Scepticism About Thought Experiments

Roy A. Sorensen

in Thought Experiments

Published in print February 1999 | ISBN: 9780195129137
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199786138 | DOI:
 						Scepticism About Thought Experiments

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This chapter presents and motivates the issues surrounding thought experiments by assembling the case against their use. It begins by exploring the more specific charge that thought experiment is just introspection, then concentrates on the charge that it is merely an atavistic appeal to ordinary language. Even if thought experiment is distinct from either of these methods, it strongly resembles them. Hence, details of both introspection and the appeal to ordinary language will be discussed in the hope of illuminating thought experiment at least by analogy. Finally, a more general problem about the informativeness of thought experiment is developed.

Keywords: introspection; atavistic appeal; ordinary language; informativeness

Chapter.  14726 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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