A classic and fraught question in the philosophy of film is this: when you watch a film, do you experience yourself in the world of the film, observing the scenes? In this paper, we argue that this subject of film experience is sometimes a mere impersonal viewpoint, sometimes a first-personal but unindexed subject, and sometimes a particular, indexed subject such as the viewer herself or a character in the film. We first argue for subject pluralism: there is no single answer (...) to the question of what kind of subjectivity, if any, is mandated across film sequences. Then, we defend unindexed subjectivity: at least sometimes, films mandate an experience that is first-personal but not tied to any particular person, not even to the viewer. Taken together, these two theses allow us to see film experience as more varied than previously appreciated and to bridge in a novel way the cognition of film with the exercise of other imaginative capacities, such as mindreading and episodic recollecting. (shrink)
Imagination plays an important role in depiction. In this chapter, I focus on photography and I discuss the role imagination plays in photographic depiction. I suggest to follow a broadly Waltonian view, but I also depart from it in several places. I start by discussing a general feature of the relation of depiction, namely the fact that it is a ternary relation which always involves "something external." I then turn my attention to Walton's view, where this third relatum of the (...) relation of depiction is largely analyzed in terms of the role imagination plays in depiction. I consider the objection to his view that not all cases of depiction involve imagination – for instance, documentary photographs – as well as Walton's own strategy to face this objection, and I argue that it is partly adequate and partly wrong. As we will see, first, it is an unnecessary mistake to insist too heavily on the fact that photographs are produced in a mechanic way (as opposed to, say, paintings), and second, the notion of "imagining-seeing," as it is articulated by Walton, is perhaps too strong and does not entirely do justice to the external character of the role imagination plays here. I illustrate the view I want to advocate for by a series of different cases, where the nature of the role that imagination, knowledge/belief, and inference play in depiction will become apparent. (shrink)
The current debate on literary cognitivism in the philosophy of fiction typically assumes that we can rigorously distinguish between fictional and factual, and focuses on the question of whether and how works of fiction can impart propositional knowledge to the reader. In this paper we suggest that this way of framing the debate may be problematic. We argue that works of fiction almost inevitably include a reference to the real world and that – contrary to what is usually assumed – (...) the exchange between fiction and reality is vivid as well as potentially fruitful. We shed a new light on these complex dynamics by building on the metaphors of trade exchange and smuggling between the two worlds. While the current debate exclusively focuses on cognitively relevant goods that “officially” cross the border through “customs”, as it were, we show that exchanges between fiction and reality run deeper. Indeed, as we show, a substantial part of the cognitive impact that we derive from fiction goes “under the table” and is “smuggled” from fiction to reality. As such, it bypasses the audience’s conscious control, which in turn explains the manipulative force that fiction can exert. Smuggling takes place when cognitively relevant contents are passed on to the reader in subliminal ways, as it happens when they imprint implicit biases or prejudices, shift perspectives or subtly modify habits or patterns of behavior. By elaborating on the metaphors of trade exchange and smuggling, we aim at presenting a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the relations between fiction and reality and on the impact that imagination has on our real-world beliefs. (shrink)
This chapter revisits three common ideas about how consciousness works when we read fiction. Firstly, I contest the notion that the reading consciousness is a container of sorts, containing a circumscribed amount of textual stimulus. Secondly, I argue against the view that readers abstract their personal concerns away in reading, and that they do so with benefit. Thirdly, I show how the reading consciousness encompasses rather than excludes the physical situation and environment of reading. For each idea revisited, I discuss (...) practical implications for how reading could be taught, assessed, and staged in educational settings. (shrink)
