Steven French
University of Leeds
What is the role of the imagination in scientific practice? Here I focus on the nature and role of invitations to imagine in certain scientific texts as represented by the example of Einstein’s Special Relativity paper from 1905. Drawing on related discussions in aesthetics, I argue, on the one hand, that this role cannot be simply subsumed under ‘supposition’ but that, on the other, concerns about the impact of genre and symbolism can be dealt with, and hence present no obstacle to regarding imagination as appropriately belief-like. By applying the framework of ‘semi- propositional representations’ and ‘quasi-truth’ to this case I thereby offer a new unitary framework for understanding the epistemology of scientific imagination.
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DOI 10.1007/s13194-020-00291-z
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References found in this work BETA

In Contradiction: A Study of the Transconsistent.Graham Priest - 1987 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Oxford University Press.

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Imagination in Science.Alice Murphy - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (6):e12836.
What is a Beautiful Experiment?Milena Ivanova - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-19.
Thought Experiments and the Scientific Imagination.Alice Murphy - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Leeds

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