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Reasoning with Imagination

In Amy Kind & Christopher Badura (eds.), Epistemic Uses of Imagination. Routledge (2021)

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  1. The Epistemic Imagination Revisited.Arnon Levy - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Recently, various philosophers have argued that we can obtain knowledge via the imagination. In particular, it has been suggested that we can come to know concrete, empirical matters of everyday significance by appropriately imagining relevant scenarios. Arguments for this thesis come in two main varieties: black box reliability arguments and constraints-based arguments. We suggest that both strategies are unsuccessful. Against black-box arguments, we point to evidence from empirical psychology, question a central case-study, and raise concerns about a (claimed) evolutionary rationale (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • Imagination, Metaphysical Modality, and Modal Psychology.Michael Omoge - 2021 - In Christopher Badura & Kind Amy (eds.), Epistemic Uses of Imagination. Routledge. pp. 79-99.
    I develop a psychological account for how it is that we use imagination to metaphysically modalize, i.e., to reach conclusions about metaphysical modality. Specifically, I argue that Nichols and Stich’s (2003) cognitive theory of imagination can be extended to metaphysical modalizing. I then use the extension to explicate philosophical disagreements about whether a scenario is metaphysically possible. Thereafter, I address Nichols’ (2006) objection that psychologizing imagination makes it clear that imagination is unreliable when used to metaphysically modalize. The end result (...)
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  • Imagination Constrained, Imagination Constructed.Christopher Gauker - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    A number of authors have asked what it takes for a course of mental imagery to be epistemically or practically useful. This paper addresses a prior question, namely, the difference between courses of imagination that are realistic and those that are fantastic. One approach, suggested by recent literature concerning the utility of imagery, holds that a course of imagination represents realistically if and only if the course of events represented conforms to certain accepted constraints. Against this it will be argued (...)
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