Results for 'Thought experiments'

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  1. Thought Experiments and the Epistemology of Laws.Thought Experiments - 1992 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 22:15-4.
     
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  2. The Epistemology of Thought Experiments : First Person Versus Third Person Approaches.Kirk Ludwig - 2007 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 31 (1):128-159.
    Recent third person approaches to thought experiments and conceptual analysis through the method of surveys are motivated by and motivate skepticism about the traditional first person method. I argue that such surveys give no good ground for skepticism, that they have some utility, but that they do not represent a fundamentally new way of doing philosophy, that they are liable to considerable methodological difficulties, and that they cannot be substituted for the first person method, since the a priori (...)
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  3. Thought Experiments: State of the Art.Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach Fehige & James R. Brown - 2018 - In Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach J. H. Fehige & James Robert Brown (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments. London, UK: Routledge. pp. 1-28.
    This is the introduction to the Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments.
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  4. Thought Experiments in Current Metaphilosophical Debates.Daniel Cohnitz & Sören Häggqvist - 2018 - In Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach J. H. Fehige & James Robert Brown (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 406-424.
    Although thought experiments were first discovered as a sui generis methodological tool by philosophers of science (most prominently by Ernst Mach), the tool can also be found – even more frequently – in contemporary philosophy. Thought experiments in philosophy and science have a lot in common. However, in this chapter we will concentrate on thought experiments in philosophy only. Their use has been the centre of attention of metaphilosophical discussion in the past decade, and (...)
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  5. Thought Experiments in Experimental Philosophy.Kirk Ludwig - 2016 - In Mike Stuart, James Robert Brown & Yiftach J. H. Fehige (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments. New York: Routledge. pp. 385-405.
    Much of the recent movement organized under the heading “Experimental Philosophy” has been concerned with the empirical study of responses to thought experiments drawn from the literature on philosophical analysis. I consider what bearing these studies have on the traditional projects in which thought experiments have been used in philosophy. This will help to answer the question what the relation is between Experimental Philosophy and philosophy, whether it is an “exciting new style of [philosophical] research”, “a (...)
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  6.  79
    How Thought Experiments Increase Understanding.Michael T. Stuart - 2017 - In Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach J. H. 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 (...)
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  7. Thought Experiments in Biology.Guillaume Schlaepfer & Marcel Weber - 2018 - In Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach J. H. Fehige & James Robert Brown (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments. London: Routledge. pp. 243-256.
    Unlike in physics, the category of thought experiment is not very common in biology. At least there are no classic examples that are as important and as well-known as the most famous thought experiments in physics, such as Galileo’s, Maxwell’s or Einstein’s. The reasons for this are far from obvious; maybe it has to do with the fact that modern biology for the most part sees itself as a thoroughly empirical discipline that engages either in real natural (...)
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  8. The Body, Thought Experiments, and Phenomenology.Yiftach J. H. Fehige & Harald Wiltsche - 2012 - In Thought Experiments in Philosophy, Science, and the Arts.
    An explorative contribution to the ongoing discussion of thought experiments. While endorsing the majority view that skepticism about thought experiments is not well justified, in what follows we attempt to show that there is a kind of “bodiliness” missing from current accounts of thought experiments. That is, we suggest a phenomenological addition to the literature. First, we contextualize our claim that the importance of the body in thought experiments has been widely underestimated. (...)
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  9.  8
    Phenomenology and Thought Experiments. Thought Experiments as Anticipation Pumps.Harald A. Wiltsche - 2018 - In James Robert Brown, Yiftach J. H. Fehige & Michael T. Stuart (eds.), Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments. New York, NY, USA:
    The aim of this paper is to present an outline of a phenomenological theory of thought experiments. In doing so, I am dealing with a topic that is currently starting to receive increased attention from philosophers with phenomenological leanings. However, since no serious attempt has been made to tackle the issue in a systematic fashion, I will not merely review existing phenomenological work on thought experiments. For the most part, my paper is programmatic: its aim is (...)
