Monday, May  27th, 2019

"Thought experimentation and new data"

Additional Info

  • Fecha: 13/08/2018
  • Hora: 15.00 hs.
  • Arancel Socios: sin cargo
  • Arancel No Socios: $ 200

James Mattingly

(Georgetown University)

Lunes 13 de agosto de 2018, 15.00 hs.

Abstract: A common view in the philosophy of science is that thought experiments are merely arguments in disguise. I address three arguments for this view. The first two are terrible, and rest on elementary confusions; the third is wrong but not terrible. First is the idea that thought experiments must work as valid arguments because of the existence of thought experiment/anti-thought experiment pairs. Second is the thought that they are persuasive discourse and thus, if proper, must be arguments. The third is more subtle: thought experiments generate no new data, and thus cannot be real experiments. I clarify these three arguments, dismiss the first two with prejudice, and argue for the controversial view that thought experiments generate new data in any sense in which material experiments do.


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