Authors
Daniel Cohnitz
Utrecht University
Abstract
In their paper, 'When are thought experiments poor ones?' (Peijnenburg and Atkinson, 2003, Journal of General Philosophy of Science 34, 305-322), Jeanne Peijnenburg and David Atkinson argue that most, if not all, philosophical thought experiments are "poor" ones with "disastrous consequences" and that they share the property of being poor with some (but not all) scientific thought experiments. Noting that unlike philosophy, the sciences have the resources to avoid the disastrous consequences, Peijnenburg and Atkinson come to the conclusion that the use of thought experiments in science is in general more successful than in philosophy and that instead of concocting more "recherché" thought experiments, philosophy should try to be more empirical. In this comment I will argue that Peijnenburg's and Atkinson's view on thought experiments is based on a misleading characterization of both, the dialectical situation in philosophy as well as the history of physics. By giving an adequate account of what the Discussion in contemporary philosophy is about, we will arrive at a considerably different evaluation of philosophical thought experiments.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,172
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Does Conceivability Entail Possibility.David J. Chalmers - 2002 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 145--200.
Thought Experiments.Roy A. Sorensen - 1992 - Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.
On Sense and Intension.David J. Chalmers - 2002 - Philosophical Perspectives 16:135-82.

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Thought Experiments.Yiftach J. H. Fehige & James R. Brown - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 25 (1):135-142.
On Poor and Not so Poor Thought Experiments. A Reply to Daniel Cohnitz.Jeanne Peijnenburg & David Atkinson - 2007 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 38 (1):159 - 161.
The Necessity of Metaphysics.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2008 - Dissertation, Durham University

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

When Are Thought Experiments Poor Ones?Jeanne Peijnenburg & David Atkinson - 2003 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 34 (2):305-322.
On Poor and Not so Poor Thought Experiments. A Reply to Daniel Cohnitz.Jeanne Peijnenburg & David Atkinson - 2007 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 38 (1):159 - 161.
The Logic of Thought Experiments.Martin Bunzl - 1996 - Synthese 106 (2):227 - 240.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
104 ( #113,803 of 2,517,842 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #409,482 of 2,517,842 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes