Article/Publication Details

A Minimalist Framework for Thought Experiment Analysis

Organon F, 2016, vol. 23, No 4, pp. 503-524.
Language: English
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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.


Experimentalism, Galileo, minimalism, reconstruction, Rescher, thought experiments

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