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  10. Thought Experiments and Mental Simulations.John Zeimbekis - 2011 - In Katerina Ierodiakonou & Sophie Roux (eds.), Thought Experiments in Methodological and Historical Contexts. Brill.
    Thought experiments have a mysterious way of informing us about the world, apparently without examining it, yet with a great degree of certainty. It is tempting to try to explain this capacity by making use of the idea that in thought experiments, the mind somehow simulates the processes about which it reaches conclusions. Here, I test this idea. I argue that when they predict the outcomes of hypothetical physical situations, thought experiments cannot simulate physical (...)
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  11.  50
    Thought Experiments in Ethics.Georg Brun - 2017 - In Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach J. H. Fehige & James Robert Brown (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments. Abingdon/New York: Routledge. pp. 195–210.
    This chapter suggests a scheme of reconstruction, which explains how scenarios, questions and arguments figure in thought experiments. It then develops a typology of ethical thought experiments according to their function, which can be epistemic, illustrative, rhetorical, heuristic or theory-internal. Epistemic functions of supporting or refuting ethical claims rely on metaethical assumptions, for example, an epistemological background of reflective equilibrium. In this context, thought experiments may involve intuitive as well as explicitly argued judgements; they (...)
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  12.  96
    The Laboratory of the Mind: Thought Experiments in the Natural Sciences.James Robert Brown - 1991 - Routledge.
    Newton's bucket, Einstein's elevator, Schrödinger's cat – these are some of the best-known examples of thought experiments in the natural sciences. But what function do these experiments perform? Are they really experiments at all? Can they help us gain a greater understanding of the natural world? How is it possible that we can learn new things just by thinking? In this revised and updated new edition of his classic text _The Laboratory of the Mind_, James Robert (...)
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  13. Thought Experiments.Roy A. Sorensen - 1992 - Oxford University Press.
    Sorensen presents a general theory of thought experiments: what they are, how they work, what are their virtues and vices. On Sorensen's view, philosophy differs from science in degree, but not in kind. For this reason, he claims, it is possible to understand philosophical thought experiments by concentrating on their resemblance to scientific relatives. Lessons learned about scientific experimentation carry over to thought experiment, and vice versa. Sorensen also assesses the hazards and pseudo-hazards of (...) experiments. Although he grants that there are interesting ways in which the method leads us astray, he attacks most scepticism about thought experiments as arbitrary. They should be used, he says, as they generally are used--as part of a diversified portfolio of techniques. All of these devices are individually susceptible to abuse, fallacy, and error. Collectively, however, they provide a network of cross-checks that make for impressive reliability. (shrink)
  14. Thought Experiments and Philosophical Knowledge.Edouard Machery - 2011 - Metaphilosophy 42 (3):191-214.
    : While thought experiments play an important role in contemporary analytic philosophy, much remains unclear about thought experiments. In particular, it is still unclear whether the judgments elicited by thought experiments can provide evidence for the premises of philosophical arguments. This article argues that, if an influential and promising view about the nature of the judgments elicited by thought experiments is correct, then many thought experiments in philosophy fail to provide (...)
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  15.  36
    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 (...)
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  16. Empathy and the Limits of Thought Experiments.Erick Ramirez - 2017 - Metaphilosophy 48 (4):504-526.
    This article criticizes what it calls perspectival thought experiments, which require subjects to mentally simulate a perspective before making judgments from within it. Examples include Judith Thomson's violinist analogy, Philippa Foot's trolley problem, and Bernard Williams's Jim case. The article argues that advances in the philosophical and psychological study of empathy suggest that the simulative capacities required by perspectival thought experiments are all but impossible. These thought experiments require agents to consciously simulate necessarily unconscious (...)
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  17. Images and Imagination in Thought Experiments.Letitia Meynell - 2018 - In Michael T. Stuart, James Robert Brown & Yiftach J. H. Fehige (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments.
