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Explaining Imagination

Oxford: Oxford University Press (2020)

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  1. Making imagination even more embodied: imagination, constraint and epistemic relevance.Zuzanna Rucińska & Shaun Gallagher - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):8143-8170.
    This paper considers the epistemic role that embodiment plays in imagining. We focus on two aspects of embodied cognition understood in its strong sense: explicit motoric processes related to performance, and neuronal processes rooted in bodily and action processes, and describe their role in imagining. The paper argues that these two aspects of strongly embodied cognition can play distinctive and positive roles in constraining imagining, thereby complementing Amy Kind's argument for the epistemic relevance of imagination "under constraints" and Magdalena Balcerak (...)
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  • Arnon Levy, Peter Godfrey-Smith (Eds.): The Scientific Imagination: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives: Oxford University Press: Oxford 2020, 344 pp., £55.00 (hardcover), ISBN 9780190212308. [REVIEW]Michael T. Stuart - 2021 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 52 (3):493-499.
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  • Imagination, expectation, and “thoughts entangled in metaphors”.Nathanael Stein - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):9411-9431.
    George Eliot strikingly describes one of her characters as making a mistake because he has gotten his thoughts “entangled in metaphors,” saying that we all do the same. I argue that Eliot is here giving us more than an illuminating description, but drawing our attention to a distinctive kind of mistake—a form of irrationality, in fact—of which metaphor can be an ineliminable part of the correct explanation. Her fictional case helps illuminate both a neglected function of the imagination, and a (...)
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  • Imaginative Resistance in Science.Valentina Savojardo - forthcoming - Foundations of Science:1-19.
    The paper addresses the problem of imaginative resistance in science, that is, why and under what circumstances imagination sometimes resists certain scenarios. In the first part, the paper presents and discusses two accounts concerning the problem and relevant for the main thesis of this study. The first position is that of Gendler, The Architecture of the Imagination: New essays on pretence, possibility and fiction, Oxford University Press, New York, 2006a), The routledge companion to philosophy of literature, Routledge, New York, 2016), (...)
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  • Longings in Limbo: A New Defence of I-Desires.Luke Roelofs - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-25.
    This paper responds to two arguments that have been offered against the positing of ‘i-desires’, imaginative counterparts of desire supposedly involved in fiction, pretence, and mindreading. The Introspection Argument asks why, if there are both i-desires and desires, the distinction is so unfamiliar and hard to draw, unlike the relatively clear distinctions between perception and mental imagery, or belief and belief-like imagining. The Accountability Argument asks how it can make sense to treat merely imaginative states as revealing of someone’s psychology, (...)
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  • Remembering objects.James Openshaw - 2022 - Philosophers' Imprint 22:1–20.
    Conscious recollection, of the kind characterised by sensory mental imagery, is often thought to involve ‘episodically’ recalling experienced events in one’s personal past. One might wonder whether this overlooks distinctive ways in which we sometimes recall ordinary, persisting objects. Of course, one can recall an object by remembering an event in which one encountered it. But are there acts of recall which are distinctively objectual in that they are not about objects in this mediated way (i.e., by way of being (...)
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  • Imagining one experience to be another.Bence Nanay - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13977-13991.
    I can imagine a banana to be a phone receiver. I can also imagine the flapping of my arms to be flying. So it is possible to imagine one thing to be another—at least for some types of ‘things’. I will argue that although it is possible to imagine an object to be another object and it is also possible to imagine an activity to be a different activity, one cannot imagine one’s present sensory experience to be a different sensory (...)
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  • Are We Free to Imagine What We Choose?Daniel Munro & Margot Strohminger - 2021 - Synthese (5-6):1-18.
    It has long been recognized that we have a great deal of freedom to imagine what we choose. This paper explores a thesis—what we call “intentionalism (about the imagination)”—that provides a way of making this evident (if vague) truism precise. According to intentionalism, the contents of your imaginings are simply determined by whatever contents you intend to imagine. Thus, for example, when you visualize a building and intend it to be of King’s College rather than a replica of the college (...)
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  • Why pretense poses a problem for 4E cognition (and how to move forward).Peter Langland-Hassan - 2022 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 21 (5):1003-1021.
    Whether a person is pretending, or not, is a function of their beliefs and intentions. This poses a challenge to 4E accounts of pretense, which typically seek to exclude such cognitive states from their explanations of psychological phenomena. Resulting tensions are explored within three recent accounts of imagination and pretense offered by theorists working in the 4E tradition. A path forward is then charted, through considering ways in which explanations can invoke beliefs and intentions while remaining true to 4E precepts. (...)
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  • What Sort of Imagining Might Remembering Be?Peter Langland-Hassan - 2021 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 7 (2):231-251.
    This essay unites current philosophical thinking on imagination with a burgeoning debate in the philosophy of memory over whether episodic remembering is simply a kind of imagining. So far, this debate has been hampered by a lack of clarity in the notion of imagining at issue. Several options are considered and constructive imagining is identified as the relevant kind. Next, a functionalist account of episodic remembering is defended as a means to establishing two key points: first, one need not defend (...)
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  • Secret charades: reply to Hutto.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2022 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 21 (5):1183-1187.
    In reply to Daniel Hutto’s “Getting Real About Pretense,“ I defend my theory of pretense against his claim that it is subject to counterexamples by clarifying wherein the value of the analysis lies. Then I argue that the central challenge still facing Hutto’s “primacy of practice” approach, as well as other 4E approaches to pretense, is to explain the link between pretense and deception.
