Backdoor analycity

In Tamara Horowitz (ed.), Thought Experiments in Science and Philosophy. Rowman & Littlefield (1991)

Gerald J. Massey
University of Pittsburgh
When they abandoned the analytic-synthetic distinction, analytic philosophers substituted for it uncritical appeals to thought experiments or conceivability arguments. Although the history of philosophy is replete with thought experiments, medieval and early modern philosophers developed sophisticated theories concerning what governs what happens in thought experiments. By contrast, contemporary philosophers subscribe to the thesis of facile conception according to which casual allegations of conceivability or inconceivability are taken as good evidence of possibility or impossibility. Philosophers need to adopt standards of thought experimentation like those found in science and to ground them in a general theory of conceivability.
Keywords Analysis, Empiricism, Experiment, Thought
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 42,204
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Of Zombies, Color Scientists, and Floating Iron Bars.Tamler Sommers - 2002 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 8.
Hume’s Monetary Thought Experiments.Margaret Schabas - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (2):161-169.
On a Unified Theory of Models and Thought Experiments in Natural Sciences.Giovanni Boniolo - 1997 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 11 (2):121 – 142.
Experimentos Mentales y Filosofías de Sillón.Rodrigo González (ed.) - 2017 - Santiago, Chile: Bravo y Allende.
What is Experimental Philosophy of Mathematics?Kazuhisa Todayama - 2015 - Annals of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 23:53-58.

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.
Experiments and Thought Experiments in Natural Science.David Atkinson - 2001 - Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science 232:209-226.
Why Thought Experiments Are Not Arguments.Michael A. Bishop - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (4):534-541.


Added to PP index

Total views
12 ( #629,989 of 2,253,757 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #601,775 of 2,253,757 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature