Forestil dig følgende: et projekt om tankeeksperimenter og talehandlinger

Tobias Elmsdal Thomsen, Joseffa Lotus Natalie Holte & Jacob Duus Naur

Studenteropgave: Masterprojekt


Curious with the many ways in which analytical philosophy works, we set out to investigate thought experiments as a tool in analytical philosophy. The main research question regards how a specific thought experiment in Ludwig Wittgensteins Philosophical Investigations works as a speech act in comparison to an analytical-philosophical thought experiment by Frank Jackson with a more argumentative function. On this basis, the project seeks to investigate how Wittgenstein’s approach to thought experiments, based on their linguistic function, contributes to expanding the boundaries of philosophical practice. We use J. L. Austin’s and J. R. Searle’s speech act theory to form our basic understanding of the way language works. This general theory of speech acts is supplemented by C. Bazerman and his idea of micro- and macro-speech acts. Our analysis of Jackson’s thought experiment arises from a discussion regarding the relation between arguments and thought experiments: Are they identical, or are they two separate things? This disagreement is resolved by E. O. Popa, for whom thought experiments are not identical with arguments, and yet they preform an essential role in an argumentative practice.

Our analysis shows how the thought experiment act in Jackson’s text fits this description by functioning as a micro-speech act that contribute to the overall goal of arguing against physicalism. Thus, Jackson’s thought experiment is not itself an argument, although it contributes to an argumentative strategy. On the contrary the Private Language argument has a purpose of extracting philosophical misunderstandings, asking questions and illustrating where the problems of these questions reside. In that way Wittgenstein’s thought experiment is a micro-speech act that contributes to the main purpose of answering philosophical questions by illustrating the implications of these questions - not by arguing for a specific position, which claims to have the definitive answer for the question. In many ways Wittgensteins approach to thought experiments can therefore be seen as diverging from the genre of the argumentative texts in analytical philosophy, and in that way he is contributive to expanding the limits of philosophical practice.

UddannelserFilosofi og Videnskabsteori, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato26 maj 2019
Antal sider59
VejledereMette Blok