Results for 'thought experiments'

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  1. Thought Experiments.Roy A. Sorensen - 1992 - Oxford and New York: 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)
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  2. 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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  3. Thought Experiments in Philosophy.Soren Haggqvist - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (3):480.
    Philosophy and science employ abstract hypothetical scenarios- thought experiments - to illustrate, defend, and dispute theoretical claims. Since thought experiments furnish no new empirical observations, the method prompts two epistemological questions: whether anything may be learnt from the merely hypothetical, and, if so, how. Various sceptical arguments against the use of thought experiments in philosophy are discussed and criticized. The thesis that thought experiments in science provide a priori knowledge through non-sensory grasping (...)
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  4. Thought-Experiment Intuitions and Truth in Fiction.Jonathan Ichikawa & Benjamin Jarvis - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 142 (2):221 - 246.
    What sorts of things are the intuitions generated via thought experiment? Timothy Williamson has responded to naturalistic skeptics by arguing that thought-experiment intuitions are judgments of ordinary counterfactuals. On this view, the intuition is naturalistically innocuous, but it has a contingent content and could be known at best a posteriori. We suggest an alternative to Williamson's account, according to which we apprehend thought-experiment intuitions through our grasp on truth in fiction. On our view, intuitions like the Gettier (...)
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  5. How Thought Experiments Increase Understanding.Michael T. Stuart - 2017 - 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 (...)
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  6. Thought Experiment: On the Powers and Limits of Imaginary Cases.Tamar Szabo Gendler - 2000 - Routledge.
    This book offers a novel analysis of the widely-used but ill-understood technique of thought experiment. The author argues that the powers and limits of this methodology can be traced to the fact that when the contemplation of an imaginary scenario brings us to new knowledge, it does so by forcing us to make sense of exceptional cases.
     
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  7. Why Thought Experiments Are Not Arguments.Michael A. Bishop - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (4):534-541.
    Are thought experiments nothing but arguments? I argue that it is not possible to make sense of the historical trajectory of certain thought experiments if one takes them to be arguments. Einstein and Bohr disagreed about the outcome of the clock-in-the-box thought experiment, and so they reconstructed it using different arguments. This is to be expected whenever scientists disagree about a thought experiment's outcome. Since any such episode consists of two arguments but just one (...)
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    Thought Experiments.Roy A. Sorensen - 1992 - Oxford and New York: Oup Usa.
    In this book, Sorensen presents the first general theory of the thought experiment. He analyses a wide variety of thought experiments, ranging from aesthetics to zoology, and explores what thought experiments are, how they work, and what their positive and negative aspects are. Sorensen also sets his theory within an evolutionary framework and integrates recent advances in experimental psychology and the history of science.
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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. Thought Experiments: State of the Art.Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach Fehige & James R. Brown - 2018 - In Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach Fehige & James Robert Brown (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments. London, UK: Routledge. pp. 1-28.
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    Thought Experiments.Rachel Cooper - 2005 - Metaphilosophy 36 (3):328-347.
    : This article seeks to explain how thought experiments work, and also the reasons why they can fail. It is divided into four sections. The first argues that thought experiments in philosophy and science should be treated together. The second examines existing accounts of thought experiments and shows why they are inadequate. The third proposes a better account of thought experiments. According to this account, a thought experimenter manipulates her worldview in (...)
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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. Why Thought Experiments Do Not Transcend Empiricism.John D. Norton - 2002 - In Christopher Hitchcock (ed.), Contemporary Debates in the Philosophy of Science. Blackwell. pp. 44-66.
    Thought experiments are ordinary argumentation disguised in a vivid pictorial or narrative form. This account of their nature will allow me to show that empiricism has nothing to fear from thought experiments. They perform no epistemic magic. In so far as they tell us about the world, thought experiments draw upon what we already know of it, either explicitly or tacitly; they then transform that knowledge by disguised argumentation. They can do nothing more epistemically (...)
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  16. Thought Experiments in Science and Philosophy.Tamara Horowitz & Gerald J. Massey (eds.) - 1991 - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    Despite their centrality and importance to both science and philosophy, relatively little has been written about thought experiments. This volume brings together a series of extremely interesting studies of the history, mechanics, and applications of this important intellectual resource. A distinguished list of philosophers and scientists consider the role of thought experiments in their various disciplines, and argue that an examination of thought experimentation goes to the heart of both science and philosophy.
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  17.  84
    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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  18. On Thought Experiments: Is There More to the Argument?John D. Norton - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1139-1151.
