Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter July 26, 2018

Kierkegaard on Variation and Thought Experiment

Eleanor Helms


Do thought experiments provide “evidence” or just new mental frameworks? Current accounts of thought experiment turn to theories of reason and explanation rather than perception to explain how thought experiments work. I offer Kierkegaard’s own view of thought experiment, which is influenced by Kantian idealism rather than scientific empiricism. Drawing on philosophical research in aesthetics, I then show how all perception is a hybrid of sensory content and conceptual structures. On this Kantian-Kierkegaardian account, thought experiments help us see differently and gain new evidence through new kinds of experiences. My project retrieves the original Danish context of the term “thought experiment” [Tankeexperiment] and offers a new understanding of thought experiments as both sensory and conceptual, like perception itself.

Online erschienen: 2018-07-26

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

Scroll Up Arrow