  18. Imagination Rather Than Observation in Econometrics: Ragnar Frisch’s Hypothetical Experiments as Thought Experiments.Catherine Herfeld - 2019 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 9 (1):35-74.
    In economics, thought experiments are frequently justified by the difficulty of conducting controlled experiments. They serve several functions, such as establishing causal facts, isolating tendencies, and allowing inferences from models to reality. In this paper, I argue that thought experiments served a further function in economics: facilitating the quantitative definition and measurement of the theoretical concept of utility, thereby bridging the gap between theory and statistical data. I support my argument by a case study, the (...)
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  19. Transplant Thought-Experiments: Two Costly Mistakes in Discounting Them.Simon Beck - 2014 - South African Journal of Philosophy 33 (2):189-199.
    ‘Transplant’ thought-experiments, in which the cerebrum is moved from one body to another, have featured in a number of recent discussions in the personal identity literature. Once taken as offering confirmation of some form of psychological continuity theory of identity, arguments from Marya Schechtman and Kathleen Wilkes have contended that this is not the case. Any such apparent support is due to a lack of detail in their description or a reliance on predictions that we are in no (...)
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  20.  92
    Wittgenstein's Thought Experiments and Relativity Theory.Carlo Penco - forthcoming - In Newton Da Costa & Shyam Wuppuluri (eds.), Wittgensteinian: Looking at sciences from the viewpoint of Wittgenstein's philosophy. Berlin: Springer.
    In this paper, I discuss the similarity between Wittgenstein’s use of thought experiments and Relativity Theory. I begin with introducing Wittgenstein’s idea of “thought experiments” and a tentative classification of different kinds of thought experiments in Wittgenstein’s work. Then, after presenting a short recap of some remarks on the analogy between Wittgenstein’s point of view and Einstein’s, I suggest three analogies between the status of Wittgenstein’s mental experiments and Relativity theory: the topics of (...)
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  21. Philosophical Thought Experiments as Heuristics for Theory Discovery.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen & Sara Praëm - 2015 - Synthese 192 (9):2827-2842.
    The growing literature on philosophical thought experiments has so far focused almost exclusively on the role of thought experiments in confirming or refuting philosophical hypotheses or theories. In this paper we draw attention to an additional and largely ignored role that thought experiments frequently play in our philosophical practice: some thought experiments do not merely serve as means for testing various philosophical hypotheses or theories, but also serve as facilitators for conceiving and (...)
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  22.  83
    Imagination and Insight: A New Acount of the Content of Thought Experiments.Letitia Meynell - 2014 - Synthese 191 (17):4149-4168.
    This paper motivates, explains, and defends a new account of the content of thought experiments. I begin by briefly surveying and critiquing three influential accounts of thought experiments: James Robert Brown’s Platonist account, John Norton’s deflationist account that treats them as picturesque arguments, and a cluster of views that I group together as mental model accounts. I use this analysis to motivate a set of six desiderata for a new approach. I propose that we treat (...) experiments primarily as aesthetic objects, specifically fictions, and then use this analysis to characterize their content and ultimately assess their epistemic success. Taking my starting point from Kendall Walton’s account of representation (Mimesis as make-believe, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1990), I argue that the best way to understand the content of thought experiments is to treat them as props for imagining fictional worlds. Ultimately, I maintain that, in terms of their form and content, thought experiments share more with literary fictions and pictorial representations than with either argumentation or observations of the Platonic realm. Moreover, while they inspire imaginings, thought experiments themselves are not mental kinds. My approach redirects attention towards what fixes the content of any given thought experiment and scrutinizes the assumptions, cognitive capacities and conventions that generate them. This view helps to explain what seems plausible about Brown’s, Norton’s, and the mental modelers’ views. (shrink)
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  23. 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.
