The role of variation in thought experiments

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Title The role of variation in thought experiments
Author(s) Nebojsa Kujundzic
Journal International Studies in the Philosophy of Science
Date 1998
Volume 12
Issue 3
Start page 239
Abstract The main concern of this paper is to show that understanding mental variation may prove to be relevant to inquiry into thought experiments. First, I examine why Ernst Mach considered the ability to vary the contents of one's thoughts the principal requirement for thought experimentation. Second, I illustrate the wide applicability of mental variation in thought experiments. Third, I suggest, following Kathleen Wilkes, that variation is frequently employed in "realistic" thought experiments.

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