Imagining the Actual

Philosophers' Imprint 21 (17) (2021)
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This paper investigates a capacity I call actuality-oriented imagining, by which we use sensory imagination in a way that's directed at representing the actual world. I argue that this kind of imagining is distinct from other, similar mental states in virtue of its distinctive content determination and success conditions. Actuality-oriented imagining is thus a distinctive cognitive capacity in its own right. Thinking about this capacity reveals that we should resist an intuitive tendency to think of the imagination’s primary function or default mode as representing the non-actual or the fictional. Instead, the imagination is a cognitive faculty that often puts us in touch with the way things are in reality.
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First archival date: 2021-02-09
Latest version: 2 (2021-07-14)
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