The Life of the Mind 13: Thought Experiment Descriptor

Thought Experiments is a category belonging to The Life of the Mind that contains mental exercises in which the reader is asked to think about things from a particular perspective. The perspective could be anchored in a context, story, or could simply be a question that the reader was unlikely to consider before the experiment. Thought experiments are often found inside larger arguments as a means of priming the mind in a particular direction, but they are distinct from arguments in they don’t try to force you to a particular conclusion. They are also different from “traps and intuitions” in that they are not trying get the reader to experience tension between ideas. A thought experiment is more like ringing a bell and listening carefully.

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