Drawing on literature from the dual‐processing tradition in psychology, the chapter tries to explain why contemplation of an imaginary particular may have cognitive and motivational effects that differ from those evoked by an abstract description of the same content, and hence, why thought experiments may be effective devices for conceptual reconfiguration. It suggests that by presenting content in a suitably concrete way, thought experiments recruit representational schemas that were otherwise inactive, thereby evoking responses that may run counter to those evoked by alternative presentations of relevantly similar content.
Keywords: philosophical thought experiment; intuition; reflective equilibrium; imagination; cognitive mechanism; dual processing; conceptual reconfiguration
Chapter. 8749 words.
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