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A Minimalist Framework for Thought Experiment Analysis
A Minimalist Framework for Thought Experiment Analysis

Author(s): Marek Picha
Subject(s): Epistemology, Philosophy of Science
Published by: Filozofický ústav SAV
Keywords: Experimentalism; Galileo; minimalism; reconstruction; Rescher; thought experiments;

Summary/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.

  • Issue Year: 23/2016
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 503-524
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: English