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Thought experiments and real experiments as converging data sources in pragmatics

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Abstract

The aim of the present chapter is to reconstruct the relationship between thought experiments and real experiments in pragmatics. In the first part, Searle&#8217;s (1969) thought experiment on <i>Kennst du das Land, wo die Zitronen bl&#252;hn&#63;</i> is analysed with the help of the p-model. The second part reconstructs the argumentation structure of the real experiments reported on in Holtgraves &#38; Ashley (2001), and shows that the latter and Searle&#8217;s thought experiment closely interact. Basically, their relationship is characterised by the dynamic process of the cyclic, prismatic and retrospective re-evalutation of information in the sense of the p-model. However, they have different strengths and weaknesses. Accordingly, the generalised finding is that the conscious integration of real and thought experiments as data sources within some research may considerably enhance the reliability of pragmatic hypotheses.

References

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