Thinking About Stories is a fun and thought-provoking introduction to philosophical questions about narrative fiction in its many forms, from highbrow literature to pulp fiction to the latest shows on Netflix. Written by philosophers Samuel Lebens and Tatjana von Solodkoff, it engages with fundamental questions about fiction, like: What is it? What does it give us? Does a story need a narrator? And why do sad stories make us cry if we know they aren’t real? The format of the book (...) emulates a lively, verbal exchange: each chapter has only one author while the other appears spontaneously in pop-up boxes in the text along the way, raising questions and voicing criticisms, and inviting responses from their co-author. This unique format allows readers to feel like they are a part of the conversation about the philosophical foundations of some of the fictions in their own lives. (shrink)
A sensibility is, on a rough first pass, an emotional orientation to the world. It shapes how things appear to us, evaluatively speaking. By transfiguring things’ evaluative appearances, a change in sensibility can profoundly alter one’s overall experience of the world. I argue that some forms of sensibility change entail (1) risking one’s knowledge of what experiences imbued with one’s prior sensibility were like, and (2) surrendering one’s grasp on the intelligibility of one’s prior emotional apprehensions. These costs have consequences (...) for Laurie Paul’s ‘problem of transformative experience.’ Paul has argued that when we are poised to become someone new, our inexperience generates problems for authentic choice about our own futures. By reckoning with the epistemic losses involved in sensibility change, I show that this problem must not be confined to novel transformations. Prior experience does not guarantee the knowledge or understanding necessary for choosing authentically (in Paul’s sense). If the problem Paul highlights is indeed a problem _at all,_ then, it is a still more pervasive and intractable one than it has been taken to be. (shrink)
What role do imaginary games have in story-telling? Why do fiction authors outline the rules of a game that the reader will never watch or play? Combining perspectives from philosophy, literature and game studies, this book provides the first in-depth investigation into the significance of games in fictional worlds. With examples from contemporary cinema and literature, from The Hunger Games to the science fiction of Iain M. Banks, Stefano Gualeni and Riccardo Fassone introduce four key functions that different types of (...) imaginary games have in worldbuilding. First, fictional games can emphasize the dominant values and ideologies of the fictional society they belong to. Second, some games function as critical, utopian tools, inspiring shifts in the thinking and political orientation of the fictional characters. Third, imaginary games, especially those with a magical component, are conducive to the transcendence of a particular form of being, such as the overcoming of human corporeality. And fourth, fictional games can deceptively blur the boundaries between the contingency of play and the irrevocable seriousness of "real life", either camouflaging life as a game or disguising a game as something with more permanent consequences. With illustrations in every chapter, bringing the imaginary games to life, Gualeni and Fassone creatively inspire us to consider fictional games anew: not as moments of playful reprieve in a storyline, but as significant and multi-layered rhetorical devices. (shrink)
In this chapter, we identify and present predominant debates at the intersection of ethics and imagination. We begin by examining issues on whether our imagination can be constrained by ethical considerations, such as the moral evaluation of imagination, the potential for morality’s constraining our imaginative abilities, and the possibility of moral norms’ governing our imaginings. Then, we present accounts that posit imagination’s integral role in cultivating ethical lives, both through engagements with narrative artworks and in reality. Our final topic of (...) consideration focuses on the possibility of imagination constituting or constructing new ethical or political frameworks. (shrink)
I demonstrate that analogies, both explicit and implicit, between Wittgenstein’s discussions of rituals, aesthetics, and aspect-perception, have important payoffs in terms of understanding his notion of a “surveyable representation” (übersichtliche Darstellung) as it applies to phenomena that are not exclusively grammatical in nature. In particular, I argue that a surveyable representation of certain anthropological and aesthetic facts allows us to see, qua form of aspect-perception, internal relations and formal connections, so that the inner nature of a ritual or the solution (...) of an aesthetic puzzle is exhibited. This particular form of seeing both explains why Wittgenstein thought that hypothetical explanations about the origins of a ritual are irrelevant to appreciating its meaning and elucidates his understanding of rituals, which involves seeing “internal relations” and “formal connections.” The upshots of the account for work in anthropology are discussed. (shrink)
