Results for 'thought experiments'

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  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7.  94
    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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  8. 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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  9.  51
    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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  10. 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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  11. Thought Experiments in Philosophy of Religion.Charles Champe Taliaferro & Elliot Knuths - 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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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14.  43
    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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  15.  75
    “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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  16. 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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  17.  50
    Power and Limits of a Picture: On the Notion of Thought Experiments in the Philosophy of Literature.Wolfgang Huemer - forthcoming - In Falk Bornmüller, Mathis Lessau & Johannes Franzen (eds.), Literature as Thought Experiment? Paderborn: Fink.
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  18.  95
    A Hierarchy of Armchairs: Gerald Gaus on Political Thought Experiments.Nenad Miscevic - 2013 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 9 (1):52-63.
    The paper places the work of G. Gaus into the tradition of political thought experimenting. In particular, his strategy of modeling moral decision by the heuristic device of idealized Members of the Public is presented as an iterated thought experiment, which stands in marked contrast with more traditional devices like the veil of ignorance. The consequences are drawn, and issues of utopianism and realism briefly discussed.
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  19.  21
    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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  20.  88
    Apriorism, Psychologism, and Conceptualism About Thought Experiments.Marek Picha - 2014 - Dokos 2014 (1):27-47.
    Epistemological optimists about thought experiments hold that imagination could be under certain conditions source of epistemic justification. Their claim is usually based on one of three dominant conceptions about epistemic value of thought experiments. Apriorism states that imagination may serve as unique a priori source of new synthetic knowledge about the actual world. I argue against this view and show that apriorism is either too weak, or too strong or too vague. Psychologism is viable, yet not (...)
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  21. Semantic Externalism Without Thought Experiments.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2018 - Analysis (1):81-89.
    Externalism is the thesis that the contents of intentional states and speech acts are not determined by the way the subjects of those states or acts are internally. It is a widely accepted but not entirely uncontroversial thesis. Among such theses in philosophy, externalism is notable for owing the assent it commands almost entirely to thought experiments, especially to variants of Hilary Putnam's famous Twin Earth scenario. This paper presents a thought experiment-free argument for externalism. It shows (...)
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  22. On the Identity of Thought Experiments: Thought Experiments Rethought.Alisa Bokulich & Mélanie Frappier - 2017 - In Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach J. H. Fehige & James Robert Brown (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments. Routledge.
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  23.  25
    Fact-Insensitive Thought Experiments in Climate Ethics – Exemplified by Parfit’s Non-Identity Problem.Jörg Tremmel - 2018 - In Tahseen Jafry (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Climate Justice. London: Routledge. pp. 42-56.
    More than some other fields of ethics, climate ethics is related to pressing real-world problems. Climate ethicists have a responsibility to be precise about the status of the problems they discuss. The non-identity problem (NIP) plays are a prominent role in the climate ethics literature. In a widely discussed statement, Derek Parfit claimed that a risky climate policy is not harmful for (distant) future people. But this ignores the “insignificant-causal-factors rejoinder”. The Parfitian assertion is still treated as serious problem to (...)
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  24. Modal Skepticism: Philosophical Thought Experiments and Modal Epistemology.Daniel Cohnitz - 2003 - Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 10:281--296.
    One of the most basic methods of philosophy is, and has always been, the consideration of counterfactual cases and imaginary scenarios. One purpose of doing so obviously is to test our theories against such counterfactual cases. Although this method is widespread, it is far from being commonly accepted. Especially during the last two decades it has been confronted with criticism ranging from complete dismissal to denying only its critical powers to a cautious defense of the use of thought (...) as counterexamples. One of the strongest criticisms of the method of thought experimentation is "modal skepticism" as explicated and defended by Peter van Inwagen. Van Inwagen argues that the philosopher's notion of logical possibility is confused and that its epistemology is dubious. I argue that van Inwagen's skepticism is unwarranted. There is a sufficiently clear notion of logical possibility and a sufficiently straightforward way of getting to know what is logically possible. In the remainder of the paper I show how that connects with the methodology of thought experimentation in philosophy. (shrink)
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  25. Judgements About Thought Experiments.Alexander Geddes - 2018 - Mind 127 (505):35-67.
