Are thought experiments “disturbing”? The case of armchair physics

Samuel Schindler*, Pierre Saint-Germier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Proponents of the “negative program” in experimental philosophy have argued that judgements in philosophical cases, also known as case judgements, are unreliable and that the method of cases should be either strongly constrained or even abandoned. Here we put one of the main proponent’s account of why philosophical cases may cause the unreliability of case judgements to the test. We conducted our test with thought experiments from physics, which exhibit the exact same supposedly “disturbing characteristics” of philosophical cases.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Volume177
Issue9
Pages (from-to)2671-2695
Number of pages25
ISSN0031-8116
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020

Keywords

  • Armchair physics
  • Disturbing characteristics
  • Experimental philosophy
  • Machery
  • Method of cases
  • Thought experiments

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