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Thought Experiment

Thought Experiment

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Published by Arnab Banerjee
in this book you will find:

1) what is thought experiment

2) origin of thought experiment

3) theoritical consequence

4) practical application

5) possibility

6) skills required

7) process of thought experiment

8) some thoght experiment exercise to practice

9) top 10 most famous thought experiment
in this book you will find:

1) what is thought experiment

2) origin of thought experiment

3) theoritical consequence

4) practical application

5) possibility

6) skills required

7) process of thought experiment

8) some thoght experiment exercise to practice

9) top 10 most famous thought experiment

More info:

Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Arnab Banerjee on Dec 11, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/22/2013

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Thought experimentByArnab k. banerjee
 
A
thought experiment
or
Gedankenexperiment
(from German) considerssomehypothesis,theory,
[1]
orprinciplefor the purpose of thinkingthrough its consequences. Given the structure of the experiment, it mayor may not be possible to actually perform it, and, in the case that it ispossible for it to be performed, there need be no intention of any kind toactually perform the experiment in question. The common goal of athought experiment is to explore the potential consequences of theprinciple in question.Famous examples of thought experiments includeSchrödinger's cat,illustratingquantum indeterminacythrough the manipulation of aperfectly sealed environment and a tiny bit of radioactivesubstance, andMaxwell's demon, in which a supernatural being is instructed to attemptto violate thesecond law of thermodynamics.OriginJohann Witt-Hansen established thatHans Christian Ørstedwas the firstto use the Latin-German mixed term
Gedankenexperiment 
(lit. thoughtexperiment) circa 1812.
[7]
Ørsted was also the first to use its entirelyGerman equivalent,
Gedankenversuch 
, in 1820.Much later,Ernst Machused the term
Gedankenexperiment 
in a differentway, to denote exclusively the
imaginary 
conduct of a
real 
experimentthat would be subsequently performed as a
real physical experiment 
byhis students.
[8]
Physical and mental experimentation could then beconstrasted: Mach asked his students to provide him with explanationswhenever the results from their subsequent, real, physical experimentdiffered from those of their prior, imaginary experiment.
 
The English term
thought experiment 
was coined (as acalque) fromMach's
Gedankenexperiment 
, and it first appeared in the 1897 Englishtranslation of one of Mach’s papers.
[9]
Prior to its emergence, the activityof posing hypothetical questions that employed subjunctive reasoninghad existed for a very long time (for both scientists and philosophers).However, people had no way of categorizing it or speaking about it. Thishelps to explain the extremely wide and diverse range of the applicationof the term "thought experiment" once it had been introduced intoEnglishIn its broadest usage, thought experimentation is the process of employing imaginary situations to help us understand the way thingsreally are (or, in the case of Herman Kahn’s "scenarios", understandsomething about something in the future). The understanding comesthrough reflection upon this imaginary situation. Thoughtexperimentation isa priori, rather than anempiricalprocess, in that the experiments are conducted within the imagination (i.e., Brown’s (1993)"laboratory of the mind"), and never in fact.Thought experiments, which are well-structured, well-definedhypothetical questions that employsubjunctivereasoning (irrealis moods) – "What might happen (or, what might have happened) if . . . " –have been used to pose questions in philosophy at least since Greekantiquity, some pre-datingSocrates(seeRescher 1991). In physics and other sciences many famous thought experiments date from the 19thand especially the 20th Century, but examples can be found at least asearly asGalileo.Thought experiments have been used inphilosophy,physics, and other fields (such ascognitive psychology,history,political science,economics,

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