Location

Brock University

Document Type

Paper

Start Date

15-5-1997 9:00 AM

End Date

17-5-1997 5:00 PM

Abstract

The use of thought experiments seems to provoke much controversy, often in the form of charges of appeals to intuition. The notion of intuition, however, is vaguely defined in both the context of thought experiments and in philosophy in general. This vagueness suggests that the description of thought experiments is incomplete, and thus the prospect for their evaluation remains unfulfilled. Previous analyses of thought experiments have come largely from philosophy where the focus has been on truth value and validity. But these approaches seem to view argument monologically; no accommodation of an audience response like intuition is possible. I try to show that van Eemeren and Grootendorst's pragma-dialectical model provides a framework for analyzing thought experiments and evaluating them because it treats thought experiments as part of a dialogue and as the result of a perspective.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Response to Submission

Daniel H. Cohen, Commentary on Souder

Reader's Reactions

Daniel H. Cohen, Commentary on Souder (May 1997)

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May 15th, 9:00 AM May 17th, 5:00 PM

A Way to Describe and Evaluate Thought Experiments, or Trying to Get a Grip on Virtual Reality

Brock University

The use of thought experiments seems to provoke much controversy, often in the form of charges of appeals to intuition. The notion of intuition, however, is vaguely defined in both the context of thought experiments and in philosophy in general. This vagueness suggests that the description of thought experiments is incomplete, and thus the prospect for their evaluation remains unfulfilled. Previous analyses of thought experiments have come largely from philosophy where the focus has been on truth value and validity. But these approaches seem to view argument monologically; no accommodation of an audience response like intuition is possible. I try to show that van Eemeren and Grootendorst's pragma-dialectical model provides a framework for analyzing thought experiments and evaluating them because it treats thought experiments as part of a dialogue and as the result of a perspective.