Philosophy of Science Seminar: Alice Murphy
Alice Murphy, University of Leeds
G2, Cotham House
Thought Experiments and the Value of Surprise
When discussing thought experiments in science, it is common to highlight their similarities with other practices—argum
While there is a lack of philosophical analysis of surprise, it has been argued that concrete experiments can surprise us in a way that computer simulations cannot. Further, this gives us reason to privilege experiments over simulations (Morgan, 2005).
It appears that this argument also has consequences for thought experiments. I set out to show that such a view assumes a particular notion of surprise, and drawing on my work with Steven French, I explore other aspects of this phenomenon and its significance in science in order to illustrate the ways in which thought experiments can bring about productive surprises.