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Thought Experiments$
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Roy A. Sorensen

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780195129137

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/019512913X.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 April 2021

The Logical Structure of Thought Experiments

The Logical Structure of Thought Experiments

(p.132) 6 The Logical Structure of Thought Experiments
Thought Experiments

Roy A. Sorensen (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter lays out a classification scheme for thought experiments. A good scheme consolidates knowledge in a way that minimizes the demand on your memory and expedites the acquisition of new knowledge by raising helpful leading questions. Thought experiments are all reducible to two highly specific forms of paradox — one targeting statements implying necessities, the other targeting statements implying possibilities. By treating a thought experiment as a stylized paradox, the idea that it reveals inconsistencies is matured. The chapter also exposes the structure of our ensuing ambivalence, as well as the structure of resolutions.

Keywords:   classification scheme, necessity refuters, possibility refuters, stylized paradox

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