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Croatian Journal of Philosophy

Thought Experiments and Platonism Part Two

Volume 7, Issue 2, 2007
James Robert Brown

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Displaying: 1-13 of 13 documents


articles
1. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Nenad Miščević Introduction
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2. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Nancy J. Nersessian Thought Experimenting as Mental Modeling: Empiricism without Logic
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The paper argues that the practice of thought experintenting enables scientists to follow through the implications of a way of representing nature by simulating an exemplary or representative situation that is feasible within that representation. What distinguishes thought experimenting from logical argument and other forms of propositional reasoning is that reasoning by means of a thought experiment involves constructing and simulating a mental model of a representative situation. Although thought experimenting is a creative part of scientific practice, it is a highly refined extension of a mundane form of reasoning. It is not a mystery why scientific thought experiments are a reliable source of empirical insights. Thought experimenting uses and manipulates representations that derive from real-world experiences and our conceptualizations of them.
3. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Dunja Jutronić Platonism in Linguistics
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Jim Brown (1991, viii) says that platonism, in mathematics involves the following: 1. mathematical objects exist independently of us; 2. mathematical objects are abstract; 3. we learn about mathematical objects by the faculty of intuition. The same is being claimed by Jerrold Katz (1981, 1998) in his platonistic approach to linguistics. We can take the object of linguistic analysis to be concrete physical sounds as held by nominalists, or we can assume that the object of linguistic study are psychological or mental states which presents the conceptualism or psychologism of Chomsky and that language is an abstract object as held by platonists or realists and urged by Jerrold Katz hinlself.I want to explicate Katz’s proposal which is based on Kant’s conception of pure intuition and give arguments why I find it implausible. I also present doubts that linguists use intuitive evidence only. I conclude with some arguments against the a prioricity of intuitive judgements in general which is also relevant for Jim Brown’s platonistic beliefs.
4. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Ksenija Puškarić Brown and Berkeley
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For J. Brown the essential feature of thought experiments is that they mobilize our intuition; the way they teach positive lessons to cognizers is by means of the intuition mobilized. The paper presents a problem for Brown with the help of a famous TE as counterexample. It argues that Berkeley’s master argument is a philosophical thought experiment that lacks a feature typical of platonic thought experiments -- intuitive grasp. If Berkeley’s argument is a thought experiment,as I’ve attempted to show, then we have a counterexample to Brown’s view that thought experiments are not arguments.
5. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Nenad Miščević Modelling Intuitions and Thought Experiments
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The first, critical part of the paper summarizes J. R. Brown’s Platonic view of thought experiments (TEs) and raises several questions. One of them concerns the initial, particular judgments in a TE. Since they seem to precede the general insight, Brown’s Platonic intuition, and not to derive from it, the question arises as to the nature of the initial particular judgment. The other question concerns the explanatory status of Brown’s epistemic Platonism. The second, constructive descriptive-explanatory part argues for an alternative, i.e. the view of TE as reasoning in, or with help of, mental models which can accommodate all the relevant data within a non-aprioristic framework (or, at worst, within a minimally “aprioristic”, nativist one). The last part turns to issues of justification and argues that the mental model proposal can account for justification of intuitional judgments and can also support the view of properly functioning intuition as an epistemic virtue, all within a more naturalist framework than the one endorsed by Brown.
6. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Andreas K. A. Georgiou An Embodied Cognition View of lmagery-Based Reasoning in Science: Lessons from Thought Experiments
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I consider how we might begin to redress a cognitive model for thought experimental and other imagery-based scientific reasoning from an embodied cognition viewpoint. The paper gravitates on clarifying tour issues: (i) the danger of understanding the genuine novelty of thought-experimental reasoning and other imagery-based reasoning as a product of ‘quasi-perceiving’ new phenomenology with the ‘mind’s eye’ (as asserted by quasi-pictorialist theories of imagery); (ii) the erroneous choice of units of analysis that assume equivalence of external reports of visual imagery with those internal structures that govern imagery-based reasoning, which are, as I will argue, largely linked to motor processes; (iii) the establishment of thought experimentation as imagery-based reasoning by providing evidence for the psychological necessity of imagistic simulation in thought experiments; (iv) a cognitive model for how learning via thought experimentation and other imagery-based reasoning takes place. The study was underpinned by constructivist assumptions. Case methodology was adopted, the case being a pair of final year A-level physics students. Data was collected through non-participant observation over two sessions of collaborative problem-solving. The tasks drew upon Newtonian mechanics.
7. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
James Robert Brown Comments and Replies
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I reply to a number of papers (published in Croatian Journal of Philosophy 7 [2007], 29-92 and in this issue) that stem from a conference in Rijeka on thought experinlents. These are papers by Ana Butković, Dave Davies, Boris Grozdanoff, Dunja Jutronić, Nenad Miščević, Ksenija Puškarić, and Irina Starikova. Their criticisms of my views are diverse, but one theme, perhaps inevitably, dominates the criticisms: the unworkability of my Platonism. I try to defend this and to adequately answer other criticisms, as well.
8. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Michael Bishop, Benett Bootz Goodbye, Justification. Hello World
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There are simple rules for making important judgments that are more reliable than experts, but people refuse to use them People refuse even when they are told that these rules are more reliable than they are. When we say that people “refuse” to use the rule, we do not mean that people stubbornly refuse to carry out the steps indicated by the rule. Rather, people defect from the rule (i.e., they overturn the rule’s judgment) so often that they end up reasoning about as reliably as they would have without the rule, and less reliably than the rule all by itself. We haue two aims in this paper. First, we will explain why (at least some) simple rules are so reliable and why people too often defect from them. And second, we will argue that this selective defection phenomenon raises a serious problem for all epistemological theories of justification. We will suggest that the best way to escape this problem is to change the focus of contemporary epistemology.
discussion
9. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Nenad Smokrović Bishop and Trout on Reasoning
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book reviews
10. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Zoltan Wagner My Way
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11. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Nebojša Zelić Reasons and Purposes: Human Rationality and the Teleological Explanation of Action
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12. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Nataša Rogina Self to Self
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13. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Nenad Miščević Epistemic Virtue and Epistemology
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