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By Katerina Ierodiakonou; Sophie Roux

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Trans. F. Smith):4 Then again, just suppose that all the existing space were finite, and that someone ran forward to the edge of its farthest border and launched a spear into flight: do you favour the view that the spear, cast with virile vigour, would fly far and reach its target, or do you suppose that something could check it by obstructing its course? You must grant and adopt one or the other of these hypotheses, and yet both deny you a subterfuge and compel you to acknowledge that the expanse of the universe is infinite.

Nine Historical and Methodological Perspectives on Thought Experiments We can now understand why the category of thought experiment has been applied so wildly to different kinds of textual devices, and why some debates on thought experiments resembled a dialogue among deaf people. The crystallisation that Einstein and some other physicists of the th century brought about did not result in the constitution of a robust category; the protagonists of contemporary debates talked at cross purposes because they did not have the same characteristics of thought experiments in mind, or were not thinking of the same thought experiments.

Hankinson):7 The Stoics, however, wanted there to be void outside the heaven, and they established this through the following supposition. Suppose, they say, someone stands at the extremity of the sphere of the fixed [stars] and extends his hand upwards. If he does extend it, they infer that there is something outside the heaven into which he extends it; but if he cannot extend it, there will be something outside in such a way as to prevent his hand’s extension. And if he then stands at the limit of this and extends, the same question [recurs].

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