Georgi Gardiner
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Thought experiments as counterexamples are a familiar tool in philosophy. Frequently understanding a vignette seems to generate a challenge to a target theory. In this paper I explore the content of the judgement that we have in response to these vignettes. I first introduce several competing proposals for the content of our judgement, and explain why they are inadequate. I then advance an alternative view. I argue that when we hear vignettes we consider the normal instances of the vignette. If the normal instance of the vignette exhibits a counter-instance, the vignette constitutes a challenge to the target theory. I argue that this proposal shows how responses to vignettes are an ordinary, everyday judgement, and I explain how the proposal avoids the problems generated by competing theories. Finally, I argue this ‘normalcy proposal’ most naturally accords with our understanding of the method.
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DOI 10.1080/0020174X.2015.1083471
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References found in this work BETA

Counterfactuals.David Kellogg Lewis - 1973 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Blackwell.
Epiphenomenal Qualia.Frank Jackson - 1982 - Philosophical Quarterly 32 (April):127-136.
Theory of Knowledge.Roderick Milton Chisholm - 1966 - Englewood Cliffs, NJ, USA: Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall.

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Citations of this work BETA

How to Use Thought Experiments.Elijah Chudnoff - forthcoming - In Ernest Sosa, Matthias Steup, John Turri & Blake Roeber (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology, 3rd edition. Wiley-Blackwell.

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