Anti-cognitivism is best understood as a challenge to explain how works of fictional narrative can add to our worldly knowledge. One way to respond to this challenge is to argue that works of fictional narrative add to our knowledge by inviting us to explore, in the imagination, the perspectives or points of view of others. In the present paper, I distinguish two readings of this thesis that reflect two very different conceptions of “perspective”: a first understanding focuses on what the (...) world looks like from a subjective point of view. Within this framework, we can distinguish approaches that focus on the subjective character of experience from others that explore the nature of subjectivity. I will argue that both strands can be successful only if they acknowledge the de se character of imagining. The second conception understands perspective as a method of representing. To illustrate it, I will look back to the invention of linear perspective in Renaissance painting. I will argue that the definition of perspective as a rule-guided method or technique can shed new light on the thesis that works of narrative fiction are particularly suited to display other perspectives. (shrink)
Underlying much current work in philosophy of imagination is the assumption that imagination is a skill. This assumption seems to entail not only that facility with imagining will vary from one person to another, but also that people can improve their own imaginative capacities and learn to be better imaginers. This paper takes up this issue. After showing why this is properly understood as a philosophical question, I discuss what it means to say that one imagining is better than another (...) and then discuss the kinds of imagination training and techniques that might be employed in an effort to get better at imagining. The discussion of these techniques draws insight from consideration of other skills-based activities, as well as from consideration of the creation of art and our engagement with literature and poetry. Over the course of this discussion, we also gain further insight into the nature of imagination. (shrink)
Traditionally, theorists suggested that imaginative resistance is limited to morally repugnant claims. More recently, theorists have argued that the phenomenon of imaginative resistance is wider in scope, extending to descriptive claims. On both sides, though, theorists have focused on cases where imaginative resistance goes right, tracking something that is wrong with the story—that it is morally repugnant, or conceptually contradictory. I use a rarely cited discussion from Kant to argue that imaginative resistance can also occur when something goes wrong with (...) the reader—namely, when a reader imports their own biases into the story, and resists a descriptive claim as a result. In identifying this new class of claims that can meet imaginative resistance, Kant presses the question: when should we cultivate imaginative resistance and when should we fight it? (shrink)
We might wonder whether there is a difference between experiencing an artwork and simply daydreaming. If the latter, would it be a matter of art communicating something or simply providing a backdrop for personal reverie? According to some influential key texts in philosophy, there is a difference. And it matters because our capacity for communicating the kind of thing art communicates, is a capacity linked to the possibility of not feeling alienated from the world and each other. In this chapter (...) we focus on The weather project, which was a site specific installation Olafur Eliasson created at the Tate Modern in 2003. And to consider how this artwork communicates, we adopt a key concept from Immanuel Kant’s aesthetic theory: “aesthetic ideas”. (shrink)
The hardcover version of the book Astrophotography: Concepts and Flows focuses only on the semiotics of art other than any technicalities covered in the Kindle eBook and paperback versions. With the arrangements in the concept of art and nuclear chemistry in its ecological terms conveyed in the meanings in art, the book is a selected series of the artworks in the photographic and installation art.
Presenting an Open Peer Commentary on “In Maturana’s Wake: The Biology of Cognition’s Legacy and its Prospects” by Randall Whitaker, the article suggests that engaging with Maturana's biology of cognition in the context of design is a form of practice rather than application. Maturana's biology of cognition, the article argues, can be conceived of as initiating an educational process that supports agents to act “from within” rather than “from without.”.
Mind-wandering seems to be paradigmatically unintentional. However, experimental findings have yielded the paradoxical result that mind-wandering can also be intentional. In this paper, we first present the paradox of intentional mind-wandering and then explain intentional mind-wandering as the intentional omission to control one’s own thoughts. Finally, we present the surrealist method for artistic production to illustrate how intentional omission of control over thoughts can be deployed towards creative endeavors.
