In this article, we analyse one of the most famous recent thought experiments in philosophy, namely Donald Davidson’s Swampman. Engaging recent commentators on Davidson’s Swampman as well as analysing the spatio-temporal conditions of the thought-experiment, we will show how the ‘experiment’ inevitably fails. For it doesn’t take seriously some of its own defining characteristics: crucially, Swampman’s creation of a sudden in a place distinct from Davidson’s. Instead of denigrating philosophical thought-experiments per se, our analysis points towards considering thought-experiments in a different sense: imaginary scenarios helpfully self-deconstructing rather than constituting substantive philosophical resources.
- School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies - Associate Professor
- Philosophy - Member
- Wittgenstein - Member
Person: Research Group Member, Academic, Teaching & Research