertheless, this particular thought experiment has not received much detailed attention in the philosophical literature on thought experiments up to date, maybe because of its often claimed inadequacies. In this paper, I try to (...)
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  39. Massimo Pigliucci (2006). What is a Thought Experiment, Anyhow? Philosophy Now (Nov/Dec):30.score: 132.0
    Thought experiments are cheap and popular, but how do they work?
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  40. Kirk Ludwig (2007). The Epistemology of Thought Experiments : First Person Versus Third Person Approaches. In Peter A. French & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.), Philosophy and the Empirical. Blackwell Pub. Inc.. 128-159.score: 120.0
    There has been a movement recently to bring to bear on the conduct of philosophical thought experiments (henceforth “thought experiments”)1 the empirical techniques of the social sciences, that is, to treat their conduct as in the nature of an anthropological investigation into the application conditions of the concepts of a group of subjects. This is to take a third person, in contrast to the traditional first person, approach to conceptual analysis. This has taken the form of (...)
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  41. Jessica Brown (2011). Thought Experiments, Intuitions and Philosophical Evidence. Dialectica 65 (4):493-516.score: 120.0
    What is the nature of the evidence provided by thought experiments in philosophy? For instance, what evidence is provided by the Gettier thought experiment against the JTB theory of knowledge? According to one view, it provides as evidence only a certain psychological proposition, e.g. that it seems to one that the subject in the Gettier case lacks knowledge. On an alternative, nonpsychological view, the Gettier thought experiment provides as evidence the nonpsychological proposition that the subject in (...)
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  42. Cora Diamond (2002). What If X Isn't the Number of Sheep? Wittgenstein and Thought-Experiments in Ethics. Philosophical Papers 31 (3):227-250.score: 120.0
    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 (...)
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  43. Michael A. Bishop (1999). Why Thought Experiments Are Not Arguments. Philosophy of Science 66 (4):534-541.score: 120.0
    Are thought experiments nothing but arguments? I argue that it is not possible to make sense of the historical trajectory of certain thought experiments if one takes them to be arguments. Einstein and Bohr disagreed about the outcome of the clock-in-the-box thought experiment, and so they reconstructed it using different arguments. This is to be expected whenever scientists disagree about a thought experiment's outcome. Since any such episode consists of two arguments but just one (...)
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  44. Richard Arthur (1999). On Thought Experiments as a Priori Science. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (3):215 – 229.score: 120.0
    Against Norton's claim that all thought experiments can be reduced to explicit arguments, I defend Brown's position that certain thought experiments yield a priori knowledge. They do this, I argue, not by allowing us to perceive “Platonic universals” (Brown), even though they may contain non-propositional components that are epistemically indispensable, but by helping to identify certain tacit presuppositions or “natural interpretations” (Feyerabend's term) that lead to a contradiction when the phenomenon is described in terms of them, (...)
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  45. Julian Reiss (2009). Counterfactuals, Thought Experiments, and Singular Causal Analysis in History. Philosophy of Science 76 (5):712-723.score: 120.0
    Thought experiments are ubiquitous in science and especially prominent in domains in which experimental and observational evidence is scarce. One such domain is the causal analysis of singular events in history. A long‐standing tradition that goes back to Max Weber addresses the issue by means of ‘what‐if’ counterfactuals. In this paper I give a descriptive account of this widely used method and argue that historians following it examine difference makers rather than causes in the philosopher’s sense. While difference (...)
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  46. Alisa Bokulich (2001). Rethinking Thought Experiments. Perspectives on Science 9 (3):285-307.score: 120.0
    : An examination of two thought experiments in contemporary physics reveals that the same thought experiment can be reanalyzed from the perspective of different and incompatible theories. This fact undermines those accounts of thought experiments that claim their justificatory power comes from their ability to reveal the laws of nature. While thought experiments do play a genuine evaluative role in science, they do so by testing the nonempirical virtues of a theory, such as (...)
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  47. David Hershenov (2008). A Hylomorphic Account of Personal Identity Thought Experiments. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 82 (3):481 - 502.score: 120.0
    Hylomorphism offers a third way between animalist approaches to personal identity that maintain psychology is irrelevant to our persistence and neo-Lockean accounts that deny we are animals. A Thomistic-inspired account is provided that explains the intuitive responses to thought experiments involving brain transplants and the transformation of organic bodies into inorganic ones without having to follow the animalist in abandoning the claim that it is our identity that matters in survival nor countenance the puzzles of spatially coincident entities (...)
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  48. Martin Bunzl (1996). The Logic of Thought Experiments. Synthese 106 (2):227 - 240.score: 120.0
    In this paper I argue that (at least many) philosophical thought experiments are unreliable. But I argue that this notion of unreliability has to be understood relative to the goal of thought experiments as knowledge producing. And relative to that goal many thought experiments in science are just as unreliable. But in fact thought experiments in science play a varied role and I will suggest that knowledge production is a goal only under (...)
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  49. Daniel Cohnitz (2003). Modal Skepticism: Philosophical Thought Experiments and Modal Epistemology. Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 10:281--296.score: 120.0
    One of the most basic methods of philosophy is, and has always been, the consideration of counterfactual cases and imaginary scenarios. One purpose of doing so obviously is to test our theories against such counterfactual cases. Although this method is widespread, it is far from being commonly accepted. Especially during the last two decades it has been confronted with criticism ranging from complete dismissal to denying only its critical powers to a cautious defense of the use of thought (...) as counterexamples. One of the strongest criticisms of the method of thought experimentation is "modal skepticism" as explicated and defended by Peter van Inwagen. Van Inwagen argues that the philosopher's notion of logical possibility is confused and that its epistemology is dubious. I argue that van Inwagen's skepticism is unwarranted. There is a sufficiently clear notion of logical possibility and a sufficiently straightforward way of getting to know what is logically possible. In the remainder of the paper I show how that connects with the methodology of thought experimentation in philosophy. (shrink)
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  50. David Atkinson (2003). Experiments and Thought Experiments in Natural Science. Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science 232:209-226.score: 120.0
    My theme is thought experiment in natural science, and its relation to real experiment. I shall defend the thesis that thought experiments that do not lead to theorizing and to a real experiment are generally of much less value that those that do so. To illustrate this thesis I refer to three examples, from three very different periods, and with three very different kinds of status. The first is the classic thought experiment in which Galileo imagined (...)
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