Actor Paul Giamatti and philosopher Stephen Asma collaborate to describe the imagination (phantasia) as a form of embodied cognition. They explore the actor's ability to replicate embodied affective states and communicate those to audiences that are capable of catching (via emotional contagion) those affective states. The role of social affordances in imaginative work is explored. Finally, the role of imagination in political conspiracy thinking is considered.
Imaginative resistance refers to cases in which one’s otherwise flexible imaginative capacity is constrained by an unwillingness or inability to imaginatively engage with a given claim. In three studies, we explored which specific imaginative demands engender resistance when imagining morally deviant worlds and whether individual differences in emotion predict the degree of this resistance. In Study 1 (N = 176), participants resisted the notion that harmful actions could be morally acceptable in the world of a narrative regardless of the author’s (...) claims about these actions but did not resist imagining that a perpetrator of harm could believe their actions to be morally acceptable. In Study 2 (N = 167) we replicated the findings of Study 1 and showed that imaginative resistance is greatest among participants who experience more negative affect in response to imagining harm and are lower in either trait anxiety or trait psychopathy. In Study 3 (N = 210) we show that this is the case even when the harms assessed include both low-severity (i.e., emotional harm) and high-severity (i.e., killing) cases. Thus, people’s moral beliefs constrain their ability to imagine hypothetical moral alternatives, although this ability systematically varies on the basis of stable individual differences in emotion. (shrink)
This paper explores the sense in which correctness applies to belief-like imaginings. It begins by establishing that when we imagine, we ‘direct’ our imaginings at a certain imaginary world, taking the propositions we imagine to be assessed for truth in that world. It then examines the relation between belief-like imagining and positing truths in an imaginary world. Rejecting the claim that correctness, in the literal sense, is applicable to imaginings, it shows that the imaginer takes on, vis-à-vis the imaginary world, (...) the first-person perspective of a believer. Imaginings, it concludes, ‘mimic’ beliefs with respect to the property of being correct or incorrect by virtue of having true or false content. (shrink)
This paper puts forward an account of imaginative immersion. Elaborating on Kendall Walton’s thesis that imagining aims at the fictional truth, it first argues that imaginings are inherently rule- or norm-governed: they are ‘regulated’ by that which is presented as fictionally true. It then shows that an imaginer can follow the rule or norm mandating her to imagine the propositions presented as fictional truths either by acquiring explicit beliefs about how the rule (norm) is to be followed, or directly, without (...) acquiring such beliefs. It proceeds to argue that to the extent that an imaginer follows this rule (norm) without holding such beliefs, she is more immersed in her imaginings. The general idea is that immersion in an activity is a matter of following rules or norms that apply to that activity without explicitly thinking about how to follow them, that is, without ‘doxastic mediation.’ Lastly, the paper shows that this thesis can explain various features associated with imaginative immersion, such as the sort of attentiveness it involves, the emotional response it generates, and its relation to spoilers. (shrink)
This article focuses on the conceptual relationship between awe and the experience of the sublime. I argue that the experience of the sublime is best conceived as a species of awe, namely, as aesthetic awe. I support this conclusion by considering the prominent conceptual relations between awe and the experience of the sublime, showing that all of the options except the proposed one suffer from serious shortcomings. In maintaining that the experience of the sublime is best conceived as aesthetic awe, (...) I draw from historical theories of the sublime as well as recent work in empirical psychology. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Faith for Kierkegaard is ‘beyond’ reason in some senses but not others. Faith is more specific and more subjective than concepts. On the other hand, Kant claims it is the faculty of reason that motivates us to make sense of anything and enables us to take something teleologically as a task, including faith. I begin from Kant’s account of the artistic genius to show how the faculties of imagination and understanding are related for Kant and how Kierkegaard’s description of (...) faith as a synthesis relies on the teleological structures established by Kant. While imagination can overwhelm understanding in works of artistic genius, a complex harmony nevertheless emerges that depends on the viewer (i.e. is ‘subjective’) but originates in the work. The free play between imagination and understanding in Kantian aesthetic judgments offers a way in which faith and understanding can be in tension for Kierkegaard without there being an absolute boundary that leaves reason behind. (shrink)
Our love for art is a compound byproduct of four different evolutionary events which attached reward to conscious experience itself, to the direction of attention to significant items in consciousness, to representations of scenarios in the brain's default mode network, and to the experience of novel stimuli. Aesthetic experiences contain varying amounts of these rewards, which helps to explain their diversity.