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  • What is a Beautiful Experiment?Milena Ivanova - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-19.
    This article starts an engagement on the aesthetics of experiments and offers an account for analysing how aesthetics features in the design, evaluation and reception of experiments. I identify two dimensions of aesthetic evaluation of experiments: design and significance. When it comes to design, a number of qualities, such as simplicity, economy and aptness, are analysed and illustrated with the famous Meselson-Stahl experiment. Beautiful experiments are also regarded to make significant discoveries, but I argue against a narrow construal of experimental (...)
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  • ‘Truth in Fiction’ Reprised.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2022 - British Journal of Aesthetics 62 (2):307-324.
    The paper surveys recent appraisals of David Lewis’s seminal paper on truth in fiction. It examines variations on standard criticisms of Lewis’s account, aiming to show that, if developed as Lewis suggests in his 1983 Postscript A, his proposals on the topic are—as Hanley puts it—‘as good as it gets’. Thus elaborated, Lewis’s account can resist the objections, and it offers a better picture of fictional discourse than recent resurrections of other classic works of the 1970s by Kripke, van Inwagen (...)
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  • Imaginative immersion, regulation, and doxastic mediation.Alon Chasid - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4): 1-43.
    This paper puts forward an account of imaginative immersion. Elaborating on Kendall Walton’s thesis that imagining aims at the fictional truth, it first argues that imaginings are inherently rule- or norm-governed: they are ‘regulated’ by that which is presented as fictionally true. It then shows that an imaginer can follow the rule or norm mandating her to imagine the propositions presented as fictional truths either by acquiring explicit beliefs about how the rule (norm) is to be followed, or directly, without (...)
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  • Lost in Intensity: Is there an empirical solution to the quasi-emotions debate?Steve Humbert-Droz, Amanda Ludmilla Garcia, Vanessa Sennwald, Fabrice Teroni, Julien Deonna, David Sander & Florian Cova - 2020 - Aesthetic Investigations 4 (1):460-482.
    Contrary to the emotions we feel in everyday contexts, the emotions we feel for fictional characters do not seem to require a belief in the existence of their object. This observation has given birth to a famous philosophical paradox (the ‘paradox of fiction’), and has led some philosophers to claim that the emotions we feel for fictional characters are not genuine emotions but rather “quasi-emotions”. Since then, the existence of quasi-emotions has been a hotly debated issue. Recently, philosophers and psychologists (...)
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  • Remembering and Imagining: The Attitudinal Continuity.Peter Langland-Hassan - forthcoming - In Anja Berninger & Íngrid Vendrell Ferran (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on Memory and Imagination. London: Routledge.
    Cats and dogs are the same kind of thing in being mammals, even if cats are not a kind of dog. In the same way, remembering and imagining might be the same kind of mental state, even if remembering is not a kind of imagining. This chapter explores whether episodic remembering, on the one hand, and future and counter-factual directed imagistic imagining, on the other, may be the same kind of mental state in being instances of the same cognitive attitude. (...)
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  • Remembering, Imagining, and Memory Traces: Toward a Continuist Causal Theory.Peter Langland-Hassan - forthcoming - In Christopher McCarroll, Kourken Michaelian & Andre Sant'Anna (eds.), Current Controversies in Philosophy of Memory. Routledge.
    The (dis)continuism debate in the philosophy and cognitive science of memory concerns whether remembering is continuous with episodic future thought and episodic counterfactual thought in being a form of constructive imagining. I argue that settling that dispute will hinge on whether the memory traces (or “engrams”) that support remembering impose arational, perception-like constraints that are too strong for remembering to constitute a kind of constructive imagining. In exploring that question, I articulate two conceptions of memory traces—the replay theory and the (...)
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  • Mental imagery.Nigel J. T. Thomas - 2001 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Mental imagery (varieties of which are sometimes colloquially refered to as “visualizing,” “seeing in the mind's eye,” “hearing in the head,” “imagining the feel of,” etc.) is quasi-perceptual experience; it resembles perceptual experience, but occurs in the absence of the appropriate external stimuli. It is also generally understood to bear intentionality (i.e., mental images are always images of something or other), and thereby to function as a form of mental representation. Traditionally, visual mental imagery, the most discussed variety, was thought (...)
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  • Folk psychology as a theory.Ian Martin Ravenscroft - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Many philosophers and cognitive scientists claim that our everyday or "folk" understanding of mental states constitutes a theory of mind. That theory is widely called "folk psychology" (sometimes "commonsense" psychology). The terms in which folk psychology is couched are the familiar ones of "belief" and "desire", "hunger", "pain" and so forth. According to many theorists, folk psychology plays a central role in our capacity to predict and explain the behavior of ourselves and others. However, the nature and status of folk (...)
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  • The multifaceted role of imagination in science and religion. A critical examination of its epistemic, creative and meaning-making functions.Ingrid Malm Lindberg - 2021 - Dissertation, Uppsala University
    The main purpose of this dissertation is to examine critically and discuss the role of imagination in science and religion, with particular emphasis on its possible epistemic, creative, and meaning-making functions. In order to answer my research questions, I apply theories and concepts from contemporary philosophy of mind on scientific and religious practices. This framework allows me to explore the mental state of imagination, not as an isolated phenomenon but, rather, as one of many mental states that co-exist and interplay (...)
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