    Thought experiments in science are merely picturesque argumentation. I support this view in various ways, including the claim that it follows from the fact that thought experiments can err but can still be used reliably. The view is defended against alternatives proposed by my cosymposiasts.
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  19.  78
    Thought Experiments and the Epistemology of Laws.Roy A. Sorensen - 1992 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 22 (1):15-44.
    The aim of this paper is to show how thought experiments help us learn about laws. After providing examples of this kind of nomic illumination in the first section, I canvass explanations of our modal knowledge and opt for an evolutionary account. The basic application is that the laws of nature have led us to develop rough and ready intuitions of physical possibility which are then exploited by thought experimenters to reveal some of the very laws responsible (...)
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  20. Thought Experiments Rethought—and Reperceived.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1152-1163.
    Contemplating imaginary scenarios that evoke certain sorts of quasi‐sensory intuitions may bring us to new beliefs about contingent features of the natural world. These beliefs may be produced quasi‐observationally; the presence of a mental image may play a crucial cognitive role in the formation of the belief in question. And this albeit fallible quasi‐observational belief‐forming mechanism may, in certain contexts, be sufficiently reliable to count as a source of justification. This sheds light on the central puzzle surrounding scientific thought (...)
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  21. Philosophical Thought Experiments as Heuristics for Theory Discovery.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen & Sara Kier 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. 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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  23.  53
    Thought Experiments and Experimental Ethics.Thomas Pölzler & Norbert Paulo - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Experimental ethicists investigate traditional ethical questions with non-traditional means, namely with the methods of the empirical sciences. Studies in this area have made heavy use of philosophical thought experiments such as the well-known trolley cases. Yet, the specific function of these thought experiments within experimental ethics has received little consideration. In this paper we attempt to fill this gap. We begin by describing the function of ethical thought experiments, and show that these thought (...)
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  24. Thought Experiments in Einstein's Work.John D. Norton - 1991 - In .
    Preface: This volume originated in a conference on "The Place of Thought Experiments in Science and Philosophy" which was organized by us and held at the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh, April 18-20, 1986. The idea behind this conference was to encourage philosophers and scientists to talk to each other about the role of thought experiments in their various disciplines. These papers were either written for the conference, or were written after (...)
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  25.  34
    Thought Experiments in Philosophy: A Neo-Kantian and Experimentalist Point of View.Marco Buzzoni - 2019 - Topoi 38 (4):771-779.
    The paper addresses the question of the nature and limits of philosophical thought experiments. On the one hand, experimental philosophers are right to claim that we need much more laboratory work in order to have more reliable thought experiments, but on the other hand a naturalism that is too radical is incapable of clarifying the peculiarity of thought experiments in philosophy. Starting from a historico-critical reconstruction of Kant’s concept of the “experiments of pure (...)
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  26. Actions, Thought-Experiments and the 'Principle of Alternate Possibilities'.Maria Alvarez - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (1):61 – 81.
    In 1969 Harry Frankfurt published his hugely influential paper 'Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility' in which he claimed to present a counterexample to the so-called 'Principle of Alternate Possibilities' ('a person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have done otherwise'). The success of Frankfurt-style cases as counterexamples to the Principle has been much debated since. I present an objection to these cases that, in questioning their conceptual cogency, undercuts many of those debates. Such cases (...)
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  27.  41
    On Thought Experiments and the Kantian a Priori in the Natural Sciences: A Reply to Yiftach J.H. Fehige.Marco Buzzoni - 2013 - Epistemologia 36 (2):277-293.
    This paper replies to objections that have been raised against my operational-Kantian account of thought experiments by Fehige 2012 and 2013. Fehige also sketches an alternative Neo-Kantian account that utilizes Michael Friedman’s concept of a contingent and changeable a priori. To this I shall reply, first, that Fehige’s objections not only neglect some fundamental points I had made as regards the realizability of TEs, but also underestimate the principle of empiricism, which was rightly defended by Kant. Secondly, in (...)
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  28. Thought Experiments and Fictional Narratives.David Davies - 2007 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 7 (1):29-45.
    I explore the possibility that there are interesting and illuminating paralleIs to be drawn between issues central to the philosophical literature on scientific thought experiments (TE’s) and issues central to the phlilosophical literature on standard fictional narratives. I examine three related questions: (a) To what extent are TE’s (like) standard fictional narratives? (b) Is the understanding of TE’s like the understanding of standard fictional narratives? (c) Most significantly, are there illuminating paralIeIs to be drawn between the ‘epistemological problem’ (...)
