Tamar Gendler draws together in this book a series of essays in which she investigates philosophical methodology, which is w emerging as a central topic of philosophical discussions. Three intertwined themes run through the volume: imagination, intuition and philosophical methodology. Each of the chapters focuses, in one way or ather, on how we engage with subject matter that we take to be imaginary. This theme is explored in a wide range of cases, including scientific thought experiments, early childhood pretense, thought experiments concerning personal identity, fictional emotions, self-deception, Gettier cases, and the general relation of conceivability to possibility. Each of the chapters explores, in one way or ather, the implications of this for how thought experiments and appeals to intuition can serve as mechanisms for supporting or refuting scientific or philosophical claims. And each of the chapters self-consciously exhibits a particular philosophical methodology: that of drawing both on empirical findings from contemporary psychology, and on classic texts in the philosophical tradition (particularly the work of Aristotle and Hume.) By exploring and exhibiting the fruitfulness of these interactions, Gendler promotes the value of engaging in such cross-disciplinary conversations in illuminating philosophical issues.
Tamar Szabo Gendler is a professor of philosophy and chair of the Cognitive Science Program at Yale University