The following is a guest post* by Erick Ramirez, assistant professor of philosophy at Santa Clara University. Among other things, Professor Ramirez has been working on philosophical issues related to the limits of our capacities for empathy and taking the perspective of others, and he has been developing exciting new tools to help us somewhat overcome these limits i..
In an interview at 3:am Magazine, Richard Marshall presses Philip Kitcher (Columbia) on his criticism of a priori, thought-experiment-driven approaches to philosophy. Marshall says that a criticism of Kitcher’s view is that it “would end much typical philosophical investigation.” Kitcher replies:
Thought experiments work when, and only when, they call into action..
Robert Paul Wolff, at his blog The Philosopher’s Stone, objects to the use of trolley problems and other stylized thought experiments in which various complications are waved aside. “I am quite convinced that these sorts of thought experiments are nonsense,” he says. Wisely, he adds: “but it is not so easy to say why.”
I think that trolley problems and the like a..