    A characteristic of contemporary analytic philosophy is its ample use of thought experiments. We formulate two features that can lead one to suspect that a given thought experiment is a poor one. Although these features are especially in evidence within the philosophy of mind, they can, surprisingly enough, also be discerned in some celebrated scientific thought experiments. Yet in the latter case the consequences appear to be less disastrous. We conclude that the use of (...) experiments is more successful in science than in philosophy. (shrink)
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  24. Thought Experiments in Philosophy of Religion.Elliot Knuths & Charles Taliaferro - 2017 - Open Theology 3 (1):167-173.
    We present a criterion for the use of thought experiments as a guide to possibilia that bear on important arguments in philosophy of religion. We propose that the more successful thought experiments are closer to the world in terms of phenomenological realism and the values they are intended to track. This proposal is filled out by comparing thought experiments of life after death by Peter van Inwagen and Dean Zimmerman with an idealist thought (...)
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  25.  78
    Toward a Constructivist Epistemology of Thought Experiments in Science.Kristian Camilleri - 2014 - Synthese 191 (8):1697-1716.
    This paper presents a critical analysis of Tamar Szabó Gendler’s view of thought experiments, with the aim of developing further a constructivist epistemology of thought experiments in science. While the execution of a thought experiment cannot be reduced to standard forms of inductive and deductive inference, in the process of working though a thought experiment, a logical argument does emerge and take shape. Taking Gendler’s work as a point of departure, I argue that performing (...)
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  26.  38
    Intuitive Biases in Judgements About Thought Experiments: The Experience Machine Revisited.Dan Weijers - 2013 - Philosophical Writings 41 (1):17-31.
    This paper is a warning that objections based on thought experiments can be misleading because they may elicit judgments that, unbeknownst to the judger, have been seriously skewed by psychological biases. The fact that most people choose not to plug in to the Experience Machine in Nozick’s (1974) famous thought experiment has long been used as a knock-down objection to hedonism because it is widely thought to show that real experiences are more important to us than (...)
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  27. 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 (...) experiments, from antiquity to the trolley problem and quantum non-locality; -/- · thought experiments in the humanities, arts, and sciences, including ethics, physics, theology, biology, mathematics, economics, and politics; -/- · theories about the nature of thought experiments; -/- · new discussions concerning the impact of experimental philosophy, cross-cultural comparison studies, metaphilosophy, computer simulations, idealization, dialectics, cognitive science, the artistic nature of thought experiments, and metaphysical issues. -/- This broad ranging Companion goes backwards through history and sideways across disciplines. It also engages with philosophical perspectives from empiricism, rationalism, naturalism, skepticism, pluralism, contextualism, and neo-Kantianism to phenomenology. This volume will be valuable for anyone studying the methods of philosophy or any discipline that employs thought experiments, as well as anyone interested in the power and limits of the mind. (shrink)
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  28.  77
    The Relativized a Priori and the Laboratory of the Mind: Towards a Neo-Kantian Account of Thought Experiments in Science.Yiftach J. H. Fehige - 2013 - Epistemologia 36 (1):55-73.
    Building on a previously published contextualization of Marco Buzzoni’s Neo- Kantian account of scientific thought-experiments, this paper examines the explanatory power of this account. It is argued that Buzzoni’s account suffers from a number of shortcomings. Einstein’s clock-in-the-box thought experiment facilitates the demonstration of these deficits. In the light of both the identified inadequacies of Buzzoni’s account and the long-standing history of Kantian approaches to thought experiments, this paper finally sketches an alternative Neo-Kantian account. This (...)
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  29.  78
    The Epistemology of Thought Experiments: A Non-Eliminativist, Non-Platonic Account. [REVIEW]Hayley Clatterbuck - 2013 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (3):309-329.
    Several major breakthroughs in the history of physics have been prompted not by new empirical data but by thought experiments. James Robert Brown and John Norton have developed accounts of how thought experiments can yield such advances. Brown argues that knowledge gained via thought experiments demands a Platonic explanation; thought experiments for Brown are a window into the Platonic realm of the laws of nature. Norton argues that thought experiments are (...)
