Abstract
The main concern of this paper is to show that understanding mental variation may prove to be relevant to inquiry into thought experiments. First, I examine why Ernst Mach considered the ability to vary the contents of one's thoughts the principal requirement for thought experimentation. Second, I illustrate the wide applicability of mental variation in thought experiments. Third, I suggest, following Kathleen Wilkes, that variation is frequently employed in “realistic” thought experiments.
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DOI 10.1080/02698599808573599
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References found in this work BETA

Thought Experiments.Roy A. Sorensen - 1992 - Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.
Thought Experiments.Roy A. Sorensen - 1992 - Oxford and New York: Oup Usa.
How Do Scientists Think? Capturing the Dynamics of Conceptual Change in Science.Nancy Nersessian - 1992 - In R. Giere & H. Feigl (eds.), Cognitive Models of Science. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 3--45.

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Citations of this work BETA

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 R. Brown - 2018 - In Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach Fehige & James Robert Brown (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments. London, UK: Routledge. pp. 1-28.

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