    Thought experiments invite us to evaluate philosophical theses by making judgements about hypothetical cases. When the judgements and the theses conflict, it is often the latter that are rejected. But what is the nature of the judgements such that they are able to play this role? I answer this question by arguing that typical judgements about thought experiments are in fact judgements of normal counterfactual sufficiency. I begin by focusing on Anna-Sara Malmgren’s defence of the claim (...)
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  26. Platonism and the Apriori in Thought Experiments.Thomas Grundmann - 2017 - In Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach J. H. Fehige & James Robert Brown (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments. London, New York: Routledge.
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  27. 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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  28. The False Promise of Thought Experimentation in Moral and Political Philosophy.Friderik Klampfer - 2017 - In Borstner Bojan & Gartner Smiljana (ed.), Thought Experiments between Nature and Society. A Festschrift for Nenad Miščević. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 328-348.
    Prof. Miščević has long been an ardent defender of the use of thought experiments in philosophy, foremost metaphysics, epistemology and philosophy of mind. Recently he has, in his typically sophisticated manner, extended his general account of philosophical thought-experimenting to the domain of normative politics. Not only can the history of political philosophy be better understood and appreciated, according to Miščević, when seen as a more or less continuous, yet covert, practice of thought-experimenting, the very progress of (...)
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  29.  10
    Intuitions, Thought Experiments, and Individuation.Manhal Hamdo - 2018 - Human Rights International Research Journal 6 (SPL):11-16.
    The deep source of interest in this paper lies in the paramount argument it provides for philosophy namely, articulating an individualistic view of the nature of intuition. This is fundamental to saying what is significant and distinctive about one being intuiting. On this view, intuitions are individualistically individuated. Contrary to common opinion, the proposed account suggests that an intuition is built out of facts about the individual intuiter. It is something this intuiter has personally experienced. Hence, it is better to (...)
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  30. Thought Experiments Outside Science. [REVIEW]Daniel Cohnitz - 2013 - Metascience 22 (2):1-5.
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  31.  93
    Empirical Thought Experiments: A Trascendental-Operational View.Buzzoni Marco - 2010 - Epistemologia. An Italian Journal for the Philosophy of Science 33:05-26.
    The operational perspective here defended permits a reflexive-transcendental point of view that sharply distinguishes the two concepts, while, at the same time, maintaining the connection between them. On the one hand, simply imagining that the experimental apparatus, counterfactually anticipated in a thought experiment, has really been constructed is sufficient to erase any difference between thought and real experiments. On the other hand, this very ‘imagining’, this capacity of the mind to assume every real entity as a possible (...)
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  32. What is a Thought Experiment, Anyhow?Massimo Pigliucci - 2006 - Philosophy Now (Nov/Dec):30.
    Thought experiments are cheap and popular, but how do they work?
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  33.  22
    The Place of Thought Experiments in Philosophy.Filip Tvrdý - 2018 - Teorie Vědy / Theory of Science 40 (2):211-229.
    Myšlenkové experimenty jsou populárním argumentačním nástrojem ve vědě i filosofii. Jejich kritika ze strany naturalistických a experimentálních filosofů vedla k vytvoření deflačních a minimalistických koncepcí, které oslabují epistemickou sílu myšlenkových experimentů a smiřují je s empirismem. Cílem článku je ukázat, že tyto pokusy nepřekonávají hlavní problémy, se kterými se myšlenkové experimenty ve filosofii střetávají. Omezená lidská racionalita a představivost znemožňují experimentátorům řešit nereálné scénáře spolehlivým způsobem. Myšlenkové experimenty se ve filosofii používají jinak než ve vědě, protože ty pravé jsou obvykle (...)
