Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

Tracing the Development of Thought Experiments in the Philosophy of Natural Sciences

Aspasia S. Moue, Kyriakos A. Masavetas and Haido Karayianni
Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie
Vol. 37, No. 1 (Mar., 2006), pp. 61-75
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25171335
Page Count: 15
  • Download ($43.95)
  • Cite this Item
Preview not available

Abstract

An overview is provided of how the concept of the thought experiment has developed and changed for the natural sciences in the course of the 20th century. First, we discuss the existing definitions of the term 'thought experiment' and the origin of the thought experimentation method, identifying it in Greek Presocratics epoch. Second, only in the end of the 19th century showed up the first systematic enquiry on thought experiments by Ernst Mach's work. After the Mach's work, a negative attitude towards thought experiments came in the beginning of the 20th century, which went on until the Thomas Kuhn's and Karl Popper's work on thought experiments. Only from the mid-1980s did thought experiments begin to be considered relevant to scientific enterprise. Finally, we show the existing empirical and 'functional' theories which have developed about the nature and purpose of thought experiments.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[61]
    [61]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
62
    62
  • Thumbnail: Page 
63
    63
  • Thumbnail: Page 
64
    64
  • Thumbnail: Page 
65
    65
  • Thumbnail: Page 
66
    66
  • Thumbnail: Page 
67
    67
  • Thumbnail: Page 
68
    68
  • Thumbnail: Page 
69
    69
  • Thumbnail: Page 
70
    70
  • Thumbnail: Page 
71
    71
  • Thumbnail: Page 
72
    72
  • Thumbnail: Page 
73
    73
  • Thumbnail: Page 
74
    74
  • Thumbnail: Page 
75
    75