Ignorance-Preserving Mental Models Thought Experiments as Abductive Metaphors

Foundations of Science 24 (2):391-409 (2019)
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Abstract

In this paper, we aim at explaining the relevance of thought experiments in philosophy and the history of science by describing them as particular instances of two categories of creative thinking: metaphorical reasoning and abductive cognition. As a result of this definition, we will claim that TEs hold an ignorance-preserving trait that is evidenced in both TEs inferential structure and in the process of scenario creation they presuppose. Elaborating this thesis will allow us to explain the wonder that philosophers of science have consistently shown for TEs, as well as the high functionality of TEs in the creative aspects of scientific and philosophical praxis.

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Author Profiles

Selene Arfini
Universita' degli Studi di Pavia
Claudia Casadio
Università degli Studi di Chieti

References found in this work

How the laws of physics lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Metaphors we live by.George Lakoff & Mark Johnson - 1980 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Mark Johnson.
Computing machinery and intelligence.Alan M. Turing - 1950 - Mind 59 (October):433-60.
Metaphors We Live By.George Lakoff & Mark Johnson - 1980 - Ethics 93 (3):619-621.

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