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In 1811 Hans-Christian Ørsted introduced the word “Tankeexperiment” as a technical term, while reflecting on Immanuel Kant’s Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science. A hundred years later, Ernst Mach coined the term “Gedankenexperiment” for philosophical debate. Yet, serious investigation into thought experiments began only in the 1980s. A number of accounts have been proposed since then, ranging from platonism to eliminative empiricism. In this course we will examine these accounts, and explore many of the paradigmatic thought experiments.


Course Information

  • Course Code: HPS4512H
  • Course Delivery: On Campus
  • Course Credits: 0.5 credits