Pretense, imagination, and belief: the Single Attitude theory

Philosophical Studies 159 (2):155-179 (2012)
A popular view has it that the mental representations underlying human pretense are not beliefs, but are “belief-like” in important ways. This view typically posits a distinctive cognitive attitude (a “DCA”) called “imagination” that is taken toward the propositions entertained during pretense, along with correspondingly distinct elements of cognitive architecture. This paper argues that the characteristics of pretense motivating such views of imagination can be explained without positing a DCA, or other cognitive architectural features beyond those regulating normal belief and desire. On the present “Single Attitude” account of imagination, propositional imagining just is a form of believing. The Single Attitude account is also distinguished from “metarepresentational” accounts of pretense, which hold that both pretending and recognizing pretense in others require one to have concepts of mental states. It is argued, to the contrary, that pretending and recognizing pretense require neither a DCA nor possession of mental state concepts.
Keywords pretense  imagination  propositional imagination  supposition  pretending  metarepresentation  possible worlds box
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9696-3
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Peter Langland-Hassan (2015). Self-Knowledge and Imagination. Philosophical Explorations 18 (2):226-245.
Peter Langland‐Hassan (2014). What It Is to Pretend. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (1):397-420.
Peter Langland-Hassan (2011). A Puzzle About Visualization. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 10 (2):145-173.

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