This book challenges the widespread view of Kierkegaard’s idiosyncratic and predominantly religious position on mimesis. -/- Taking mimesis as a crucial conceptual point of reference in reading Kierkegaard, this book offers a nuanced understanding of the relation between aesthetics and religion in his thought. Kaftanski shows how Kierkegaard's dialectical-existential reading of mimesis interlaces aesthetic and religious themes, including the familiar core concepts of imitation, repetition, and admiration as well as the newly arisen notions of affectivity, contagion, and crowd behavior. Kierkegaard’s (...) enduring relevance to the malaises of our own day is firmly established by his classic concern for the meaning of human life informed by reflective meditation on the mimeticorigins of the contemporary age. -/- Kierkegaard, Mimesis, and Modernity will be of interest to scholars and advanced students working on Kierkegaard, Continental philosophy, the history of aesthetics, and critical and religious studies. (shrink)
Nostalgia and food are intertwined universals in human experience. All of us have experienced nostalgia centered on food, and all of us have experienced food infused with nostalgia. To explore the links between nostalgia and food, I start with a rough taxonomy of nostalgic foods, and illustrate it with examples. Despite their diversity, I argue that there is a psychological commonality to experiencing nostalgic foods of all kinds: imagination. On my account, imagination is the key to understanding the cognitive, conative, (...) affective, and perceptual aspects of experiencing nostalgic foods. In turn, the recognition of imagination’s centrality in experiencing nostalgic foods reveals how food can produce aesthetic experiences comparable to those produced by literature and painting. (shrink)
Challenging existing methodological conceptions of the analytic approach to aesthetics, Jukka Mikkonen brings together philosophy, literary studies and cognitive psychology to offer a new theory on the cognitive value of reading fiction. -/- Philosophy, Literature and Understanding defends the epistemic significance of narratives, arguing that it should be explained in terms of understanding rather than knowledge. Mikkonen formulates understanding as a cognitive process, which he connects to narrative imagining in order to assert that narrative is a central tool for communicating (...) understanding. Demonstrating the effects that literary works have on their readers, he examines academic critical analysis, responses of the reading public and nonfictional writings that include autobiographical testimony to their writer's influences and attitudes to life. In doing so, he provides empirical evidence of the cognitive benefits of literature and of how readers demonstrate the growth of their understanding. -/- By drawing on the written testimony of the reader, this book is an important intervention into debates on the value of literature that incorporates understanding in new and imaginative ways. (shrink)
Inside Out develops novel cinematic means for representing memory, emotion and imagination, their interior relationships and their social expression. Its unique animated language both playfully represents pre-teenage metacognition, and is itself a manner of metacognitive interrogation. Inside Out motivates this language to ask two questions: an explicit question regarding the social function of sadness, and a more implicit question regarding how one can identify agency, and thereby a sense of developing selfhood, between one’s memories, emotions, facets of personality, and future-thinking (...) imagination. Both the complexity of the language Inside Out develops to ask these questions, and the complicated answers the film provides, ultimately serve as a manner of recognition of the effortfulness of finding one’s place in the world. This article talks sequentially through the complex representative systems Inside Out advances in order to pay homage to the ways in which metacognitive cinema – as well as discussions and hermeneutic readings around that cinema – can make viewers feel recognised for invisible, internal labour that is existentially difficult to share due to its very interiority; an interiority that is reconstructed in imaginative processes such as autobiographical reminiscence, and filmic animation. (shrink)
This paper argues that Kant endorses a distinction between rational and natural sympathy, and it presents an interpretation of rational sympathy as a power of voluntarya posterioriproductive imagination. In rational sympathy we draw on the imagination’s voluntary powers (a) to subjectively unify the contents of intuition, in order to imaginatively put ourselves in others’ places, and (b) to associate imagined intuitional contents with the concepts others use to convey their feelings, in such a way that those contents prompt feelings in (...) us that are like their feelings. (shrink)
