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Toward a Pluralist Account of the Imagination in Science

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022

Abstract

Typically, the imagination in thought experiments has been taken to consist in mental images; we visualize the state of affairs described. A recent alternative from Fiora Salis and Roman Frigg maintains that it is only the propositional imagination that is necessary for the conduct of a thought experiment. I set out problems with these monistic accounts and develop a pluralist stance. Thought experiments appeal to a variety of our imaginative capacities, and we ought to focus on the function of particular thought experiments when considering what type of imaginative engagement they invite.

Type
Understanding and Imagination
Copyright
Copyright © The Philosophy of Science Association

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Footnotes

I am very grateful to Steven French, Aaron Meskin, Fiora Salis, Michael Stuart, Max Jones, and an anonymous reviewer for their feedback on this article. Thanks also to those who attended the Imagination in Science symposium at the 2018 PSA meeting in Seattle for helpful comments and conversations.

References

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