A Minimalist Framework for Thought Experiment Analysis

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Abstract
Thought experiments are frequently vague and obscure hypothetical scenarios that are difficult to assess. The paper proposes a simple model of thought experiments. In the first part, I introduce two contemporary frameworks for thought experiment analysis: an experimentalist approach that relies on similarities between real and thought experiment, and a reasonist approach focusing on the answers provided by thought experimenting. Further, I articulate a minimalist approach in which thought experiment is considered strictly as doxastic mechanism based on imagination. I introduce the basic analytical tool that allows us to differentiate an experimental core from an attached argumentation. The last section is reserved for discussion. I address several possible questions concerning adequacy of minimalistic definition and analysis.
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MARAMF-8
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Archival date: 2016-12-05
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