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  29.  83
    Thought Experiments and the Problem of Deviant Realizations.Thomas Grundmann & Joachim Horvath - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (3):525-533.
    Descriptions of Gettier cases can be interpreted in ways that are incompatible with the standard judgment that they are cases of justified true belief without knowledge. Timothy Williamson claims that this problem cannot be avoided by adding further stipulations to the case descriptions. To the contrary, we argue that there is a fairly simple way to amend the Ford case, a standard description of a Gettier case, in such a manner that all deviant interpretations are ruled out. This removes one (...)
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    Thought Experiments Considered Harmful.Paul Thagard - 2014 - Perspectives on Science 22 (2):122-139.
    Thought experiments have been influential in philosophy at least since Plato, and they have contributed to science at least since Galileo. Some of this influence is appropriate, because thought experiments can have legitimate roles in generating and clarifying hypotheses, as well as in identifying problems in competing hypotheses. I will argue, however, that philosophers have often overestimated the significance of thought experiments by supposing that they can provide evidence that supports the acceptance of beliefs. (...)
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  31.  49
    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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  32. Are Thought Experiments Just What You Thought?John D. Norton - 1996 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 26 (3):333 - 366.
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 26, pp. 333-66. 1996.
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  33. Philosophical Thought Experiments, Intuitions, and Cognitive Equilibrium.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2007 - In Peter A. French & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.), Philosophy and the Empirical. Blackwell. pp. 68-89.
    It is a commonplace that contemplation of an imaginary particular may have cognitive and motivational effects that differ from those evoked by an abstract description of an otherwise similar state of affairs. In his Treatise on Human Nature, Hume ([1739] 1978) writes forcefully of this.
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  34. Counterfactuals, Thought Experiments, and Singular Causal Analysis in History.Julian Reiss - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):712-723.
    Thought experiments are ubiquitous in science and especially prominent in domains in which experimental and observational evidence is scarce. One such domain is the causal analysis of singular events in history. A long‐standing tradition that goes back to Max Weber addresses the issue by means of ‘what‐if’ counterfactuals. In this paper I give a descriptive account of this widely used method and argue that historians following it examine difference makers rather than causes in the philosopher’s sense. While difference (...)
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  35. Thought Experiments.Yiftach J. H. Fehige & James R. Brown - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 25 (1):135-142.
  36.  16
    On Thought Experiments: Is There More to the Argument?John D. Norton - unknown
    Thought experiments in science are merely picturesque argumentation. I support this view in various ways, including the claim that it follows from the fact that thought experiments can err but can still be used reliably. The view is defended against alternatives proposed by my co-symposiasts.
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  37. Moral Thought-Experiments, Intuitions, and Heuristics.Friderik Klampfer - 2018 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 18 (1):133-160.
    Philosophical thought-experimentation has a long and influential history. In recent years, however, both the traditionally secure place of the method of thought experimentation in philosophy and its presumed epistemic credentials have been increasingly and repeatedly questioned. In the paper, I join the choir of the discontents. I present and discuss two types of evidence that in my opinion undermine our close-to-blind trust in moral thought experiments and the intuitions that these elicit: the disappointing record of (...)-experimentation in contemporary moral philosophy, and the more general considerations explaining why this failure is not accidental. The diagnosis is not optimistic. The past record of moral TEs is far from impressive. Most, if not all, moral TEs fail to corroborate their target moral hypotheses. Moral intuitions appear to be produced by moral heuristics which we have every reason to suspect will systematically misfi re in typical moral TEs. Rather than keep relying on moral TEs, we should therefore begin to explore other, more sound alternatives to thought-experimentation in moral philosophy. (shrink)
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  38. Rethinking Thought Experiments.Alisa Bokulich - 2001 - Perspectives on Science 9 (3):285-307.
    : An examination of two thought experiments in contemporary physics reveals that the same thought experiment can be reanalyzed from the perspective of different and incompatible theories. This fact undermines those accounts of thought experiments that claim their justificatory power comes from their ability to reveal the laws of nature. While thought experiments do play a genuine evaluative role in science, they do so by testing the nonempirical virtues of a theory, such as (...)
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  39. On Thought Experiments as a Priori Science.Richard Arthur - 1999 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (3):215 – 229.
    Against Norton's claim that all thought experiments can be reduced to explicit arguments, I defend Brown's position that certain thought experiments yield a priori knowledge. They do this, I argue, not by allowing us to perceive “Platonic universals” (Brown), even though they may contain non-propositional components that are epistemically indispensable, but by helping to identify certain tacit presuppositions or “natural interpretations” (Feyerabend's term) that lead to a contradiction when the phenomenon is described in terms of them, (...)
