Experimental thoughts about thought experiments in medieval Islam


The study begins with the language employed in and the psychological basis of thought experiments as understood by certain medieval Arabic philosophers. It then provides a taxonomy of different kinds of thoughts experiments used in the medieval Islamic world. These include purely fictional thought experiments, idealizations and finally thought experiments using ingenious machines. The study concludes by suggesting that thought experiments provided a halfway house during this period between a staunch rationalism and an emerging empiricism.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,069

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

  • Only published works are available at libraries.

Similar books and articles

Thought experiments in aesthetics.Paisley Nathan Livingston & Carl Mikael Pettersson - 2016 - In Kasper Lippert‐Rasmussen, Kimberley Brownlee & David Coady (eds.), A Companion to Applied Philosophy. Chichester, U.K.: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 501–513.
The role of variation in thought experiments.Nebojsa Kujundzic - 1998 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 12 (3):239 – 243.
Thought experiments in current metaphilosophical debates.Daniel Cohnitz & Sören Häggqvist - 2018 - In Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach Fehige & James Robert Brown (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments. London: Routledge. pp. 406-424.
Backdoor analycity.Gerald J. Massey - 1991 - In Tamara Horowitz & Gerald J. Massey (eds.), Thought Experiments in Science and Philosophy. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Thought and thought experiments.David Cole - 1984 - Philosophical Studies 45 (May):431-44.


Added to PP

34 (#415,645)

6 months
6 (#231,920)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Jon McGinnis
University of Missouri, St. Louis

References found in this work

Ibn Sīnā and the Early History of Thought Experiments.Taneli Kukkonen - 2014 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 52 (3):433-459.
Scientific Methodologies in Medieval Islam.Jon McGinnis - 2003 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 41 (3):307-327.
Avicennan Infinity: A Select History of the Infinite through Avicenna.Jon Mcginnis - 2010 - Documenti E Studi Sulla Tradizione Filosofica Medievale 21:199-222.
Ancient Thought Experiments.Katerina Ierodiakonou - 2005 - Ancient Philosophy 25 (1):125-140.

View all 11 references / Add more references