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On Choosing What to Imagine

In A. Kind & P. Kung (eds.), Knowledge Through Imagination. Oxford University Press. pp. 61-84 (2016)

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  1. The Epistemic Status of the Imagination.Joshua Myers - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3251-3270.
    Imagination plays a rich epistemic role in our cognitive lives. For example, if I want to learn whether my luggage will fit into the overhead compartment on a plane, I might imagine trying to fit it into the overhead compartment and form a justified belief on the basis of this imagining. But what explains the fact that imagination has the power to justify beliefs, and what is the structure of imaginative justification? In this paper, I answer these questions by arguing (...)
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  • A Common Frame for Formal Imagination.Joan Casas-Roma, M. Elena Rodríguez & Antonia Huertas - 2019 - Minds and Machines 29 (4):603-634.
    In this paper, we review three influential theories of imagination in order to understand how the dynamics of imagination acts could be modeled using formal languages. While reviewing them, we notice that they are not detailed enough to account for all the mechanisms involved in creating and developing imaginary worlds. We claim those theories could be further refined into what we call the Common Frame for Imagination Acts, which defines a framework that can be used to study the dynamics of (...)
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  • Taming the Runabout Imagination Ticket.Francesco Berto - 2018 - Synthese (Suppl 8):2029-2043.
    This research is published within the project ‘The Logic of Conceivability’, funded by the European Research Council, Grant Number 681404.
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  • Conceivability and Possibility: Some Dilemmas for Humeans.Francesco Berto & Tom Schoonen - 2018 - Synthese 195 (6):2697-2715.
    The Humean view that conceivability entails possibility can be criticized via input from cognitive psychology. A mainstream view here has it that there are two candidate codings for mental representations (one of them being, according to some, reducible to the other): the linguistic and the pictorial, the difference between the two consisting in the degree of arbitrariness of the representation relation. If the conceivability of P at issue for Humeans involves the having of a linguistic mental representation, then it is (...)
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  • Are Gettier Cases Disturbing?Peter Hawke & Tom Schoonen - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (5):1503-1527.
    We examine a prominent naturalistic line on the method of cases, exemplified by Timothy Williamson and Edouard Machery: MoC is given a fallibilist and non-exceptionalist treatment, accommodating moderate modal skepticism. But Gettier cases are in dispute: Williamson takes them to induce substantive philosophical knowledge; Machery claims that the ambitious use of MoC should be abandoned entirely. We defend an intermediate position. We offer an internal critique of Macherian pessimism about Gettier cases. Most crucially, we argue that Gettier cases needn’t exhibit (...)
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  • Explaining Imagination.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2020 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    ​Imagination will remain a mystery—we will not be able to explain imagination—until we can break it into parts we already understand. Explaining Imagination is a guidebook for doing just that, where the parts are other ordinary mental states like beliefs, desires, judgments, and decisions. In different combinations and contexts, these states constitute cases of imagining. This reductive approach to imagination is at direct odds with the current orthodoxy, according to which imagination is a sui generis mental state or process—one with (...)
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  • Impossible Worlds.Franz Berto & Mark Jago - 2013 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    We need to understand the impossible. Francesco Berto and Mark Jago start by considering what the concepts of meaning, information, knowledge, belief, fiction, conditionality, and counterfactual supposition have in common. They are all concepts which divide the world up more finely than logic does. Logically equivalent sentences may carry different meanings and information and may differ in how they're believed. Fictions can be inconsistent yet meaningful. We can suppose impossible things without collapsing into total incoherence. Yet for the leading philosophical (...)
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  • Remembering the Past and Imagining the Actual.Daniel Munro - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (2).
    Recently, a view I refer to as “hypothetical continuism” has garnered some favour among philosophers, based largely on empirical research showing substantial neurocognitive overlaps between episodic memory and imagination. According to this view, episodically remembering past events is the same kind of cognitive process as sensorily imagining future and counterfactual events. In this paper, I first argue that hypothetical continuism is false, on the basis of substantive epistemic asymmetries between episodic memory and the relevant kinds of imagination. However, I then (...)
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  • Creative Imagining as Practical Knowing: An Akbariyya Account.Reza Hadisi - 2021 - Res Philosophica 98 (s):181-204.
    I argue that practical knowledge can be understood as constituted by a kind of imagining. In particular, it is the knowledge of what I am doing when that knowledge is represented via extramental imagination. Two results follow. First, on this account, we can do justice both to the cognitive character and the practical character of practical knowledge. And second, we can identify a condition under which imagination becomes factive, and thus a source of ob-jective evidence. I develop this view by (...)
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  • Creativity.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2020 - In Explaining Imagination. Oxford: pp. 262-296.
    Comparatively easy questions we might ask about creativity are distinguished from the hard question of explaining transformative creativity. Many have focused on the easy questions, offering no reason to think that the imagining relied upon in creative cognition cannot be reduced to more basic folk psychological states. The relevance of associative thought processes to songwriting is then explored as a means for understanding the nature of transformative creativity. Productive artificial neural networks—known as generative antagonistic networks (GANs)—are a recent example of (...)
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  • Are We Free to Imagine What We Choose?Daniel Munro & Margot Strohminger - 2021 - Synthese: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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  • Imagination, Expectation, and “Thoughts Entangled in Metaphors”.Nathanael Stein - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    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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  • Superexplanations for Counterfactual Knowledge.Antonella Mallozzi - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1315-1337.