This chapter explores insights concerning the relations among imagination, imagined selves, and knowledge of one’s own self that are to be found in Fernando Pessoa’s The Book of Disquiet. The insights are explored via close reading of the text and comparison with contemporaries of Pessoa. First, a tempting account of the importance of imagination in The Book of Disquiet is set out. On this reading, Pessoa is immersed in miasmatic boredom, but able to temporarily rise above it through the restorative (...) powers of escapist imagination. But, it is suggested, Pessoa neither enjoys his prolific imaginings, nor returns from them restored. It is argued that Pessoa’s disquiet owes to failures of imagination; the book presents a sharp contrast between Pessoa’s keen awareness of the importance of a successful, active imaginative life, and his failure to maintain such a thing. It is further argued that these failures point us towards a better account of imagination’s importance to Pessoa, an account that both prefigures and goes beyond Sartre’s ideas about the relations between nothingness, imagination, and self-consciousness. (shrink)
Theories about the nature and function of philosophical imagination depend on our understanding of what kind of universe we inhabit. Some theories are compelling if the universe is meaningful as a whole, but they make no sense if it is not. Raymond C. Barfield discusses conditions that would be necessary if the universe is meaningful as a whole, and then develops a theory of philosophical imagination in light of that starting place. The theory moves toward the conclusion that if the (...) universe is meaningful as a whole, the concept of the analogia entis, the analogy of being, illuminates philosophical imagination in a way that changes our understanding of its function and potential, along with the value of its discoveries through the things it creates. (shrink)
I argue for the unity of imagination in two prima facie diverse contexts: experiences of beauty and achievements of understanding. I develop my argument in three steps. First, I begin by describing a type of aesthetic experience that is grounded in a set of imaginative activities on the part of the person having the experience. Second, I argue that the same set of imaginative activities that grounds this type of aesthetic experience also contributes to achievements of understanding. Third, I show (...) that my unified account of imagination has important implications: it sheds light on two puzzling phenomena, the aesthetic value of science and the cognitive value of art. (shrink)
Contrary to the emotions we feel in everyday contexts, the emotions we feel for fictional characters do not seem to require a belief in the existence of their object. This observation has given birth to a famous philosophical paradox (the ‘paradox of fiction’), and has led some philosophers to claim that the emotions we feel for fictional characters are not genuine emotions but rather “quasi-emotions”. Since then, the existence of quasi-emotions has been a hotly debated issue. Recently, philosophers and psychologists (...) have proposed to solve this debate by using empirical methods and experimentally studying differences between ‘real’ and ‘fictional’ emotions. In this paper, our goal is to assess the success of these attempts. We begin by surveying the existing empirical literature and stressing the methodological problems that plague most studies that might seem relevant to the debate, before focusing on recent studies that avoid this pitfall. We then argue that, due to conceptual problems, these studies fail to be relevant to the philosophical debate and emphasize new directions for future empirical research on the topic. (shrink)
The chapter considers the “paradox of fiction,” understood as the claim that it is in some sense irrational or inappropriate to respond emotionally to mere fictions. Several theorists have held that special features of imagination, or other “arational” mental reflexes, play a role in its resolution. I argue, to the contrary, that imagination need not enter into the solution, and that the paradox can be resolved in a way that shows our responses to fictions to be reasonable and warranted, even (...) if our emotional reactions to fiction are caused by beliefs and desires. Coming to terms with the paradox requires both properly understanding the “rug-pull” structure of the examples used to motivate it, and appreciating the specific emotional norms relevant to fiction appreciation. Related proposals by Livingston & Mele (1997) and Gilmore (2011) are discussed; their relevance to and coherence with the present account are explained. [This is Chapter 11 of Explaining Imagination.]. (shrink)
