What Sort of Imagining Might Remembering Be?

Journal of the American Philosophical Association 7 (2):231-251 (2021)
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This essay unites current philosophical thinking on imagination with a burgeoning debate in the philosophy of memory over whether episodic remembering is simply a kind of imagining. So far, this debate has been hampered by a lack of clarity in the notion of imagining at issue. Several options are considered and constructive imagining is identified as the relevant kind. Next, a functionalist account of episodic remembering is defended as a means to establishing two key points: first, one need not defend a factive view of remembering in order to hold that causal connections to past experiences are essential to how rememberings are typed; and, second, current theories that equate remembering with imagining are in fact consistent with a functionalist theory that includes causal connections in its account of what it is to remember. This suggests that remembering is not a kind of imagining and clarifies what it would take to establish the contrary.

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Peter Langland-Hassan
University of Cincinnati


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