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  34. A Minimalist Framework for Thought Experiment Analysis.Marek Picha - 2016 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 23 (4):503-524.
    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 (...)
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  35. The Roles of One Thought Experiment in Interpreting Quantum Mechanics. Werner Heisenberg Meets Thomas Kuhn.Maarten Van Dyck - 2003 - Philosophica 72 (3):79-103.
    Recent years saw the rise of an interest in the roles and significance of thought experiments in different areas of human thinking. Heisenberg's gamma ray microscope is no doubt one of the most famous examples of a thought experiment in physics. Nevertheless, this particular thought experiment has not received much detailed attention in the philosophical literature on thought experiments up to date, maybe because of its often claimed inadequacies. In this paper, I try to (...)
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  36. Do Men and Women Have Different Philosophical Intuitions? Further Data.Toni Adleberg, Morgan Thompson & Eddy Nahmias - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (5):615-641.
    To address the underrepresentation of women in philosophy effectively, we must understand the causes of the early loss of women. In this paper we challenge one of the few explanations that has focused on why women might leave philosophy at early stages. Wesley Buckwalter and Stephen Stich offer some evidence that women have different intuitions than men about philosophical thought experiments. We present some concerns about their evidence and we discuss our own study, in which we attempted to (...)
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  37. Models of Philosophical Thought Experimentation.Jonathan Andy Tapsell - 2014 - Dissertation, Australian National University
    The practice of thought experimentation plays a central role in contemporary philosophical methodology. Many philosophers rely on thought experimentation as their primary and even sole procedure for testing theories about the natures of properties and relations. This test procedure involves entertaining hypothetical cases in imaginative thought and then undergoing intuitions about the distribution of properties and relations in them. A theory’s comporting with an intuition is treated as evidence in favour of it; but a clash is treated (...)
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  38. How Essential Are Essential Laws? A Thought Experiment on Physical Things and Their Givenness in Adumbrations.Harald Wiltsche - 2013 - In Karl Mertens & Ingo Günzler (eds.), Wahrnehmen, Fühlen, Handeln. Phänomenologie im Widerstreit der Methoden. Mentis. pp. 421-436.
    Husserl holds the view that givenness through adumbrations (i.e. perspectival givenness) is an essential characteristic of the givenness of spatiotemporal things. He goes so far to say that we are dealing with an essential law. In this article I try to make sense of this claim. I am also dealing with a thought experiment that is designed to show that the givenness through adumbrations is just a consequence of our physiological make-up, a view that Husserl explicitly rejects. Amongst other (...)
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  39.  74
    Towards a Dual Process Epistemology of Imagination.Michael T. Stuart - 2019 - Synthese: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 (...)
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  40. Imagination Through Knowledge.Shannon Spaulding - 2016 - In Amy Kind & Peter Kung (eds.), Knowledge Through Imagination. Oxford University Press. pp. 207-226.
    Imagination seems to play an epistemic role in philosophical and scientific thought experiments, mindreading, and ordinary practical deliberations insofar as it generates new knowledge of contingent facts about the world. However, it also seems that imagination is limited to creative generation of ideas. Sometimes we imagine fanciful ideas that depart freely from reality. The conjunction of these claims is what I call the puzzle of knowledge through imagination. This chapter aims to resolve this puzzle. I argue that imagination (...)
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  41. Is Trilled Smell Possible? How the Structure of Olfaction Determines the Phenomenology of Smell.Ed Cooke & Erik Myin - 2011 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 18 (11-12):59-95.
    Smell 'sensations' are among the most mysterious of conscious experiences, and have been cited in defense of the thesis that the character of perceptual experience is independent of the physical events that seem to give rise to it. Here we review the scientific literature on olfaction, and we argue that olfaction has a distinctive profile in relation to the other modalities, on four counts: in the physical nature of the stimulus, in the sensorimotor interactions that characterize its use, in the (...)
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  42. Intuitions and Relativity.Kirk Ludwig - 2010 - Philosophical Psychology 23 (4):427-445.
