The History of Thought Experiments: from Antiquity to the Contemporary World

Autores

  • Roberto Schmitz Nitsche Universidade Federal de Santa Maria

Palavras-chave:

Thought Experiments. History of Philosophy. Epistemology.

Resumo

In this paper, we will explore the history of thought experiments, from the birth of philosophy to the beginning of the contemporary discussion. In the first section, we will explore the possible connection between the emergence of philosophy and thought experiments, analyzing whether cases presented by the first philosophers are thought experiments and whether they had any term for thought experiments. Katerina Ierodiakonou explores the possibility that the Greeks have some term to describe thought experimentation. We will proceed with a thorough analysis by Nicholas Rescher of various cases used by the pre-Socratics, arguing that they are examples of thought experiments. Finally, Andrew D. Irvine argues that the cases pointed out by Rescher are not examples of genuine thought experiments. In the second section, we will discuss ancient and medieval philosophy, analyzing passages of Plato and Aristotle to investigate whether they made use of thought experiments. Peter King claims that thought experimentation is the methodology of medieval science, seeking to show the similarities between obligatio and the thought experiments. In the third and last section, we will briefly examine some of the authors who preceded the contemporary discussion, including Ernst Mach, Pierre Duhem, Karl Popper, Alexandre Koyré and Thomas Kuhn. We will end with a quick analysis of the beginning of the contemporary discussion with James Robert Brown and John Norton.

Biografia do Autor

Roberto Schmitz Nitsche, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria

Programa de Pós-Graduação em Filosofia da Universidade Federal de Santa Maria. Área: Epistemologia.

Referências

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2020-12-30

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