Armchair physics and the method of cases

Samuel Schindler*, Pierre Saint-Germier

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

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Abstract

The method of cases, i.e. the informal elicitation of judgements in thought experiments for the purpose of philosophical theorising, has been much criticised in recent years. In this paper we point out that the method of cases is not peculiar to philosophy: it can also be found in physics, where it has made a more limited, but still valuable contribution to the probing and formulation of theories. The method of cases per se should therefore not be treated as intrinsically methodologically flawed. This paper has also a narrower goal: to show that when the analogy underlying the so-called ‘expertise defence’ is drawn between judgements in thought experiments in philosophy and in physics, several objections can be avoided.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftInquiry
Vol/bind67
Nummer1
Sider (fra-til)330-354
Antal sider25
ISSN0020-174X
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2024

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