36 found
Order:
See also
Michael T. Stuart
University of York
  1. How Thought Experiments Increase Understanding.Michael T. Stuart - 2018 - In Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach Fehige & James Robert Brown (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments. London: Routledge. pp. 526-544.
    We might think that thought experiments are at their most powerful or most interesting when they produce new knowledge. This would be a mistake; thought experiments that seek understanding are just as powerful and interesting, and perhaps even more so. A growing number of epistemologists are emphasizing the importance of understanding for epistemology, arguing that it should supplant knowledge as the central notion. In this chapter, I bring the literature on understanding in epistemology to bear on explicating the different ways (...)
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   27 citations  
  2. Towards a dual process epistemology of imagination.Michael T. Stuart - 2019 - Synthese (2):1-22.
    Sometimes we learn through the use of imagination. The epistemology of imagination asks how this is possible. One barrier to progress on this question has been a lack of agreement on how to characterize imagination; for example, is imagination a mental state, ability, character trait, or cognitive process? This paper argues that we should characterize imagination as a cognitive ability, exercises of which are cognitive processes. Following dual process theories of cognition developed in cognitive science, the set of imaginative processes (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   15 citations  
  3.  35
    The Productive Anarchy of Scientific Imagination.Michael T. Stuart - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (5):968-978.
    Imagination is important for many things in science: solving problems, interpreting data, designing studies, and much else. Philosophers of imagination typically account for the productive role pla...
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   15 citations  
  4. Imagination: A Sine Qua Non of Science.Michael T. Stuart - 2017 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy (49):9-32.
    What role does the imagination play in scientific progress? After examining several studies in cognitive science, I argue that one thing the imagination does is help to increase scientific understanding, which is itself indispensable for scientific progress. Then, I sketch a transcendental justification of the role of imagination in this process.
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   21 citations  
  5. The Content-Dependence of Imaginative Resistance.Hanna Kim, Markus Kneer & Michael T. Stuart - 2018 - In Florian Cova & Sébastien Réhault (eds.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Aesthetics. London: Bloomsbury. pp. 143-166.
    An observation of Hume’s has received a lot of attention over the last decade and a half: Although we can standardly imagine the most implausible scenarios, we encounter resistance when imagining propositions at odds with established moral (or perhaps more generally evaluative) convictions. The literature is ripe with ‘solutions’ to this so-called ‘Puzzle of Imaginative Resistance’. Few, however, question the plausibility of the empirical assumption at the heart of the puzzle. In this paper, we explore empirically whether the difficulty we (...)
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   12 citations  
  6. Thought Experiments: State of the Art.Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach Fehige & James Robert Brown - 2018 - In Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach Fehige & James Robert Brown (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments. London, UK: Routledge. pp. 1-28.
  7. Playing the Blame Game with Robots.Markus Kneer & Michael T. Stuart - 2021 - In Companion of the 2021 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI’21 Companion). New York, NY, USA:
    Recent research shows – somewhat astonishingly – that people are willing to ascribe moral blame to AI-driven systems when they cause harm [1]–[4]. In this paper, we explore the moral- psychological underpinnings of these findings. Our hypothesis was that the reason why people ascribe moral blame to AI systems is that they consider them capable of entertaining inculpating mental states (what is called mens rea in the law). To explore this hypothesis, we created a scenario in which an AI system (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  8. Scientists are Epistemic Consequentialists about Imagination.Michael T. Stuart - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science:1-22.
    Scientists imagine for epistemic reasons, and these imaginings can be better or worse. But what does it mean for an imagining to be epistemically better or worse? There are at least three metaepistemological frameworks that present different answers to this question: epistemological consequentialism, deontic epistemology, and virtue epistemology. This paper presents empirical evidence that scientists adopt each of these different epistemic frameworks with respect to imagination, but argues that the way they do this is best explained if scientists are fundamentally (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  9.  58
    Taming theory with thought experiments: Understanding and scientific progress.Michael T. Stuart - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 58:24-33.
    I claim that one way thought experiments contribute to scientific progress is by increasing scientific understanding. Understanding does not have a currently accepted characterization in the philosophical literature, but I argue that we already have ways to test for it. For instance, current pedagogical practice often requires that students demonstrate being in either or both of the following two states: 1) Having grasped the meaning of some relevant theory, concept, law or model, 2) Being able to apply that theory, concept, (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   22 citations  
  10.  63
    P-curving x-phi: Does experimental philosophy have evidential value?Michael T. Stuart, David Colaço & Edouard Machery - 2019 - Analysis 79 (4):669-684.
