Perspectives on Science 9 (3):285-307 (2001)
: 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 consistency and explanatory power. I conclude that, while their interpretation presupposes a whole set of background theories and putative laws, thought experiments nonetheless can evolve and be retooled for different theories and ends
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References found in this work BETA
On the Physical Significance of the Locality Conditions in the Bell Arguments.Jon P. Jarrett - 1984 - Noûs 18 (4):569-589.
Thought Experiments and the Epistemology of Laws.Roy A. Sorensen - 1992 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 22 (1):15-44.
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Citations of this work BETA
Toward a Constructivist Epistemology of Thought Experiments in Science.Kristian Camilleri - 2014 - Synthese 191 (8):1697-1716.
Introduction to Special Issue of Perspectives on Science.Yiftach Fehige & Michael T. Stuart - 2014 - Perspectives on Science 22 (2):167-178.
On the Origins of the Philosophy of Thought Experiments: The Forerun.Yiftach Fehige & Michael T. Stuart - 2014 - Perspectives on Science 22 (2):179-220.
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