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Intuition, Imagination, and Philosophical Methodology$
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Tamar Szabó Gendler

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199589760

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199589760.001.0001

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Philosophical Thought Experiments, Intuitions, and Cognitive Equilibrium

Philosophical Thought Experiments, Intuitions, and Cognitive Equilibrium

Chapter:
(p.116) 6 Philosophical Thought Experiments, Intuitions, and Cognitive Equilibrium
Source:
Intuition, Imagination, and Philosophical Methodology
Author(s):

Tamar Szabó Gendler (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199589760.003.0007

Drawing on literature from the dual‐processing tradition in psychology, the chapter tries to explain why contemplation of an imaginary particular may have cognitive and motivational effects that differ from those evoked by an abstract description of the same content, and hence, why thought experiments may be effective devices for conceptual reconfiguration. It suggests that by presenting content in a suitably concrete way, thought experiments recruit representational schemas that were otherwise inactive, thereby evoking responses that may run counter to those evoked by alternative presentations of relevantly similar content.

Keywords:   philosophical thought experiment, intuition, reflective equilibrium, imagination, cognitive mechanism, dual processing, conceptual reconfiguration

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