A Guide to Thought Experiments in Epistemology

In Blake Roeber, Ernest Sosa, Matthias Steup & John Turri (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology, 3rd edition. Wiley-Blackwell (2024)
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Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to provide a guide for conducting thought experiments in epistemology effectively. The guide raises several considerations for best practices when using this research method. Several weaknesses in the way thought experiments are conducted are also identified and several suggestions are reviewed for how to improve them. Training in these research techniques promotes more productive scholarship in epistemology, saves time and resources wasted on less efficient approaches, and reduces the risk that researchers are fooling themselves when they use thought experiments in philosophy.

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Wesley Buckwalter
George Mason University

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