Essence of Thought Experiments

Stance 17 (1):110-121 (2024)
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Abstract

Thought experiments feature prominently in both scientific and philosophical methods. In this paper, I investigate two questions surrounding knowledge in the thought experiment process. First, on what implicit knowledge do thought experiments rely? Second, what provides epistemic justification for beliefs acquired through the process? I draw upon neo-Aristotelian metaphysics and Husserlian phenomenology to argue that essence is the object of implicit knowledge that anchors the imagined possibilities involved in thought experiments to the actual world, and that this essentialist knowledge enables the possibility of prima facie justification being conferred by the phenomenological givenness of thought experiment scenarios.

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References found in this work

On what grounds what.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.
The Intellectual Given.John Bengson - 2015 - Mind 124 (495):707-760.
Presentational Phenomenology.Elijah Chudnoff - 2012 - In Sofia Miguens & Gerhard Preyer (eds.), Consciousness and Subjectivity. [Place of publication not identified]: Ontos Verlag. pp. 51–72.
Thought experiments rethought—and reperceived.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1152-1163.

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