Dialectica 58 (1):89-108 (2004)

Authors
Elke Brendel
Universität Bonn
Abstract
I begin with an explication of “thought experiment”. I then clarify the role that intuitions play in thought experiments by addressing two important issues: the informativeness of thought experiments and 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.
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DOI 10.1111/dltc.2004.58.issue-1
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References found in this work BETA

An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.John Locke - 1979 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 169 (2):221-222.
Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting.Gary Watson - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 83 (9):517-522.
Are Thought Experiments Just What You Thought?John D. Norton - 1996 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 26 (3):333 - 366.
Personal and Doxastic Justification in Epistemology.Mylan Engel - 1992 - Philosophical Studies 67 (2):133-150.

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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.
Phenomenology and Thought Experiments. Thought Experiments as Anticipation Pumps.Harald A. Wiltsche - 2018 - In James Robert Brown, Yiftach J. H. Fehige & Michael T. Stuart (eds.), Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments. New York, NY, USA:

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Intuitions in Science: Thought Experiments as Argument Pumps.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2014 - In Anthony R. Booth & Darrell P. Rowbottom (eds.), Intuitions. Oxford University Press. pp. 119-134.
Why Thought Experiments Are Not Arguments.Michael A. Bishop - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (4):534-541.
Reforming Intuition Pumps: When Are the Old Ways the Best?Brian Talbot - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (2):315-334.
Rethinking Thought Experiments.Alisa Bokulich - 2001 - Perspectives on Science 9 (3):285-307.

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