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  30. Glasgow's Race Antirealism: Experimental Philosophy and Thought Experiments.Jeremy Pierce - 2013 - Journal of Social Philosophy 44 (2):146-168.
    Joshua Glasgow argues against the existence of races. His experimental philosophy asks subjects questions involving racial categorization to discover the ordinary concept of race at work in their judgments. The results show conflicting information about the concept of race, and Glasgow concludes that the ordinary concept of race is inconsistent. I conclude, rather, that Glasgow’s results fit perfectly fine with a social-kind view of races as real social entities. He also presents thought experiments to show that social-kind views (...)
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  31. Intuitions in Science: Thought Experiments as Argument Pumps.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2014 - In Anthony R. Booth & Darrell P. Rowbottom (eds.), Intuitions. Oxford University Press. pp. 119-134.
    In this piece, I advocate and motivate a new understanding of thought experiments, which avoids problems with the rival accounts of Brown and Norton.
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  32. Martha Nussbaum and the Foundations of Ethics: Identity, Morality and Thought-Experiments.Simon Beck - 2009 - South African Journal of Philosophy 28 (3):261-270.
    Martha Nussbaum has argued in support of the view (supposedly that of Aristotle) that we can, through thought-experiments involving personal identity, find an objective foundation for moral thought without having to appeal to any authority independent of morality. I compare the thought-experiment from Plato’s Philebus that she presents as an example to other thought-experiments involving identity in the literature and argue that this reveals a tension between the sources of authority which Nussbaum invokes for (...)
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  33.  33
    Norton and the Logic of Thought Experiments.Michael 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, (...)
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  34.  74
    Tracing the Development of Thought Experiments in the Philosophy of Natural Sciences.Aspasia S. Moue, Kyriakos A. Masavetas & Haido Karayianni - 2006 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 37 (1):61-75.
    An overview is provided of how the concept of the thought experiment has developed and changed for the natural sciences in the course of the 20th century. First, we discuss the existing definitions of the term 'thought experiment' and the origin of the thought experimentation method, identifying it in Greek Presocratics epoch. Second, only in the end of the 19th century showed up the first systematic enquiry on thought experiments by Ernst Mach's work. After the (...)
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  35. “Filling in”, Thought Experiments and Intuitions.Michael J. Shaffer - 2017 - Episteme 14 (2):255-262.
    Recently Timothy Williamson (2007) has argued that characterizations of the standard (i.e. intuition-based) philosophical practice of philosophical analysis are misguided because of the erroneous manner in which this practice has been understood. In doing so he implies that experimental critiques of the reliability of intuition are based on this misunderstanding of philosophical methodology and so have little or no bearing on actual philosophical practice or results. His main point is that the orthodox understanding of philosophical methodology is incorrect in that (...)
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  36.  69
    Technological Fictions and Personal Identity: On Ricoeur, Schechtman and Analytic Thought Experiments.Simon Beck - 2016 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 47 (2):117-132.
    Paul Ricoeur and Marya Schechtman express grave doubts about the acceptability and informativeness of the thought-experiments employed by analytic philosophers (notably Derek Parfit) in the debate about personal identity, and for what appear to be related reasons. I consider their reasoning and argue that their reasons fail to justify their doubts. I go on to argue that, from this discussion of possible problems concerning select thought-experiments, something positive can be learned about personal identity.
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  37. “Platonic” Thought Experiments: How on Earth?Rafal Urbaniak - 2012 - Synthese 187 (2):731-752.
    Brown (The laboratory of the mind. Thought experiments in the natural science, 1991a , 1991b ; Contemporary debates in philosophy of science, 2004 ; Thought experiments, 2008 ) argues that thought experiments (TE) in science cannot be arguments and cannot even be represented by arguments. He rest his case on examples of TEs which proceed through a contradiction to reach a positive resolution (Brown calls such TEs “platonic”). This, supposedly, makes it impossible to represent (...)
