Thought experiments do not require a laboratory and need no funding, yet they are responsible for several major intellectual revolutions throughout history. Given their importance, and the way that they immediately engage students, it is surprising that thought experiments are not used more frequently as teaching tools in the academic disciplines. Thought Experiments: History and Applications for Education explains how thought experiments developed and shows how thought experiments can be applied to subjects as varied as theoretical physics, mathematics, politics, personal identity, and ethics. Teachers at all levels and in all disciplines will discover how to use thought experiments effectively in their own classrooms.
Chris Edwards, Ed.D is the author of numerous books with Rowman & Littlefield, has presented his original connect-the-dots teaching method through the National Council for Social Studies, and is a frequent contributor to Skeptic magazine. He teaches AP world history and an English course on critical thinking at a public high school in the Midwest.
Chapter One. Famous Thought Experiments
Chapter Two. Time Travel
Chapter Three. Mathematics, Infinity, and the Big Bang
Chapter Four. Politics
Chapter Five.Risk, Odds, Bravery, and Ethics
Chapter Six. Identity
Chapter Seven. Ethics
Chapter 8. Meta-Mathematics and Meta-Language
In the history and philosophy of science fields one of the most underappreciated aspects of the scientific method is the thought experiment. Almost no one studies it, and yet all scientists conduct thought experiments even when they don’t realize that’s what they’re doing. Chris Edwards new book is the most important work on thought experiments ever written. Every historian and philosopher of science needs to read it, along with educators in general and scientists in particular. Plus, it’s a gripping story about what goes on inside people’s minds!