Intuition Pumps and the Proper Use of Thought Experiments

  title={Intuition Pumps and the Proper Use of Thought Experiments},
  author={Elke Brendel},
I begin with an explication of "thought experiment". I then clarify the role that intuitions play in thought experiments by addressing two important issues: (1) the informativeness of thought experiments and (2) the legitimacy of the method of thought experiments in philosophy and the natural sciences. I defend a naturalistic account of intuitions that provides a plausible explanation of the informativeness of thought experiments, which, in turn, allows thought experiments to be reconstructed… 
One of the most controversial methods of philosophy is the use of thought experiments. If, on the one hand, philosophers usually agree that a hypothetical reasoning or an imaginative example can
Calibrating Intuition: A Defense of Standard Philosophical Analysis
Intuition has fallen from grace. Its authority to act as a source of evidence in philosophical discourse has recently been called into question by philosophers and cognitive psychologists alike, who
Thought Experiments in Model-Based Reasoning
Thought experimentation is at least as old as Western philosophy. Scholars have made much use of it in many disciplines. For instance, philosophical discussions on ethics, morality, knowledge, and
In the analytic tradition, the appeal to intuition has been a common philosophical practice that supposedly provides us with epistemic standards. I will argue that the high epistemological standards
“I just knew that!”: Intuitions as Scaffolded or Freestanding Judgements
How reliable are intuitive or introspective judgments? This question has produced lively debates in two respective discussions. In this commentary I will try to show that the two phenomena of
Does the Method of Cases Rest on a Mistake?
In this paper, I argue that the method of cases (namely, the method of using intuitive judgments elicited by intuition pumps as evidence for and/or against philosophical theories) is not a reliable
The Critique from Experimental Philosophy: Can Philosophical Intuitions Be Externally Corroborated?
Jonathan Weinberg (2007) criticizes so called armchair philosophers’ appeals to intuitions. Faulty intuitions, so the argument, cannot be detected and corrected since (among other reasons) intuitions
Thought Experiments in Science
Thought experiments are a means of imaginative reasoning with an employment record longer than two and a half thousand years. Used by Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Maxwell, and Einstein, they
thought experi -menting. The novelty and relevance of this approach is the emphasis laid upon a largely neglected affinity between Kant and Wittgenstein, namely the system atic use of thought
The Annus Mirabilis of 1986: Thought Experiments and Scientific Pluralism
  • Yiftach Fehige
  • Philosophy
    HOPOS: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science
  • 2021
This article is about the remarkable explosion in the literature on thought experiments since the 1980s. It enters uncharted territory. The year 1986 is of particular interest: James R. Brown


Are Thought Experiments Just What You Thought?
  • J. Norton
  • Education, Philosophy
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy
  • 1996
Whatever the original intent, the introduction of the term ‘thought experiment’ has proved to be one of the great public relations coups of science writing. For generations of readers of scientific
Real People: Personal Identity without Thought Experiments
Part 1 Thought experiments: what thought experiments are first difficulty - the background parenthesis - relevance and natural kinds second difficulty - imagination and possibility conditions of
Imaginary scenarios, black boxes and philosophical method
L'A. mesure la legitimite des scenarii imaginaires et des boites noires comme nouvelles methodes d'argumentation philosophique. Definissant les notions de possibilites physique, logique et
The Meaning of Meaning
The world is too complex to manage without radical functional simplification. Meaning appears to exist as the basis for such simplification. The meaning that guides functional simplification may be
Sameness and substance
We present here because it will be so easy for you to access the internet service. As in this new era, much technology is sophistically offered by connecting to the internet. No any problems to face,
1991a: The Laboratory of the Mind, London/New
  • 1991
A Critique of Utilitarianism
  • 1973
Thought and thought experiments
“ Thought Experiments : A Platonic Account ”