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Imagination in Scientific Practice

French, Steven (2020) Imagination in Scientific Practice. [Preprint]

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Abstract

What is the role of the imagination in scientific practice? Here I focus on the nature and role of invitations to imagine in certain scientific texts as represented by the example of Einstein’s Special Relativity paper from 1905. Drawing on related discussions in aesthetics, I argue, on the one hand, that this role cannot be simply subsumed under ‘supposition’ but that, on the other, concerns about the impact of genre and symbolism can be dealt with, and hence present no obstacle to regarding imagination as appropriately belief-like. By applying the framework of ‘semi- propositional representations’ and ‘quasi-truth’ to this case I thereby offer a new unitary framework for understanding the epistemology of scientific imagination.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
French, StevenS.R.D.French@leeds.ac.uk
Keywords: Imagination; Supposition; Quasi-truth
Subjects: General Issues > Structure of Theories
General Issues > Thought Experiments
Depositing User: Professor Steven French
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2020 18:42
Last Modified: 23 Apr 2020 18:42
Item ID: 17106
Subjects: General Issues > Structure of Theories
General Issues > Thought Experiments
Date: 23 April 2020
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17106

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