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Tamar Gendler draws together in this book a series of essays in which she investigates philosophical methodology, which is now emerging as a central topic of philosophical discussions. Three intertwined themes run through the volume: imagination, intuition and philosophical methodology. Each of the chapters focuses, in one way or another, on how we engage with subject matter that we take to be imaginary. This theme is explored in a wide range of cases, including scientific thought experiments, early childhood pretense, thought experiments concerning personal identity, fictional emotions, self-deception, Gettier cases, and the general relation of conceivability to possibility. Each of the chapters explores, in one way or another, the implications of this for how thought experiments and appeals to intuition can serve as mechanisms for supporting or refuting scientific or philosophical claims. And each of the chapters self-consciously exhibits a particular philosophical methodology: that of drawing both on empirical findings from contemporary psychology, and on classic texts in the philosophical tradition (particularly the work of Aristotle and Hume.) By exploring and exhibiting the fruitfulness of these interactions, Gendler promotes the value of engaging in such cross-disciplinary conversations in illuminating philosophical issues.
Tamar Szabó Gendler is a professor of philosophy and chair of the Cognitive Science Program at Yale University
Table of Contents
Part I: Thought Experiments, Intuitions and Philosophical Methodology
Thought Experiments in Science
1. Galileo and the Indispensability of Scientific Thought Experiment
2. Thought Experiments Rethought - and Reperceived
Thought Experiments and Personal Identity
3. Exceptional Persons: On the Limits of Imaginary Cases
4. Personal Identity and Thought-Experiments
Intuitions and Philosophical Methodology
5. The Real Guide to Fake Barns: A Catalogue of Gifts for Your Epistemic Enemies
6. Philosophical Thought Experiments, Intuitions and Cognitive Equilibrium
Part II: Pretense, Imagination and Belief
7. The Puzzle of Imaginative Resistance
8. Imaginative Resistance Revisited
Pretense and Belief
9. On the Relation between Pretense and Belief
10. Self-Deception as Pretense
Imagination and Emotion
11. Genuine Rational Fictional Emotions
12. Imaginary Contagion
Belief and Alief
13. Alief and Belief
14. Alief in Action (and Reaction)