Thesis topic proposal
András Kertész
From thought experiment to real experiment in cognitive metaphor research


Institute: University of Debrecen
Doctoral School of Linguistics

Thesis supervisor: András Kertész
Location of studies (in Hungarian): DE, Debrecen, Egyetem tér 1., Főép. 125. "oktatói szoba"
Abbreviation of location of studies: DEBTK

Description of the research topic:

During the past decade, linguistics has seen a fierce debate on the nature of linguistic data and evidence. In addition to the fact that the debate has touched on basic problems of the philosophy of science, it has also furthered the development of new data processing techniques in different fields of linguistics. This tendency has contributed among others to the application of experimental methods.
The use of experiments as a data processing technique is especially interesting, if one relates it to the origins of cognitive metaphor research. In particular, the classical works which fertilized later findings are built on thought experiments to a considerable extent. Consequently, the development of the methodology of cognitive metaphor research involves a process which leads from thought experiments to real experiments.
Investigating this process is well-motivated by the state of the art of the general philosophy of science, too. Namely, the problem of the empirical content of thought experiments and their relationship to real experiments is one of the central topics of current discussions in the philosophy of science.
Based on these motivations, the dissertation should focus on the following two questions: (1) Do thought experiments as used in cognitive metaphor research have an empirical content? (2) What kind of relationship is there between thought experiments and real experiments in cognitive metaphor research?

Number of students who can be accepted: 1

Deadline for application: 2023-05-15

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