Degree Year

2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Philosophy

Advisor(s)

Dorit Ganson

Committee Member(s)

Peter McInerney, Chair

Keywords

Mentalism, Anti-mentalism, Rationalism, Empiricism, Thought experiments, Thought experiment, Philosophical context, Meta-philosophy, Philosophical methodology, Williamson, Malmgren

Abstract

Thought experiments are one common method of trying to make a philosophical point. However, there is the question of how useful thought experiments are in telling us about the world: what does thinking about killing a king tell us about actually killing a king? Timothy Williamson offers an account of thought experiments based upon a general cognitive capacity to consider counterfactuals. Anna-Sara Malmgren is critical of such a capacity. This work assess both accounts in the context of common philosophical thought experiments and finds Williamson's could be sharpened by considerations from philosophical context and facts from cognitive science.

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Philosophy Commons

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