Challenge of experimental philosophy and methodology of thought experiments

Keywords: experimental philosophy, thought experiments, intuition, intuitional stability, stability of thought experiment
Language: In Latvian

In the current debates on philosophical methodology thought experiment is recognised both as a highly prevalent and a very contentious tool of philosophical enquiry. A noteworthy challenge to the trustworthiness and repeatability of thought experiments has been posed by the project of experimental philosophy where the use of sociological methods has led to the conclusion that intuitive judgements evoked by thought experiments are unstable, i.e. a variation in irrelevant aspects of a thought experiment leads to a variation in the content of its intuitive judgement — this instability, according to experimental philosophy, marks an unreliability of the method. The aim of this paper is twofold: first, to respond to the challenge of experimental philosophy by arguing that the criterion of intuitional stability is motivated by a simplistic and inadequate account of thought experiments, and, second, to use the conceptual tools developed in the course of this defence, particularly, the alternative criterion of stability of thought experiment and the relationship between thought experiments and arguments to give a better account of the methodology of thought experimentation.