Experimental thoughts about thought experiments in medieval Islam

Abstract

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.

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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.

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