Learning to Imagine

British Journal of Aesthetics 62 (1):33-48 (2022)
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Abstract

Underlying much current work in philosophy of imagination is the assumption that imagination is a skill. This assumption seems to entail not only that facility with imagining will vary from one person to another, but also that people can improve their own imaginative capacities and learn to be better imaginers. This paper takes up this issue. After showing why this is properly understood as a philosophical question, I discuss what it means to say that one imagining is better than another and then discuss the kinds of imagination training and techniques that might be employed in an effort to get better at imagining. The discussion of these techniques draws insight from consideration of other skills-based activities, as well as from consideration of the creation of art and our engagement with literature and poetry. Over the course of this discussion, we also gain further insight into the nature of imagination.

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Amy Kind
Claremont McKenna College

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