- Thought experiments in academic communication: A pragma-dialectical method for reconstructing the argumentative use of imaginary scenarios in academic disputes
- Award date
- 7 September 2016
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
Thought experiments are academic disputes in which two or more scholars make use of an imaginary scenario in order to examine the acceptability of an academic claim. Thought experiments occur in a variety of academic disciplines and have been studied extensively in the past two decades. In the present study, a method is developed for analyzing how the scholars participating in a thought experiment communicate in order to resolve their difference of opinion. The analytical method is developed within the framework of pragma-dialectics, combining insights from linguistics, discourse analysis, and science studies. The use of the developed method is illustrated by analyzing a series of well-known thought experiments such as the Chinese Room, the Twin Earth, and the Violinist.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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