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  38.  65
    Externalist Thought Experiments and Direction of Fit.Casey Woodling - 2017 - Argumenta 3 (1):139-156.
    The classic thought experiments for Content Externalism have been motivated by consideration of intentional states with a mind-to-world direction of fit. In this paper, I argue that when these experiments are run on intentional states with a world-to-mind direction of fit, the thought experiments actually support Content Internalism. Because of this, I argue that the classic thought experiments alone cannot properly motivate Content Externalism. I do not show that Content Externalism is false in (...)
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  39.  41
    Literature and Thought Experiments.David Egan - 2016 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 74 (2):139-150.
    Like works of literature, thought experiments present fictional narratives that prompt reflection in their readers. Because of these and other similarities, a number of philosophers have argued for a strong analogy between works of literary fiction and thought experiments, some going so far as to say that works of literary fiction are a species of thought experiment. These arguments are often used in defending a cognitivist position with regard to literature: thought experiments produce (...)
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  40.  63
    'Experiments of Pure Reason': Kantianism and Thought Experiments in Science.Yiftach J. H. Fehige - 2012 - Epistemologia 35 (1):141-160.
    Marco Buzzoni has presented a Kantian account of thought experiments in science as a serious rival to the current empiricist and Platonic accounts. This paper takes the first steps of a comprehensive assessment of this account in order to further the more general discussion of the feasibility of a Kantian theory of scientific thought experiments. Such a discussion is overdue. To this effect the broader question is addressed as to what motivates a Kantian approach. Buzzoni's account (...)
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  41. “Just-so” Stories About “Inner Cognitive Africa”: Some Doubts About Sorensen's Evolutionary Epistemology of Thought Experiments[REVIEW]James Maffie - 1997 - Biology and Philosophy 12 (2):207-224.
    Roy Sorensen advances an evolutionary explanation of our capacity for thought experiments which doubles as a naturalized epistemological justification. I argue Sorensens explanation fails to satisfy key elements of environmental-selectionist explanations and so fails to carry epistemic force. I then argue that even if Sorensen succeeds in showing the adaptive utility of our capacity, he still fails to establish its reliability and hence epistemic utility. I conclude Sorensens account comes to little more than a just-so story.
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  42.  82
    Hume’s Monetary Thought Experiments.Margaret Schabas - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (2):161-169.
    Contemporary economists deem virtually every piece of reasoning and argumentation in economics a model, forgetting that there may well be other conceptual tools at hand. This article demonstrates that David Hume used thought experiments to make some remarkable breakthroughs in monetary economics, and that this resolves a longstanding debate about an apparent inconsistency in Hume, between the neutrality and non-neutrality of money. In the actual world, money is never neutral for Hume; only in thought experiments does (...)
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  43.  28
    Wittgenstein's Beetle and Other Classic Thought Experiments.Martin Cohen - 2005 - Blackwell.
    A is for Alice and astronomers arguing about acceleration -- B is for Bernard's body-exchange machine -- C is for the Catholic cannibal -- D is for Maxwell's demon -- E is for evolution (and an embarrassing problem with it) -- F is for the forms lost forever to the prisoners of the cave -- G is for Galileo's gravitational balls -- H is for Hume's shades -- I is for the identity of indiscernibles -- J is for Henri Poincaré (...)
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  44. Simulating Philosophy: Interpreting Video Games as Executable Thought Experiments[REVIEW]Marcus Schulzke - 2014 - Philosophy and Technology 27 (2):251-265.
    This essay proposes an alternative way of studying video games: as thought experiments akin to the narrative thought experiments that are frequently used in philosophy. This perspective incorporates insights from the narratological and ludological perspectives in game studies and highlights the philosophical significance of games. Video game thought experiments are similar to narrative thought experiments in many respects and can perform the same functions. They also have distinctive advantages over narrative thought (...)
