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Summary: Drawing on literature from the dual-processing tradition in psychology, this paper 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.
Comment: In this interesting paper, Gendler elucidates the role and nature of intuition in the light of current philosophical practice. It is a good material for teaching on philosophical intuitions and experimental philosophy.Export citation in BibTeX formatExport text citationView this text on PhilPapersExport citation in Reference Manager formatExport citation in EndNote formatExport citation in Zotero format
Gendler, Tamar Szabó. Philosophical thought experiments, intuitions, and cognitive equilibrium
2007, French, Peter A. & Wettstein, Howard K. (eds). Philosophy and Empirical. Oxford: Blackwell. 68-89.
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