    In this article, we analyse the evidential value of the corpus of experimental philosophy. While experimental philosophers claim that their studies provide insight into philosophical problems, some philosophers and psychologists have expressed concerns that the findings from these studies lack evidential value. Barriers to evidential value include selection bias and p-hacking. To find out whether the significant findings in x-phi papers result from selection bias or p-hacking, we applied a p-curve analysis to a corpus of 365 x-phi chapters and articles. (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   10 citations  
  11. Peeking Inside the Black Box: A New Kind of Scientific Visualization.Michael T. Stuart & Nancy J. Nersessian - 2018 - Minds and Machines 29 (1):87-107.
    Computational systems biologists create and manipulate computational models of biological systems, but they do not always have straightforward epistemic access to the content and behavioural profile of such models because of their length, coding idiosyncrasies, and formal complexity. This creates difficulties both for modellers in their research groups and for their bioscience collaborators who rely on these models. In this paper we introduce a new kind of visualization that was developed to address just this sort of epistemic opacity. The visualization (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   6 citations  
  12. The material theory of induction and the epistemology of thought experiments.Michael T. Stuart - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 83 (C):17-27.
    John D. Norton is responsible for a number of influential views in contemporary philosophy of science. This paper will discuss two of them. The material theory of induction claims that inductive arguments are ultimately justified by their material features, not their formal features. Thus, while a deductive argument can be valid irrespective of the content of the propositions that make up the argument, an inductive argument about, say, apples, will be justified (or not) depending on facts about apples. The argument (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  13.  46
    Norton and the Logic of Thought Experiments.Michael T. Stuart - 2016 - Axiomathes 26 (4):451-466.
    John D. Norton defends an empiricist epistemology of thought experiments, the central thesis of which is that thought experiments are nothing more than arguments. Philosophers have attempted to provide counterexamples to this claim, but they haven’t convinced Norton. I will point out a more fundamental reason for reformulation that criticizes Norton’s claim that a thought experiment is a good one when its underlying logical form possesses certain desirable properties. I argue that by Norton’s empiricist standards, no thought experiment is ever (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   13 citations  
  14.  34
    Telling Stories in Science: Feyerabend and Thought Experiments.Michael T. Stuart - 2021 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 11 (1):262-281.
    The history of the philosophy of thought experiments has touched on the work of Kuhn, Popper, Duhem, Mach, Lakatos, and other big names of the 20th century, but so far, almost nothing has been written about Paul Feyerabend. His most influential work was Against Method, 8 chapters of which concern a case study of Galileo with a specific focus on Galileo’s thought experiments. In addition, the later Feyerabend was very interested in what might be called the epistemology of drama, including (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  15.  21
    Counterpossibles in science: an experimental study.Brian McLoone, Cassandra Grützner & Michael T. Stuart - 2023 - Synthese 201 (1):1-20.
    A counterpossible is a counterfactual whose antecedent is impossible. The vacuity thesis says all counterpossibles are true solely because their antecedents are impossible. Recently, some have rejected the vacuity thesis by citing purported non-vacuous counterpossibles in science. One limitation of this work, however, is that it is not grounded in experimental data. Do scientists actually reason non-vacuously about counterpossibles? If so, what is their basis for doing so? We presented biologists (N = 86) with two counterfactual formulations of a well-known (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  16. The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments.Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach J. H. Fehige & James Robert Brown (eds.) - 2018 - London: Routledge.
    Thought experiments are a means of imaginative reasoning that lie at the heart of philosophy, from the pre-Socratics to the modern era, and they also play central roles in a range of fields, from physics to politics. The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments is an invaluable guide and reference source to this multifaceted subject. Comprising over 30 chapters by a team of international contributors, the Companion covers the following important areas: -/- · the history of thought experiments, from antiquity to (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  17. Philosophical Conceptual Analysis as an Experimental Method.Michael T. Stuart - 2015 - In Thomas Gamerschlag, Doris Gerland, Rainer Osswald & Wiebke Petersen (eds.), Meaning, Frames, and Conceptual Representation. Düsseldorf University Press. pp. 267-292.
    Philosophical conceptual analysis is an experimental method. Focusing on this helps to justify it from the skepticism of experimental philosophers who follow Weinberg, Nichols & Stich. To explore the experimental aspect of philosophical conceptual analysis, I consider a simpler instance of the same activity: everyday linguistic interpretation. I argue that this, too, is experimental in nature. And in both conceptual analysis and linguistic interpretation, the intuitions considered problematic by experimental philosophers are necessary but epistemically irrelevant. They are like variables introduced (...)