Is there a role for aesthetic judgements in science? One aspect of scientific practice, the use of thought experiments, has a clear aesthetic dimension. Thought experiments are creatively produced artefacts that are designed to engage the imagination. Comparisons have been made between scientific (and philosophical) thought experiments and other aesthetically appreciated objects. In particular, thought experiments are said to share qualities with literary fiction as they invite us to imagine a fictional scenario and often have a narrative form (Elgin 2014). (...) But philosophical discussions of aesthetics in science have focused mainly on the epistemic role of beauty and elegance when it comes to theories and mathematical proofs, and thought experiments have been widely overlooked. My aim in this chapter is to address how the aesthetic choices scientists make in the design of a thought experiment contribute to its function: to communicate, convince, or explain a theory or phenomenon. A key issue is whether any aesthetic features in science provide anything beyond catching our attention, or are at best, a mere heuristic aid. I respond to accounts that argue this way and show how formulation is important in scientific thought experiments and, similarly to literary fictions, there is more than one way of interpreting a thought experiment scenario. I end by considering which literary examples are most appropriate when making comparisons with thought experiments. As a result, the difference between representations in art and science raised in current discussions is not as stark as it has been made out to be, and science is a more heterogeneous practice than has been allowed. Part of the value of thought experiments in scientific practice includes the qualities they share with literary works. (shrink)
A lo largo de este libro se ofrece una interpretación novedosa y sugerente del pensamiento de David Hume y del Quijote, leído y citado por aquél, siendo una obra muy influyente en la Inglaterra de su tiempo. El autor pretende mostrar que la influencia del Quijote en el pensamiento de Hume es posible, probable y plausible, para lo cual ofrece diversos argumentos. Desarrolla su interpretación mostrando que un fragmento extraído del Quijote es indispensable para la postulación del criterio del gusto (...) en la teoría estética de Hume. Asimismo, muestra cómo a partir de los elementos de la Ciencia de la naturaleza humana y en especial del concepto de imaginación es posible realizar una interpretación coherente del Quijote, en donde se sugiere que la relación entre Cervantes y Hume va más allá del ámbito de la estética. (shrink)
Safe-by-Design (SBD) frameworks for the development of emerging technologies have become an ever more popular means by which scholars argue that transformative emerging technologies can safely incorporate human values. One such popular SBD methodology is called Value Sensitive Design (VSD). A central tenet of this design methodology is to investigate stakeholder values and design those values into technologies during early stage research and development (R&D). To accomplish this, the VSD framework mandates that designers consult the philosophical and ethical literature to (...) best determine how to weigh moral trade-offs. However, the VSD framework also concedes the universalism of moral values, particularly the values of freedom, autonomy, equality trust and privacy justice. This paper argues that the VSD methodology, particularly applied to nano-bio-info-cogno (NBIC) technologies, has an insufficient grounding for the determination of moral values. As such, an exploration of the value-investigations of VSD are deconstructed to illustrate both its strengths and weaknesses. This paper also provides possible modalities for the strengthening of the VSD methodology, particularly through the application of moral imagination and how moral imagination exceed the boundaries of moral intuitions in the development of novel technologies. (shrink)
As Peter Lamarque explains in "Work and Object", the claim that artworks are not identical with their vehicles lies at the core of a variety of art-ontological accounts, including Jean-Paul Sartre’s one. In chapter 10, Lamarque gives us an insightful read-ing of Sartre’s art-ontological proposal: works of art in themselves do not exist, while what exists is their ‘material analogue’ which, when perceived, arouses in us certain imaginings. What we call ‘artwork’ is the object of such imaginings – an object (...) that doesn’t exist. Although Lamarque does not embrace Sartre’s view, others might find Sartre’s proposal at least prima facie promising. In particular, to those inclined to be skeptical about the genuine theoretical weight of debates about the existence of some kinds of objects, artworks qua ontologically distinct from their vehicles might look like a case where there is no fact of the matter to be right or wrong about and continuing to engage in ontological disputes is futile. Those scholars might then be sympathetic towards a proposal, inspired by Sartre as well as by Stephen Yablo’s analysis of folk number statements, according to which when we talk about artworks we are merely pretending that certain objects of our imagination exist. In the first part of this paper, I rapidly explore this meta-ontological view. In the concluding section, I argue against the proposal previously outlined. (shrink)