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  40.  2
    Thought Experiments.Roy A. Sorensen - 1992 - Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press USA.
    Can merely thinking about an imaginary situation provide evidence for how the world actually is--or how it ought to be? In this lively book, Roy A. Sorensen addresses this question with an analysis of a wide variety of thought experiments ranging from aesthetics to zoology. Presenting the first general theory of thought experiment, he sets it within an evolutionary framework and integrates recent advances in experimental psychology and the history of science, with special emphasis on Ernst Mach (...)
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  41.  88
    Thought Experiments and the Belief in Phenomena.James W. McAllister - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1164-1175.
    Thought experiment acquires evidential significance only on particular metaphysical assumptions. These include the thesis that science aims at uncovering "phenomena"universal and stable modes in which the world is articulatedand the thesis that phenomena are revealed imperfectly in actual occurrences. Only on these Platonically inspired assumptions does it make sense to bypass experience of actual occurrences and perform thought experiments. These assumptions are taken to hold in classical physics and other disciplines, but not in sciences that emphasize variety (...)
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  42. Thought Experiments, Intuitions and Philosophical Evidence.Jessica Brown - 2011 - Dialectica 65 (4):493-516.
    What is the nature of the evidence provided by thought experiments in philosophy? For instance, what evidence is provided by the Gettier thought experiment against the JTB theory of knowledge? According to one view, it provides as evidence only a certain psychological proposition, e.g. that it seems to one that the subject in the Gettier case lacks knowledge. On an alternative, nonpsychological view, the Gettier thought experiment provides as evidence the nonpsychological proposition that the subject in (...)
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  43. 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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  44.  19
    Thought Experiments and Simulation Experiments: Exploring Hypothetical Worlds.Johannes Lenhard - unknown
    Both thought experiments and simulation experiments apparently belong to the family of experiments, though they are somewhat special members because they work without intervention into the natural world. Instead they explore hypothetical worlds. For this reason many have wondered whether referring to them as “experiments” is justified at all. While most authors are concerned with only one type of “imagined” experiment – either simulation or thought experiment – the present chapter hopes to gain new (...)
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  45. Thought Experimenting as Mental Modeling: Empiricism Without Logic.Nancy J. Nersessian - 2007 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 7 (2):125-161.
    The paper argues that the practice of thought experintenting enables scientists to follow through the implications of a way of representing nature by simulating an exemplary or representative situation that is feasible within that representation. What distinguishes thought experimenting from logical argument and other forms of propositional reasoning is that reasoning by means of a thought experiment involves constructing and simulating a mental model of a representative situation. Although thought experimenting is a creative part of scientific (...)
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  46. Thought Experiments and Personal Identity.Stephen Coleman - 2000 - Philosophical Studies 98 (1):51-66.
    Thought experiments are profitably compared to compasses. A compass is a simple but useful device for determining direction. Nevertheless, it systematically errs in the presence of magnets ...it becomes unreliable near the North Pole, in mine shafts, when vibrated, in the presence of metal ...experts will wish to use the compass as one element in a wider portfolio of navigational techniques. Analogously, thought experiments are simple but useful devices for determining the status of propositions. Sadly, they (...)
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  47.  66
    Thought Experiments in Philosophy. [REVIEW]Alan Sidelle & Soren Haggqvist - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (3):480.
    Thought experiments are the philosopher's stock-in-trade. Much recent disparagement hasn't diminished their use or apparent essentiality to philosophical investigation. The simple reason is that we have no alternative way to support or test modal claims, and while some may advocate abandoning such claims, to most of us, that sounds tantamount to just abandoning philosophy. So that leaves us looking for a better understanding of thought experiments and how they work; fortunately, this has been receiving more explicit (...)
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  48. “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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    Philosophical Thought Experiments, Intuitions, and Cognitive Equilibrium.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2007 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 31 (1):68-89.
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  50. Do Thought Experiments Have a Life of Their Own? Comments on James Brown, Nancy Nersessian and David Gooding.Ian Hacking - 1992 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:302 - 308.
    All three authors range themselves against John Norton's deductive analysis of thought experiments. Brown's insight, Nersessian's mental modelling, and Gooding's embodiment, arise, in each case, from a major all-purpose philosophical theory. None reaches down to the specific level of thought experiments, which are small, rare, and precious. I urge attention to Wittgenstein's remark that "the experimental character disappears when one looks at the process as a memorable picture." Thought experiments are not experiments. They (...)
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