Thesis - Open Access
Bachelor of Arts
Peter McInerney, Chair
Mentalism, Anti-mentalism, Rationalism, Empiricism, Thought experiments, Thought experiment, Philosophical context, Meta-philosophy, Philosophical methodology, Williamson, Malmgren
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.
Gilfether, Kevin G., "The Content of Thought Experiments and Philosophical Context" (2013). Honors Papers. 323.