James Robert Brown
University of Toronto, St. George Campus
Thought experiments provide us with scientific understanding and theoretical advances which are sometimes quite significant, yet they do this without new empirical input, and possibly without any empirical input at all. How is this possible? The challenge to empiricism is to give an account which is compatible with the traditional empiricist principle that all knowledge is based on sensory experience. Thought experiments present an enormous challenge to empiricist views of knowledge; so much so that some of us have thrown in the towel and embraced good old fashioned platonism. I'll try to explain why one brand of empiricism, namely John Norton's argument view of thought experiments, won't work
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Galileo and the Indispensability of Scientific Thought Experiment.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 1998 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (3):397-424.
The Evidential Significance of Thought Experiment in Science.James W. McAllister - 1996 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 27 (2):233-250.
What Notion of Possibility Should We Use in Assessing Scientific Thought Experiments?Rawad El Skaf - 2017 - Lato Sensu, Revue de la Société de Philosophie des Sciences 4 (1).
Imaginary Science. [REVIEW]David Gooding - 1994 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (4):1029-1045.

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