<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>Brown (James Robert) & Fehige (Yiftach) - Thought Experiments (Theo Todman's Book Collection - Paper Abstracts) </title> <link href="../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../TT_ICO.png" /></head> <BODY> <CENTER> <div id="header"><HR><h1>Theo Todman's Web Page - Paper Abstracts</h1><HR></div><A name="Top"></A> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_20/PaperSummary_20426.htm">Thought Experiments</A></th></tr> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../Authors/B/Author_Brown (James Robert).htm">Brown (James Robert)</a> & <A HREF = "../../Authors/F/Author_Fehige (Yiftach).htm">Fehige (Yiftach)</a></th></tr> <tr><th>Source: Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, 1996-2014</th></tr> <tr><th>Paper - Abstract</th></tr> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=800><tr><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_20/PaperSummary_20426.htm">Paper Summary</A></td><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_20/PaperCitings_20426.htm">Books / Papers Citing this Paper</A></td><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_20/PapersToNotes_20426.htm">Notes Citing this Paper</A></td><td><A HREF="#ColourConventions">Text Colour-Conventions</a></td></tr></TABLE></CENTER></P> <hr><P><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><U>Author s Introduction</U> (Extract)<FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>The primary philosophical challenge of <a name="1"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">thought experiments</A><SUP>1</SUP> is simple: How can we learn about reality (if we can at all), just by thinking? More precisely, are there <a name="2"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">thought experiments</A><SUP>2</SUP> that enable us to acquire new knowledge about the intended realm of investigation without new empirical data? If so, where does the new information come from if not from contact with the realm of investigation under consideration? Finally, how can we distinguish good from bad instances of <a name="3"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">thought experiments</A><SUP>3</SUP>? </li><li>These questions seem urgent with respect to scientific <a name="4"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">thought experiments</A><SUP>4</SUP>, because most philosophers and historians of science <ul type="disc"> recognize them as an occasionally potent tool for increasing our understanding of nature. [& ] Historically their role is very close to the double one played by actual laboratory experiments and observations. First, <a name="5"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">thought experiments</A><SUP>5</SUP> can disclose nature's failure to conform to a previously held set of expectations. Second, they can suggest particular ways in which both expectation and theory must henceforth be revised. <BR>& <a name="11"></a>"<A HREF = "../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_00/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_332.htm">Kuhn (Thomas) - The Essential Tension</A>", 1977, p. 241 and 261 </ul></li><li>The questions are urgent regarding philosophical <a name="6"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">thought experiments</A><SUP>6</SUP>, because they play an important role in philosophical discourse. Philosophy without <a name="7"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">thought experiments</A><SUP>7</SUP> seems almost hopeless.</li></ol> </FONT><BR><U>Contents</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>Common Features of <a name="8"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">Thought Experiments</A><SUP>8</SUP></li><li>Types of <a name="9"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">Thought Experiments</A><SUP>9</SUP>: A Taxonomy</li><li>The Debate Over <a name="10"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">Thought Experiments</A><SUP>10</SUP> <ul type="disc"><li>3.1 Some Historical Background</li><li>3.2 Systematic Exploration</li></ul></li><li>Recent Developments</li><li>Bibliography </li></ol> </FONT><hr><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B>Comment: </B><ul type="disc"><li>First published Sat Dec 28, 1996; substantive revision Tue Aug 12, 2014</li><li>See <a name="W2342W"></a><A HREF = "https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/thought-experiment/" TARGET = "_top">Link</A></li></ul><BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR></P><a name="ColourConventions"></a><p><b>Text Colour Conventions (see <A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1025.htm">disclaimer</a>)</b></p><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li><LI><FONT COLOR = "800080">Mauve</FONT>: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); &copy; the author(s)</li></OL> <BR><HR><BR><CENTER> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD> <TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD> <TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-02T09:19" pubdate>02/08/2018 09:19:29</time> <br><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A></TD></TR> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD> </TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR> </BODY> </HTML>