Imagination and affective response

In Jonathan Webber (ed.), Reading Sartre: On Phenomenology and Existentialism. Routledge. pp. 100-117 (2010)
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Abstract

What is the relation between affective states, such as emotions and pleasure, and imagining? Do the latter cause the former, just as perceptual states do? Or are the former merely imagined, along with suitable objects? I consider this issue against the backdrop of Sartre’s theory of imagination, and drawing on his highly illuminating discussion of it. I suggest that, while it is commonly assumed that imaginative states cause affective responses much as do perceptions, the alternatives merit more careful consideration than they are usually given.

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Robert Hopkins
New York University

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