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    Counterfactual Thinking and Thought Experiments.Josh Turkewitz - 2014 - Florida Philosophical Review 14 (1):85-96.
    As part of Timothy Williamson’s inquiry into how we gain knowledge from thought experiments he submits various ways of representing the argument underlying Gettier cases in modal and counterfactual terms. But all of these ways run afoul of the problem of deviance - that there are cases that might satisfy the descriptions given by a Gettier text but still fail to be counterexamples to the justified true belief model of knowledge). Problematically, this might mean that either it is (...)
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  46.  17
    Studying Scientific Thought Experiments in Their Context: Albert Einstein and Electromagnetic Induction.Jan Potters & Bert Leuridan - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 58:1-11.
    This article concerns the way in which philosophers study the epistemology of scientific thought experiments. Starting with a general overview of the main contemporary philosophical accounts, we will first argue that two implicit assumptions are present therein: first, that the epistemology of scientific thought experiments is solely concerned with factual knowledge of the world; and second, that philosophers should account for this in terms of the way in which individuals in general contemplate these thought (...) in thought. Our goal is to evaluate these assumptions and their implications using a particular case study: Albert Einstein's magnet-conductor thought experiment. We will argue that an analysis of this thought experiment based on these assumptions – as John Norton (1991) provides – is, in a sense, both misguided (the thought experiment by itself did not lead Einstein to factual knowledge of the world) and too narrow (to understand the thought experiment's epistemology, its historical context should also be taken into account explicitly). Based on this evaluation we propose an alternative philosophical approach to the epistemology of scientific thought experiments which is more encompassing while preserving what is of value in the dominant view. (shrink)
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  47.  66
    Physical Scale Effects and Philosophical Thought Experiments.Robert Klee - 2008 - Metaphilosophy 39 (1):89–104.
    The scales across which physical properties exist are vast and subtle in their effects on particular systems placed locally on such scales. For example, human experiential access is restricted only to partial segments of the mass density, size, and temperature scales of the universe. I argue that philosophers must learn to appreciate better the effects of physical scales. Specifically, thought experiments in philosophy should be more sensitive to physical scale effects, because the conclusion of a thought experiment (...)
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  48.  40
    Thought Experiments in Methodological and Historical Contexts.Katerina Ierodiakonou & Sophie Roux (eds.) - 2011 - Brill.
    Thought experiments being central to contemporary philosophy and science, the following questions were asked in recent literature. What is their definition? Are they heuristic devices, arguments, paradoxes? Are they comparable to real experiments? Do intuition and conceivability intervene? Equally imaginative thought experiments are found in ancient, medieval, and Renaissance texts. Paying attention to prime historical examples of thought experiments, we show that historical perspectives help answer these general questions.
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  49. Hobbes's Laws of Nature in Leviathan as a Synthetic Demonstration: Thought Experiments and Knowing the Causes.Marcus P. Adams - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
    The status of the laws of nature in Hobbes’s Leviathan has been a continual point of disagreement among scholars. Many agree that since Hobbes claims that civil philosophy is a science, the answer lies in an understanding of the nature of Hobbesian science more generally. In this paper, I argue that Hobbes’s view of the construction of geometrical figures sheds light upon the status of the laws of nature. In short, I claim that the laws play the same role as (...)
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  50. Virtual Reality Thought Experiments Module Package (Includes VR Training Room).Erick Ramirez, Scott LaBarge, Miles Elliott & Carl Maggio - manuscript
    A virtual reality module that incorporates a training room (for subjects to become accommodated to virtual environments) and VR translations of Philippa Foot's Trolley Problem and Judith Thomson's Violinist thought experiment. -/- These modules are free to use for classroom or research/x-phi purposes. This set of modules is optimized for the HTC Vive. If you have an Oculus Rift, please see our VR modules optimized for the rift. -/- *Requires an HTC Vive and VR capable computer. To access the (...)
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