The Laboratory of the Mind: Thought Experiments in the Natural Sciences
Thought experiments are performed in the laboratory of the mind. Beyond this metaphor it is difficult to say just what these remarkable devices for investigating nature are or how they work. Though most scientists and philosophers would admit their great importance, there has been very little serious study of them. This volume is the first book-length investigation of thought experiments.
Starting with Galileo's argument on falling bodies, Brown describes numerous examples of the most influential thought experiments from the history of science. Following this introduction to the subject, some substantial and provocative claims are made, the principle being that some thought experiments should be understood in the same way that platonists understand mathematical activity: as an intellectual grasp of an independently existing abstract realm.
With its clarity of style and structure, The Laboratory of the Mind will find readers among all philosophers of science as well as scientists who have puzzled over how thought experiments work.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
absolute space abstract entities abstract objects account of thought argue argument assumption belief Benacerraf bodies Bohr brand of verificationism bucket causal causal connection causal theory chapter claim conjectural constructive theories Copenhagen interpretation correlations Descartes direct thought experiments distant distinction eigenstates Einstein electron empirical empiricism empiricist epistemological example existence explain field formal derivation Galileo geometry Heisenberg hidden variable theories Hilbert space Holton imagine independent interact intuitions laws of nature Leibniz light Local Realism logical Machian Maddy magnetic mathematical platonism Maxwell's measurement mediative thought experiment ment molecules momentum natural kind Newton's Norton observable particles perception phenomena philosophical photon physical objects physical world platonic account platonist Poincare position possible worlds premisses principle theory problems quantum mechanics ravens realism reality reason relative motion remarks Schrodinger scientific sense sets singlet sort special relativity spin Stevin superposition theoretical things thought experimenter tion true truth velocity verificationism