How to Reconstruct a Thought Experiment

Abstract
The paper is a contribution to the debate on the epistemological status of thought experiments. I deal with the epistemological uniqueness of experiments in the sense of their irreducibility to other sources of justification. In particular, I criticize an influential argument for the irreducibility of thought experiments to general arguments. First, I introduce the radical empiricist theory of eliminativism, which considers thought experiments to be rhetorically modified arguments, uninteresting from the epistemological point of view. Second, I present objections to the theory, focusing on the critique of eliminativism by Tamar Szabó Gendler based on the reconstruction of famous Galileo's Pisa experiment. I show that her reconstruction is simplistic and that more elaborate reconstruction is needed for an appropriate assessment of the epistemic power of general argument. I propose such a reconstruction and demonstrate that general version of Pisa experiment is epistemically equal to the particular one. Thus, from an epistemological perspective, Galileo's thought experiment is reducible to a straightforward argument without particular premises.
Keywords thought experiment  epistemology  argument  Galileo
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive
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

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Why Thought Experiments Are Not Arguments.Michael A. Bishop - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (4):534-541.
Experiments and Thought Experiments in Natural Science.David Atkinson - 2003 - Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science 232:209-226.
Galileo and the Indispensability of Scientific Thought Experiment.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 1998 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (3):397-424.
Brown and Berkeley.Ksenija Puškarić - 2007 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 7 (2):177-180.
Empirical Thought Experiments: A Trascendental-Operational View.Buzzoni Marco - 2010 - Epistemologia. An Italian Journal for the Philosophy of Science 33:05-26.
Plato's Republic as a Political Thought Experiment.Nenad Miščević - 2012 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 12 (2):153-165.
Thought and Thought Experiments.David J. Cole - 1984 - Philosophical Studies 45 (May):431-44.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-05-19

Total downloads

300 ( #9,268 of 2,144,302 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

21 ( #17,260 of 2,144,302 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums