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What Imagination Teaches

In John Schwenkler & Enoch Lambert (eds.), Becoming Someone New: Essays on Transformative Experience, Choice, and Change. (2020)

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  1. The Possibility of Imagining Pain.Amy Kind - 2021 - Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia 12 (2):183-189.
    : In Imagined and delusional pain Jennifer Radden aims to show that experiences of pain – and in particular, the pain associated with depression – cannot be merely delusional. Her reasoning relies crucially on the claim that the feeling of pain is imaginatively beyond our reach. Though she thinks that there are many ways that one can imagine scenarios involving oneself being in pain, she argues that one cannot imagine the feeling of pain itself. In this commentary, I target this (...)
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  • Ghazālī's Transformative Answer to Scepticism.Reza Hadisi - 2022 - Theoria 88 (1):109-142.
    In this paper, I offer a reconstruction of Ghazālī's encounter with scepticism in the Deliverance from Error. For Ghazālī, I argue, radical scepticism about the possibility of knowledge ensues from intellectualist assumptions about the nature of justification. On the reading that I will propose, Ghazālī holds that foundational knowledge can only be justified via actions that lead to transformative experiences.
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  • Inwiefern sind philosophische Erfahrungen epistemisch transformativ?Íngrid Vendrell Ferran - 2022 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 70 (5):809-822.
    Drawing on Laurie A. Paul’s notion of “transformative experience”, this paper explores transformative philosophical experiences and analyses the structure of the attitude underlying them. It is argued that these experiences have to be explained not in cognitive terms but as a change in our affective attitude. More precisely, these experiences lead us to feel values in a novel manner. However, in order to make the philosophical experience epistemically transformative and provide a new perspective from which we can acquire new philosophical (...)
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  • Personal identity, transformative experiences, and the future self.Katja Crone - 2021 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 20 (2):299-310.
    The article explores the relation between personal identity and life-changing decisions such as the decision for a certain career or the decision to become a parent. According to L.A. Paul, decisions of this kind involve “transformative experiences”, to the effect that - at the time we make a choice - we simply don’t know what it is like for us to experience the future situation. Importantly, she claims that some new experiences may be “personally transformative” by which she means that (...)
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  • Imagination as a skill: A Bayesian proposal.Andrea Blomkvist - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-23.
    In recent works, Kind has argued that imagination is a skill, since it possesses the two hallmarks of skill: improvability by practice, and control. I agree with Kind that and are indeed hallmarks of skill, and I also endorse her claim that imagination is a skill in virtue of possessing these two features. However, in this paper, I argue that Kind’s case for imagination’s being a skill is unsatisfactory, since it lacks robust empirical evidence. Here, I will provide evidence for (...)
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  • Imagine What It Feels Like.Íngrid Vendrell-Ferran - forthcoming - In Anja Berninger & Ingrid Vendrell Ferran (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on Memory and Imagination. Routledge.
    Often in our everyday lives, for instance, in decision-taking, empathizing with others, and engaging with fictions, we are able to imagine what a particular emotion feels like. This chapter analyzes the structure of these imaginings as a kind of experiential imagining. After introducing the topic (section 1), I argue that these imaginings cannot be explained exclusively by their content and that a focus on the mode of imagining is required. We not only imagine having emotions, but we also imagine them (...)
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  • Transformative Experiences and the Equivocation Objection.Yuri Cath - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-22.
    Paul (2014, 2015a) argues that one cannot rationally decide whether to have a transformative experience by trying to form judgments, in advance, about (i) what it would feel like to have that experience, and (ii) the subjective value of having such an experience. The problem is if you haven’t had the experience then you cannot know what it is like, and you need to know what it is like to assess its value. However, in earlier work I argued that ‘what (...)
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  • Bridging the Divide: Imagining Across Experiential Perspectives.Amy Kind - 2021 - In Christopher Badura & Amy Kind (eds.), Epistemic Uses of Imagination. Routledge. pp. 237-259.
    Can one have imaginative access to experiential perspectives vastly different from one’s own? Can one successfully imagine what it’s like to live a life very different from one’s own? These questions are particularly pressing in contemporary society as we try to bridge racial, ethnic, and gender divides. Yet philosophers have often expressed considerable pessimism in this regard. It is often thought that the gulf between vastly different experiential perspectives cannot be bridged. This chapter explores the case for this pessimism. Though (...)
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  • Ethics and Imagination.Joy Shim & Shen-yi Liao - forthcoming - In James Harold (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Ethics and Art. Oxford University Press.
    In this chapter, we identify and present predominant debates at the intersection of ethics and imagination. We begin by examining issues on whether our imagination can be constrained by ethical considerations, such as the moral evaluation of imagination, the potential for morality’s constraining our imaginative abilities, and the possibility of moral norms’ governing our imaginings. Then, we present accounts that posit imagination’s integral role in cultivating ethical lives, both through engagements with narrative artworks and in reality. Our final topic of (...)
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  • Imagination, Inference, and Apriority.Antonella Mallozzi - 2021 - In Amy Kind & Christopher Badura (eds.), The Epistemic Uses of Imagination. Routledge.
    Is imagination a source of knowledge? Timothy Williamson has recently argued that our imaginative capacities can yield knowledge of a variety of matters, spanning from everyday practical matters to logic and set theory. Furthermore, imagination for Williamson plays a similar epistemic role in cognitive processes that we would traditionally classify as either a priori or a posteriori, which he takes to indicate that the distinction itself is shallow and epistemologically fruitless. In this chapter, I aim to defend the a priori-a (...)
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