    I address a criticism of the use of thought experiments in conceptual analysis advanced on the basis of the survey method of so-called experimental philosophy. The criticism holds that surveys show that intuitions are relative to cultures in a way that undermines the claim that intuition-based investigation yields any objective answer to philosophical questions. The crucial question is what intuitions are as philosophers have been interested in them. To answer this question we look at the role of intuitions (...)
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  43. The Epistemic Value of Speculative Fiction.Johan De Smedt & Helen De Cruz - 2015 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 39 (1):58-77.
    Speculative fiction, such as science fiction and fantasy, has a unique epistemic value. We examine similarities and differences between speculative fiction and philosophical thought experiments in terms of how they are cognitively processed. They are similar in their reliance on mental prospection, but dissimilar in that fiction is better able to draw in readers (transportation) and elicit emotional responses. By its use of longer, emotionally poignant narratives and seemingly irrelevant details, speculative fiction allows for a better appraisal of (...)
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  44. Imagination and Creativity.Dustin Stokes - 2016 - In Amy Kind (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Imagination. Routledge.
    This paper surveys historical and recent philosophical discussions of the relations between imagination and creativity. In the first two sections, it covers two insufficiently studied analyses of the creative imagination, that of Kant and Sartre, respectively. The next section discusses imagination and its role in scientific discovery, with particular emphasis on the writings of Michael Polanyi, and on thought experiments and experimental design. The final section offers a brief discussion of some very recent work done on conceptual relations (...)
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  45. Our Identity, Responsibility and Biology.Simon Beck - 2004 - Philosophical Papers:3-14.
    Eric Olson argues in The Human Animal that thought-experiments involving body-swapping do not in the end offer any support to psychological continuity theories, nor do they pose any threat to his Biological View. I argue that he is mistaken in at least the second claim.
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  46. Back to the Self and the Future.S. Beck - 1998 - South African Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):211-225.
    The thought-experiment presented by Bernard Williams in 'The self and the future' continues to draw the attention of writers in the debate about personal identity. While few of them agree on what implications it has for the debate, almost all agree that those implications are significant ones. Some have even claimed that it has consequences not only for personal identity, but also concerning the viability of thought-experiment as a method. This paper surveys what these consequences might be at (...)
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  47. 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 (...)
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  48. Methods in Analytic Epistemology.Kirk Ludwig - 2013 - In Matthew C. Haug (ed.), Philosophical Methodology: The Armchair or the Laboratory? Routledge. pp. 217-239.
    In this chapter, I defend the program of conceptual analysis, broadly construed, and the method of thought experiments in epistemology, as a first-person enterprise, that is, as one which draws on the investigator's own competence in the relevant concepts. I do not suggest that epistemology is limited to conceptual analysis, that it does not have important a posteriori elements, that it should not draw on empirical work wherever relevant (and non-question begging), or that it is not a communal (...)
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  49.  57
    Reconsidering a Transplant: A Response to Wagner.Simon Beck - 2016 - South African Journal of Philosophy 35 (2):132-140.
    Nils-Frederic Wagner takes issue with my argument that influential critics of “transplant” thought experiments make two cardinal mistakes. He responds that the mistakes I identify are not mistakes at all. The mistakes are rather on my part, in that I have not taken into account the conceptual genesis of personhood, that my view of thought experiments is idiosyncratic and possibly self-defeating, and in that I have ignored important empirical evidence about the relationship between brains and minds. (...)
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  50. Can Parables Work?Simon Beck - 2011 - Philosophy and Theology 23 (1):149-165.
    While theories about interpreting biblical and other parables have long realised the importance of readers’ responses to the topic, recent results in social psychology concerning systematic self-deception raise unforeseen problems. In this paper I first set out some of the problems these results pose for the authority of fictional thought-experiments in moral philosophy. I then consider the suggestion that biblical parables face the same problems and as a result cannot work as devices for moral or religious instruction in (...)
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