The sensory component of imagination: The motor theory of imagination as a present-day solution to Sartre's critique

Philosophical Psychology 25 (4):1-18 (2012)
Several recent accounts claim that imagination is a matter of simulating perceptual acts. Although this point of view receives support from both phenomenological and empirical research, I claim that Jean-Paul Sartre's worry formulated in L'imagination (1936) still holds. For a number of reasons, Sartre heavily criticizes theories in which the sensory material of imaginative acts consists in reviving sensory impressions. Based on empirical and philosophical insights, this article explains how simulation theories of imagination can overcome Sartre's critique by paying attention to the motor dimension of imagination. Intending to clarify the status of the sensory in imagination, a motor theory of imagination is presented in which the sensory component of imagination is interpreted in terms of anticipated sensory consequences of preparation for motor action
Keywords Motor  Phenomenology  Imagination  Hyle  Cognitive Science  Anticipation  RECOGNITION  NEURAL BASES  IMAGERY  SIMULATION  PERCEPTION  MOVEMENT  EMPATHY  OTHERS  CONSCIOUSNESS  PAIN  Sartre  Sensory  Simulation
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DOI 10.1080/09515089.2011.622362
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