Epistemologia 36 (2):277-293 (2013)

This paper replies to objections that have been raised against my operational-Kantian account of thought experiments by Fehige 2012 and 2013. Fehige also sketches an alternative Neo-Kantian account that utilizes Michael Friedman’s concept of a contingent and changeable a priori. To this I shall reply, first, that Fehige’s objections not only neglect some fundamental points I had made as regards the realizability of TEs, but also underestimate the principle of empiricism, which was rightly defended by Kant. Secondly, in opposition to what he states, my account does not differ in a very essential way from the empiricist solutions either as regards the power of TEs to predict something new about empirical reality, or as regards the criteria for telling apart good from bad TEs. Thirdly, in the light of the Kantian definition of the a priori, Friedman’s corresponding notion is contrary both to the spirit and to the letter of Kant’s philosophy; moreover, from a theoretical point of view, a material a priori is theoretically untenable since, counter to Friedman’s own intentions, it leads to relativism.
Keywords Thought experiment  Neo-Kantianism  Operationalism  relativized a priori  Yftach Fehige
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DOI 10.3280/EPIS2013-002006
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References found in this work BETA

Conjectures and Refutations.K. Popper - 1963 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 21 (3):431-434.
The Logic of Modern Physics.Percy Williams Bridgman - 1927 - New York, NY, USA: Arno Press.
Normal Science and its Dangers.Karl Popper - 1970 - In Imre Lakatos & Alan Musgrave (eds.), Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge. Cambridge University Press. pp. 51--8.

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Citations of this work BETA

Thought Experiments: State of the Art.Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach Fehige & James R. Brown - 2018 - In Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach Fehige & James Robert Brown (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments. London, UK: Routledge. pp. 1-28.

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Thought Experiments.Yiftach J. H. Fehige & James R. Brown - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 25 (1):135-142.
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