Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

The epistemology of thought experiments without exceptionalist ingredients

Irikefe, Paul O. 2022. The epistemology of thought experiments without exceptionalist ingredients. Synthese 200 (3) , 191. 10.1007/s11229-022-03690-2

[thumbnail of Irikefe2022_Article_TheEpistemologyOfThoughtExperi.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (449kB) | Preview


This paper argues for two interrelated claims. The first is that the most innovative contribution of Timothy Williamson, Herman Cappelen, and Max Deutsch (a.k.a., the intuition deniers) in the debate about the epistemology of thought experiments is not the denial of intuition and the claim of the irrelevance of experimental philosophy but the claim of epistemological continuity and the rejection of philosophical exceptionalism. The second is that a better way of implementing the claim of epistemological continuity is not Deutsch and Cappelen’s argument view or Williamson’s folk psychological view (i.e., off-line simulation). This is so because while the argument view makes the basis of the relevant classificational judgement evidentially too demanding; the folk psychological view makes it too weak and error-prone to count as an adequate explanation. Drawing from a certain reading of Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics that flowers in Miranda Fricker and John McDowell, I argue for the reason-responsiveness view. Like the extant views, the reason-responsiveness view vindicates the claim of epistemological continuity. But unlike the extant views, it does not share those problematic features. Further, I show that the reason-responsiveness view offers a way for champions of the claim of epistemological continuity to resist Avner Baz’s objection to the claim of epistemological continuity and his objection to the philosophical use of thought experiments while taking on board some attractive elements of his view.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 1573-0964
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 24 June 2022
Date of Acceptance: 5 April 2022
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2023 06:06

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics