From thought experiments to real experiments in pragmatics

Kertész, András and Kiefer, Ferenc (2013) From thought experiments to real experiments in pragmatics. In: Perspectives on Philosophy and Pragmatics. Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy & Psychology (1). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, pp. 53-86. ISBN 978-3-319-01010-6 (Print) 978-3-319-01011-3 (Online)

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The puzzle of thought experiments is a hot topic in the philosophy of science. The paper raises the puzzle with respect to pragmatics as follows: How is it possible that thought experiments in pragmatics yield new experiential information about communication, although they are carried out entirely in one’s head? The paper shows, first, that the structure of thought experiments in pragmatics consists of a series of plausible inferences. Second, the function of thought experiments is to serve as the initial step in the process of plausible argumentation as well as to test the plausibility of rival hypotheses. Third, while on the one hand, thought experiments and real experiments may be continuous, on the other hand, the former may be also indispensable components of the latter. Fourth, these properties provide a solution to the puzzle of thought experiments in pragmatics. The key idea of the solution is that thought experiments in pragmatics cannot generate new experiential information; rather, during the process of plausible argumentation they contribute to the retrospective reevaluation of experiential information already given.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: P Language and Literature / nyelvészet és irodalom > P0 Philology. Linguistics / filológia, nyelvészet
Depositing User: Dr. Csilla Rákosi
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2014 18:40
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2014 18:40

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