The dynamics of thought experiments - comment to Atkinson

Abstract
Commenting on Atkinson 's paper I argue that leading to a successful real experiment is not the only scale on which a thought experiment's value is judged. Even the path from the original EPR thought experiment to Aspect's verification of the Bell inequalities was long-winded and involved considerable input from the sides of technology and mathematics. Von Neumann's construction of hidden variables was, moreover, a genuinely mathematical thought experiment that was successfully criticized by Bell. Such thought experiments are also possible in string theory, where any empirical corroboration seems to be out of reach. Yet appraising mathematical thought experiments and their contribution to physical thought experiments requires a dynamical account which in the spirit of Mach and Lakatos attributes due weight to informal mathematical reasoning or empirical intuition
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Zum Verhältnis zwischen Experiment und Gedankenexperiment in den Naturwissenschaften.Marco Buzzoni - 2007 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 38 (2):219-237.

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Experiments and Thought Experiments in Natural Science.David Atkinson - 2003 - Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science 232:209-226.
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