    I discuss several problems for Williamson’s counterfactual-theory of modal knowledge and argue that they have a common source, in that the theory neglects to elucidate the proper constraints on modal reasoning. Williamson puts forward an empirical hypothesis that rests on the role of counterfactual reasoning for modal knowledge. But he overlooks central questions of normative modal epistemology. In order for counterfactual reasoning to yield correct beliefs about modality, it needs to be suitably constrained. I argue that what is needed is, (...)
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  • On the Difference Between Realistic and Fantastic Imagining.Christopher Gauker - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    When we imaginatively picture what might happen, we may take what we imagine to be either realistic or fantastic. A wine glass falling to the floor and shattering is realistic. A wine glass falling and morphing into a bird and flying away is fantastic. What does the distinction consist in? Two important necessary conditions are here defined. The first is a condition on the realistic representation of spatial configuration, grounded in an account of the imagistic representation of spatial configuration. The (...)
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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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  • There Are No I-Beliefs or I-Desires at Work in Fiction Consumption and This is Why.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2020 - In Explaining Imagination. Oxford: pp. 210-233.
    Currie’s (2010) argument that “i-desires” must be posited to explain our responses to fiction is critically discussed. It is argued that beliefs and desires featuring ‘in the fiction’ operators—and not sui generis imaginings (or "i-beliefs" or "i-desires")—are the crucial states involved in generating fiction-directed affect. A defense of the “Operator Claim” is mounted, according to which ‘in the fiction’ operators would be also be required within fiction-directed sui generis imaginings (or "i-beliefs" and "i-desires"), were there such. Once we appreciate that (...)
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  • The Ancient Quarrel Between Art and Philosophy in Contemporary Exhibitions of Visual Art.Jennifer A. McMahon - 2019 - Curator: The Museum Journal 62 (1):7-17.
    At a time when professional art criticism is on the wane, the ancient quarrel between art and philosophy demands fresh answers. Professional art criticism provided a basis upon which to distinguish apt experiences of art from the idiosyncratic. However, currently the kind of narratives from which critics once drew are underplayed or discarded in contemporary exhibition design where the visual arts are concerned. This leaves open the possibility that art operates either as mere stimulant to private reverie or, in the (...)
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  • Internalism and the Nature of Justification.Jonathan Egeland Harouny - 2020 - Dissertation, Stockholm University
    There are many important dimensions of epistemic evaluation, one of which is justification. We don’t just evaluate beliefs for truth, reliability, accuracy, and knowledge, but also for justification. However, in the epistemological literature, there is much disagreement about the nature of justification and how it should be understood. One of the controversies that has separated the contemporary epistemological discourse into two opposing camps has to do with the internalism-externalism distinction. Whereas internalists defend certain core assumptions about justification from the pre-Gettier (...)
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  • Voluntary Imagination: A Fine-Grained Analysis.Ilaria Canavotto, Francesco Berto & Alessandro Giordani - 2020 - Review of Symbolic Logic:1-26.
    We study imagination as reality-oriented mental simulation : the activity of simulating nonactual scenarios in one’s mind, to investigate what would happen if they were realized. Three connected questions concerning ROMS are: What is the logic, if there is one, of such an activity? How can we gain new knowledge via it? What is voluntary in it and what is not? We address them by building a list of core features of imagination as ROMS, drawing on research in cognitive psychology (...)
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  • Can Imagination Give Rise to Knowledge?Madeleine Hyde - 2021 - Dissertation, Stockholm University
    My thesis centres on the question of whether imaginative states can give rise to knowledge - including whether, and the extent to which, imaginative states can justify beliefs. Across seven chapters, I answer that imaginative states can indeed give rise to knowledge. The first and final chapters introduce and summarise the thesis. In the second chapter, I ask both what different cases of imagining have in common and what sets them apart from other kinds of mental states. In the third (...)
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  • A Common Frame for Formal Imagination.Joan Casas-Roma, M. Elena Rodríguez & Antonia Huertas - 2019 - Minds and Machines 29 (4):603-634.
    In this paper, we review three influential theories of imagination in order to understand how the dynamics of imagination acts could be modeled using formal languages. While reviewing them, we notice that they are not detailed enough to account for all the mechanisms involved in creating and developing imaginary worlds. We claim those theories could be further refined into what we call the Common Frame for Imagination Acts, which defines a framework that can be used to study the dynamics of (...)
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  • The Logic of Imaginary Scenarios.Joan Casas-Roma, Antonia Huertas & M. Elena Rodríguez - 2020 - Logic Journal of the IGPL 28 (3):363-388.
    Imagining is something we use everyday in our lives and in a wide variety of ways. In spite of the amount of works devoted to its study from both psychology and philosophy, there are only a few formal systems capable of modelling it; besides, almost all of those systems are static, in the sense that their models are initially predefined, and they fail to capture the dynamic process behind the creation of new imaginary scenarios. In this work, we review some (...)
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  • The imagination model of implicit bias.Anna Welpinghus - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1611-1633.
    We can understand implicit bias as a person’s disposition to evaluate members of a social group in a less favorable light than members of another social group, without intending to do so. If we understand it this way, we should not presuppose a one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how implicit cognitive states lead to skewed evaluations of other people. The focus of this paper is on implicit bias in considered decisions. It is argued that we have good reasons to (...)
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  • There is Something About the Image: A Defence of the Two-Component View of Imagination.Uku Tooming - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (1):121-139.
    According to the two-component view of sensory imagination, imaginative states combine qualitative and assigned content. Qualitative content is the imagistic component of the imaginative state and is provided by a quasi-perceptual image; assigned content has a language-like structure. Recently, such a two-component view has been criticized by Daniel Hutto and Nicholas Wiltsher, both of whom have argued that postulating two contents is unnecessary for explaining how imagination represents. In this paper, I will defend the two-component theory by arguing that it (...)
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