Thought experiments are a means of imaginative reasoning that lie at the heart of philosophy, from the pre-Socratics to the modern era, and they also play central roles in a range of fields, from physics to politics. The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments is an invaluable guide and reference source to this multifaceted subject. Comprising over 30 chapters by a team of international contributors, the Companion covers the following important areas:

· the history of thought experiments, from antiquity to the trolley problem and quantum non-locality;

· thought experiments in the humanities, arts, and sciences, including ethics, physics, theology, biology, mathematics, economics, and politics;

· theories about the nature of thought experiments;

· new discussions concerning the impact of experimental philosophy, cross-cultural comparison studies, metaphilosophy, computer simulations, idealization, dialectics, cognitive science, the artistic nature of thought experiments, and metaphysical issues.

This broad ranging Companion goes backwards through history and sideways across disciplines. It also engages with philosophical perspectives from empiricism, rationalism, naturalism, skepticism, pluralism, contextualism, and neo-Kantianism to phenomenology. This volume will be valuable for anyone studying the methods of philosophy or any discipline that employs thought experiments, as well as anyone interested in the power and limits of the mind.

chapter |28 pages

Thought Experiments

State of the art
ByMichael T. Stuart, Yiftach Fehige, James Robert Brown

part I|121 pages

Selected History of Thought Experiments

chapter 1|13 pages

The Triple Life of Ancient Thought Experiments

ByKaterina Ierodiakonou

chapter 2|13 pages

Thought Experiments in Plato

ByAlexander Becker

chapter 3|20 pages

Aristotle and Thought Experiments

ByKlaus Corcilius

chapter 4|15 pages

Experimental Thoughts on Thought Experiments in Medieval Islam

ByJon McGinnis

chapter 5|19 pages

Galileo’s Thought Experiments

Projective participation and the integration of paradoxes
ByPaolo Palmieri

chapter 6|17 pages

Thought Experiments in Newton and Leibniz

ByRichard T. W. Arthur

chapter 7|22 pages

Thought Experiments, Epistemology and Our Cognitive (In)Capacities

ByKenneth R. Westphal

part II|128 pages

Thought Experiments and Their Fields

chapter 8|18 pages

Thought Experiments in Political Philosophy

ByNenad Miščević

chapter 9|12 pages

Thought Experiments in Economics

ByMargaret Schabas

chapter 10|12 pages

Theology and Thought Experiments

ByYiftach Fehige

chapter 11|16 pages

Thought Experiments in Ethics

ByGeorg Brun

chapter 12|32 pages

Happiest Thoughts

Great thought experiments of modern physics
ByKent A. Peacock

chapter 13|14 pages

Thought Experiments in Biology

ByGuillaume Schlaepfer, Marcel Weber

chapter 14|22 pages

Thought Experiments in Mathematics

ByIrina Starikova, Marcus Giaquinto

part III|87 pages

Contemporary Philosophical Approaches to Thought Experiments

chapter 15|12 pages

The Argument View

Are thought experiments mere picturesque arguments?
ByElke Brendel

chapter 16|16 pages

Platonism and the A Priori in Thought Experiments

ByThomas Grundmann

chapter 17|18 pages

Cognitive Science, Mental Modeling, and Thought Experiments

ByNancy J. Nersessian

chapter 18|15 pages

Kantian Accounts of Thought Experiments

ByMarco Buzzoni

chapter 19|24 pages

Phenomenology and Thought Experiments

Thought experiments as anticipation pumps
ByHarald A. Wiltsche

part IV|191 pages

Issues, Challenges and Interactions

chapter 20|16 pages

Intuition and Its Critics

ByStephen Stich, Kevin Tobia

chapter 21|21 pages

Thought Experiments and Experimental Philosophy

ByKirk Ludwig

chapter 22|19 pages

Thought Experiments in Current Metaphilosophical Debates

ByDaniel Cohnitz, Sören Häggqvist

chapter 23|14 pages

Historicism and Cross-Culture Comparison

ByJames W. McAllister

chapter 24|15 pages

A Dialectical Account of Thought Experiments

ByJean-Yves Goffi, Sophie Roux

chapter 25|15 pages

The Worst Thought Experiment

ByJohn D. Norton

chapter 26|15 pages

Thought Experiments and Idealizations

ByJulian Reiss

chapter 27|14 pages

Thought Experiments and Simulation Experiments

Exploring hypothetical worlds
ByJohannes Lenhard

chapter 28|14 pages

Images and Imagination in Thought Experiments

ByLetitia Meynell

chapter 29|14 pages

Art and Thought Experiments

ByDavid Davies

chapter 30|19 pages

How Thought Experiments Increase Understanding

ByMichael T. Stuart

chapter 31|13 pages

On the Identity of Thought Experiments

Thought experiments rethought
ByAlisa Bokulich, Mélanie Frappier