The Meanings of “Imagine” Part II: Attitude and Action

Philosophy Compass 9 (11):791-802 (2014)
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In this Part II, I investigate different approaches to the question of what makes imagining different from belief. I find that the sentiment-based approach of David Hume falls short, as does the teleological approach, once advocated by David Velleman. I then consider whether the inferential properties of beliefs and imaginings may differ. Beliefs, I claim, exhibit an anti-symmetric inferential governance over imaginings: they are the background that makes inference from one imagining to the other possible; the reverse is not true, and this allows us to distinguish the two attitudes. I then go on to consider the action theory of imagining and the role that imaginings play in generating emotion

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Neil Van Leeuwen
Georgia State University


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