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   5 citations  
  18.  24
    Sharpening the tools of imagination.Michael T. Stuart - 2022 - Synthese 200 (6):1-22.
    Thought experiments, models, diagrams, computer simulations, and metaphors can all be understood as tools of the imagination. While these devices are usually treated separately in philosophy of science, this paper provides a unified account according to which tools of the imagination are epistemically good insofar as they improve scientific imaginings. Improving scientific imagining is characterized in terms of epistemological consequences: more improvement means better consequences. A distinction is then drawn between tools being good in retrospect, at the time, and in (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  19.  51
    "The future won’t be pretty: The nature and value of ugly, AI-designed experiments." In The Aesthetics of Scientific Experiments, edited by Milena Ivanova and Alice Murphy.Michael T. Stuart (ed.) - 2023 - London: Routledge.
    Can an ugly experiment be a good experiment? Philosophers have identified many beautiful experiments and explored ways in which their beauty might be connected to their epistemic value. In contrast, the present chapter seeks out (and celebrates) ugly experiments. Among the ugliest are those being designed by AI algorithms. Interestingly, in the contexts where such experiments tend to be deployed, low aesthetic value correlates with high epistemic value. In other words, ugly experiments can be good. Given this, we should conclude (...)
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  20.  77
    On the Origins of the Philosophy of Thought Experiments: The Forerun.Yiftach Fehige & Michael T. Stuart - 2014 - Perspectives on Science 22 (2):179-220.
    Philosophical debate about the nature and function of thought experiments would be impoverished without good historical sources. And while valuable work is being done on the history of thought experiments, a comprehensive discussion of the history of philosophical investigation into thought experiments is still absent in the literature (but see Kühne 2005; Moue et al. 2006). In what follows we take the first steps towards providing a more complete picture of the diverse attempts to shed light on thought experiments.The term (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   8 citations  
  21.  60
    Cognitive Science and Thought Experiments: A Refutation of Paul Thagard's Skepticism.Michael T. Stuart - 2014 - Perspectives on Science 22 (2):264-287.
    Paul Thagard has recently argued that thought experiments are dangerous and misleading when we try to use them as evidence for claims. This paper refutes his skepticism. Building on Thagard’s own work in cognitive science, I suggest that Thagard has much that is positive to say about how thought experiments work. My last section presents some new directions for research on the intersection between thought experiments and cognitive science.
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   5 citations  
  22.  16
    Arnon Levy, Peter Godfrey-Smith (Eds.): The Scientific Imagination: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives. [REVIEW]Michael T. Stuart - 2021 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 52 (3):493-499.
    This is a review of Arnon Levy and Peter Godfrey-Smith's book, The Scientific Imagination.
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  23.  36
    Scientific Models and Thought Experiments: Same Same but Different.Rawad El Skaf & Michael T. Stuart - forthcoming - In Handbook of Philosophy of Scientific Modeling. London: Routledge.
    The philosophical literatures on models and thought experiments have been developing exponentially, and independently, for decades. This independence is surprising, given how similar models and thought experiments are. They each have “lives of their own,” they sit between theory and experience, they are important for both pedagogy and cutting-edge science, they galvanize conceptual changes and paradigm shifts, and they involve entertaining imaginary scenarios and working out what happens. Recently, philosophers have begun to highlight these similarities. This entry aims at taking (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  24.  9
    Arnon Levy, Peter Godfrey-Smith (Eds.): The Scientific Imagination: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives: Oxford University Press: Oxford 2020, 344 pp., £55.00 (hardcover), ISBN 9780190212308. [REVIEW]Michael T. Stuart - 2021 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 52 (3):493-499.
  25.  18
    Inclusivity in the Education of Scientific Imagination.Michael T. Stuart & Hannah Sargeant - forthcoming - In E. Hildt, K. Laas, C. Miller & E. Brey (eds.), Building Inclusive Ethical Cultures in STEM. London: Routledge.
    Scientists imagine constantly. They do this when generating research problems, designing experiments, interpreting data, troubleshooting, drafting papers and presentations, and giving feedback. But when and how do scientists learn how to use imagination? Across six years of ethnographic research, it has been found that advanced career scientists feel comfortable using and discussing imagination, while graduate and undergraduate students of science often do not. In addition, members of marginalized and vulnerable groups tend to express negative views about the strength of their (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  26.  10
    How to tame your Feyerabend.Michael T. Stuart - 2023 - Metascience 32 (2):173-176.
