Dialectica 58 (1):89–108 (2004)
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 to be reconstructed as arguments. I also specify criteria for distinguishing bad "intuition pumps" from legitimate thought experiments. These criteria help us to avoid being seduced by the dangerous suggestive power of misleading intuitions.
|Keywords||Epistemology, Experiment, Intuitionism, Thought|
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References found in this work BETA
Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting.Daniel C. Dennett - 1984 - MIT Press.
Real People: Personal Identity Without Thought Experiments.Kathleen V. Wilkes - 1988 - Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Does the Method of Cases Rest on a Mistake?Moti Mizrahi - 2014 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (2):183-197.
The Missing-Desires Objection to Hybrid Theories of Well-Being.William Lauinger - 2013 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (2):270-295.
Quantum Physics and Theology: John Polkinghorne on Thought Experiments.Yiftach J. H. Fehige - 2012 - Zygon 47 (2):256-288.
A Moderate Defence of the Use of Thought Experiments in Applied Ethics.Adrian Walsh - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (4):467-481.
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