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  1. Aphantasia and involuntary imagery.Raquel Krempel & Merlin Monzel - 2024 - Consciousness and Cognition 120 (C):103679.
    Aphantasia is a condition that is often characterized as the impaired ability to create voluntary mental images. Aphantasia is assumed to selectively affect voluntary imagery mainly because even though aphantasics report being unable to visualize something at will, many report having visual dreams. We argue that this common characterization of aphantasia is incorrect. Studies on aphantasia are often not clear about whether they are assessing voluntary or involuntary imagery, but some studies show that several forms of involuntary imagery are also (...)
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  • Imaginability as Representability: A Wittgensteinian Approach to Aphantasia.Christian Oliver Scholz - 2023 - Master of Logic Thesis (Mol) Series.
    Aphantasia, i.e., the inability to voluntarily form visual mental images, affects approximately 2 to 5 percent of the population and plays an important role in a more general debate revolving around the role of imagery for our cognition. This thesis investigates aphantasia by means of an interdisciplinary approach, combining insights from contemporary neuroscientific research with historical philosophical arguments, with a specific focus on the later philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein. A new theoretical concept, meta-imagination, is developed and it is argued that (...)
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  • Imagination, Endogenous Attention, and Mental Agency.Tom Cochrane - 2023 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 1:1-21.
    This paper develops a mechanistic account of basic mental agency by identifying similarities between two of its major exemplars: endogenous attention and imagination. Five key similarities are identified: i) that both capacities are driven by currently prioritised goals that are either person-level or apt to become person-level. ii) that both deliver their outputs to the working memory iii) that both range across all and only conceptual contents; iv) that both proceed under the guidance of norms and/or habits; and v) that (...)
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  • Untying the knot: imagination, perception and their neural substrates.Dan Cavedon-Taylor - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7203-7230.
    How tight is the conceptual connection between imagination and perception? A number of philosophers, from the early moderns to present-day predictive processing theorists, tie the knot as tightly as they can, claiming that states of the imagination, i.e. mental imagery, are a proper subset of perceptual experience. This paper labels such a view ‘perceptualism’ about the imagination and supplies new arguments against it. The arguments are based on high-level perceptual content and, distinctly, cognitive penetration. The paper also defuses a recent, (...)
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  • Predictive processing and perception: What does imagining have to do with it?Dan Cavedon-Taylor - 2022 - Consciousness and Cognition 106 (C):103419.
    Predictive processing (PP) accounts of perception are unique not merely in that they postulate a unity between perception and imagination. Rather, they are unique in claiming that perception should be conceptualised in terms of imagination and that the two involve an identity of neural implementation. This paper argues against this postulated unity, on both conceptual and empirical grounds. Conceptually, the manner in which PP theorists link perception and imagination belies an impoverished account of imagery as cloistered from the external world (...)
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  • Mental imagery: pulling the plug on perceptualism.Dan Cavedon-Taylor - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (12):3847-3868.
    What is the relationship between perception and mental imagery? I aim to eliminate an answer that I call perceptualism about mental imagery. Strong perceptualism, defended by Bence Nanay, predictive processing theorists, and several others, claims that imagery is a kind of perceptual state. Weak perceptualism, defended by M. G. F. Martin and Matthew Soteriou, claims that mental imagery is a representation of a perceptual state, a view sometimes called The Dependency Thesis. Strong perceptualism is to be rejected since it misclassifies (...)
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  • The Ineffable as Radical.Laura Silva - 2022 - In Christine Tappolet, Julien Deonna & Fabrice Teroni (eds.), A Tribute to Ronald de Sousa.
    Ronald de Sousa is one of the few analytic philosophers to have explored the ineffability of emotion. Ineffability arises, for de Sousa, from attempts to translate experience, which involves non-conceptual content, into language, which involves conceptual content. As de Sousa himself rightly notes, such a characterization construes all perceptual experience as ineffable and does not explain what might set emotional ineffability apart. I build on de Sousa’s insights regarding what makes emotional ineffability distinctive by highlighting that in the case of (...)
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  • Image/Images: A Debate Between Philosophy and Visual Studies.Alessandro Cavazzana & Francesco Ragazzi (eds.) - 2021 - Venice: Edizioni Ca' Foscari.