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  27.  31
    Holism and Reductionism in the Illness/Disease Debate.Marco Buzzoni, Luigi Tesio & Michael T. Stuart - 2022 - In Shyam Wuppuluri & Ian Stewart (eds.), From Electrons to Elephants and Elections. Springer. pp. 743-778.
    In the last decades it has become clear that medicine must find some way to combine its scientific and humanistic sides. In other words, an adequate notion of medicine requires an integrative position that mediates between the analytic-reductionist and the normative-holistic tendencies we find therein. This is especially important as these different styles of reasoning separate “illness” (something perceived and managed by the whole individual in concert with their environment) and “disease” (a “mechanical failure” of a biological element within the (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  28.  7
    Feyerabend and the Philosophy of Physics.Jamie Shaw & Michael T. Stuart - 2022 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 35 (1):1-4.
    In a reference letter for Feyerabend’s application to UC Berkeley, Carl Hempel writes that ‘Mr. Feyerabend combines a forceful and penetrating analytic mind with a remarkably thorough training and...
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  29.  18
    Understanding metaphorical understanding (literally).Michael T. Stuart & Daniel Wilkenfeld - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 12 (3):1-20.
    Metaphors are found all throughout science: in published papers, working hypotheses, policy documents, lecture slides, grant proposals, and press releases. They serve different functions, but perhaps most striking is the way they enable understanding, of a theory, phenomenon, or idea. In this paper, we leverage recent advances on the nature of metaphor and the nature of understanding to explore how they accomplish this feat. We attempt to shift the focus away from the epistemic value of the content of metaphors, to (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  30. REVIEW: James R. Brown, Laboratory of the Mind. [REVIEW]Michael T. Stuart - 2012 - Spontaneous Generations 6 (1):237-241.
    Originally published in 1991, The Laboratory of the Mind: Thought Experiments in the Natural Sciences, is the first monograph to identify and address some of the many interesting questions that pertain to thought experiments. While the putative aim of the book is to explore the nature of thought experimental evidence, it has another important purpose which concerns the crucial role thought experiments play in Brown’s Platonic master argument.In that argument, Brown argues against naturalism and empiricism (Brown 2012), for mathematical Platonism (...)
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  31.  37
    Introduction to Special Issue of Perspectives on Science.Yiftach Fehige & Michael T. Stuart - 2014 - Perspectives on Science 22 (2):167-178.
    This is an introduction to a special issue of Perspectives on Science, the outcome of a workshop entitled "Thought Experiments in Science: Four Blind Spots," held at the University of Toronto, March 23rd, 2012. The recent revival in philosophical study of thought experiments has been limited to fields like epistemology, science studies, and metaphilosophy. With this issue we hope to facilitate a discussion about how some other disciplinary perspectives might bear on the subject; specifically, the history of philosophy, literary studies, (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  32.  28
    Motivating the History of the Philosophy of Thought Experiments.Michael T. Stuart & Yiftach Fehige - 2021 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 11 (1):212-221.
    This is the introduction to a special issue of HOPOS on the history of the philosophy of thought experiments.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  33.  59
    Katerina Ierodiakonou and Sophie Roux, eds. Thought Experiments in Methodological and Historical Contexts. Leiden: Brill, 2011. Pp. vii+233. €99.00. [REVIEW]James Robert Brown & Michael T. Stuart - 2013 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 3 (1):154-157.
  34. Guilty Artificial Minds: Folk Attributions of Mens Rea and Culpability to Artificially Intelligent Agents.Michael T. Stuart & Markus Https://Orcidorg Kneer - 2021 - .
    While philosophers hold that it is patently absurd to blame robots or hold them morally responsible [1], a series of recent empirical studies suggest that people do ascribe blame to AI systems and robots in certain contexts [2]. This is disconcerting: Blame might be shifted from the owners, users or designers of AI systems to the systems themselves, leading to the diminished accountability of the responsible human agents [3]. In this paper, we explore one of the potential underlying reasons for (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  35.  7
    Correction to: Arnon Levy, Peter Godfrey‑Smith (Eds.): The Scientific Imagination: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives. [REVIEW]Michael T. Stuart - 2021 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 52 (4):617-617.
  36.  2
    Correction to: Arnon Levy, Peter Godfrey‑Smith (Eds.): The Scientific Imagination: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives: Oxford University Press: Oxford 2020, 344 pp., £55.00 (hardcover), ISBN 9780190212308. [REVIEW]Michael T. Stuart - 2021 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 52 (4):617-617.
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark