Experiments in Thought

Perspectives on Science 22 (2):242-263 (2014)
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Abstract

. What are thought experiments, and how do they generate knowledge? More specifically, what sorts of intentional acts must one perform in order to carry out a thought experiment, what sorts of objects are such acts directed toward, and how are those objects made present in such acts? I argue on phenomenological grounds that the proper objects of thought experiments are, in certain cases, uninstantiated universals and relations among them. I will also argue that, in the best of cases, we intuit or “see” these universals and their relations to one another, and respond to some objections to this view.

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Walter Hopp
Boston University

Citations of this work

Thought Experiments.Yiftach J. H. Fehige & James R. Brown - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 25 (1):135-142.
Thought Experiments: State of the Art.Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach Fehige & James Robert Brown - 2018 - In Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach Fehige & James Robert Brown (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments. London: Routledge. pp. 1-28.

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References found in this work

Mathematical truth.Paul Benacerraf - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (19):661-679.
The obscure object of hallucination.Mark Johnston - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 120 (1-3):113-83.
Are Thought Experiments Just What You Thought?John D. Norton - 1996 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 26 (3):333 - 366.
Thought experiments rethought—and reperceived.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1152-1163.
Why Thought Experiments are Not Arguments.Michael A. Bishop - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (4):534-541.

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