    The third issue of the Journal for the Philosophy of Language, Mind and the Arts is centered on a series of questions related to the nature of images. What properties characterize them? Do they exist also in our minds? What relationship do they have with phenomena such as perception, memory, language and interpretation? The authors participating in this issue have been asked to answer these and other questions starting from and in dialogue with the two philosophical perspectives that have most (...)
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  • Aphantasia and Conscious Thought.Preston Lennon - 2023 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind Vol. 3. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    The sensory constraint on conscious thought says that if a thought is phenomenally conscious, its phenomenal properties must be reducible to some sensory phenomenal character. I argue that the burgeoning psychological literature on aphantasia, an impoverishment in the ability to generate mental imagery, provides a counterexample to the sensory constraint. The best explanation of aphantasics’ introspective reports, neuroimaging, and task performance is that some aphantasics have conscious thoughts without sensory mental imagery. This argument against the sensory constraint supports the existence (...)
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  • Amodal completion and relationalism.Bence Nanay - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (8):2537-2551.
    Amodal completion is usually characterized as the representation of those parts of the perceived object that we get no sensory stimulation from. In the case of the visual sense modality, for example, amodal completion is the representation of occluded parts of objects we see. I argue that relationalism about perception, the view that perceptual experience is constituted by the relation to the perceived object, cannot give a coherent account of amodal completion. The relationalist has two options: construe the perceptual relation (...)
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  • Aphantasia, Unsymbolized Thinking and Conscious Thought.Raquel Krempel - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    According to a common view, conscious thoughts necessarily involve quasi-perceptual experiences, or mental images. This is alleged to be the case not only when one entertains conscious thoughts about perceptible things, but also when one thinks about more abstract things. In the case of conscious abstract propositional thoughts, the idea is that they occur in inner speech, which is taken to involve imagery (typically auditory) of words in a natural language. I argue that unsymbolized thinking and total aphantasia cast doubt (...)
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  • Can imagination be unconscious?Amy Kind - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13121-13141.
    Our ordinary conception of imagination takes it to be essentially a conscious phenomenon, and traditionally that’s how it had been treated in the philosophical literature. In fact, this claim had often been taken to be so obvious as not to need any argumentative support. But lately in the philosophical literature on imagination we see increasing support for the view that imagining need not occur consciously. In this paper, I examine the case for unconscious imagination. I’ll consider four different arguments that (...)
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  • Imagining Out of Hope.Steve Humbert-Droz & Juliette Vazard - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    Both lay people and philosophers assume that hoping for something implies imagining it. According to contemporary philosophical accounts of hope, hope involves an element of imagination as input, part, or output of hope. However, there is no systematic view of the interaction between hope and the different processes constituting imagination. In this paper we put forward a view of (i) the kind of imaginings typically triggered by hopeful states, (ii) the nature of the interaction between hope and hopeful imaginings, and (...)
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  • Against the very idea of a perceptual belief.Grace Helton & Bence Nanay - 2023 - Analytic Philosophy 64 (2):93-105.
    The aim of this paper is to argue that there is no unproblematic way of delineating perceptual beliefs from non-perceptual beliefs. The concept of perceptual belief is one of the central concepts not only of philosophy of perception but also of epistemology in a broad foundationalist tradition. Philosophers of perception talk about perceptual belief as the interface between perception and cognition and foundationalist epistemologists understand perceptual justification as a relation between perceptual states and perceptual beliefs. We consider three ways of (...)
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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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  • Aphantasia: In Search of a Theory.Andrea Blomkvist - 2022 - Mind and Language:1-23.
    Though researchers working on congenital aphantasia (henceforth “aphantasia”) agree that this condition involves an impairment in the ability to voluntarily generate visual imagery, disagreement looms large as to which other impairments are exhibited by aphantasic subjects. This article offers the first extensive review of studies on aphantasia, and proposes that aphantasic subjects exhibit a cluster of impairments. It puts forward a novel cognitive theory of aphantasia, building on the constructive episodic simulation hypothesis of memory and imagination. It argues that aphantasia (...)
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