Works of fiction are alleged to differ from works of nonfiction in instructing their audience to imagine their content. Indeed, works of fiction have been defined in terms of this feature: they are works that mandate us to imagine their content. This paper examines this definition of works of fiction, focusing on the nature of the activity that ensues in response to reading or watching fiction. Investigating how imaginings function in other contexts, I show, first, that they presuppose a cognitive (...) infrastructure encompassing at least one additional kind of mental state, whose role is to determine, to some degree, truth in an imaginary world. I then discuss the implications for the definition of fiction, showing that the definition should be refined to accommodate the structure that imagining presupposes: a work counts as fiction just in case it mandates us, not only to imagine, but to engage in a more complex mental activity, an activity that in addition to imagining, involves positing a backdrop for our imaginings. (shrink)
Testimonies about aphantasia are still surprisingly rare, more than a century after Galton. It is therefore difficult to understand how a person devoid of (a kind of) imagination actually thinks. In order to outline "what it is like" to be aphantasic, I will start by compiling two qualitative interviews with aphantasics that I will then compare with other testimonies collected in literature and online. The fact that aphantasia is poorly documented may also explain why few philosophers (with the notable exception (...) of Phillips 2014) seem to take this phenomenon seriously – contrary to others phenomena such as blindsight for instance. To redress the balance, the second part of this paper will consider three debates to which aphantasia could contribute. (shrink)
In the conclusion to The Imaginary Jean-Paul Sartre draws attention to the centrality of imagination in human life, describing it as a constitutive structure of consciousness. Imagination, according to him, is not a contingent feature of consciousness, but one of its essential features. This essay re-examines Sartre’s notion of imagination, arguing that current interpretations do not exhaust its meaning. Beginning with a consideration of dichotomies that dominate his theory of imagination—such as those between present, material objects and absent images, or (...) real entities and fictional creations, as well as interpretative responses to them—the essay moves on to explore the possibility of locating a different sense of imagination in his work, one which is irreducible to such oppositions. Focusing on Sartre’s example of the work of an impersonator, this essay advances the idea that the playful activity of impersonators and actors enables the spectators who are watching them to explore novel and often unfamiliar connections between objects in the world. Imagination, according to this interpretation, enriches and augments perception, rather than suspends or replaces it with mental images. This new interpretation of Sartre’s notion of imagination places him in proximity to Wittgenstein’s discussion of ‘aspect-seeing’ in Philosophical Investigations. However, whereas Wittgenstein’s discussion of ‘aspect-seeing’ can lead to the conclusion that it is impossible to draw a line between perceiving and imagining, the notion of imagination operative in Sartre’s example enables us to maintain and explain the differences between ordinary and ‘imaginative’ perception. (shrink)
Imaginative resistance is roughly a phenomenon that is characterized by either an inability or an unwillingness to imagine some proposition. It has been noted that this phenomenon varies from person to person and from context to context. Most philosophers account for this variation by appealing to contextual factor. While such accounts make progress, I argue that the variation outruns the use of such a tactic. I propose a new account that can explain all of the variation.
I argue that the current methodology employed to study imaginative resistance should not be used to draw general conclusions about the influence of genre on episodes of imaginative resistance caused by complex works of art. One of the main problems is that the mini stories upon which the current methodology relies are inadequate—mostly because they are artless and ‘flat’. Mini stories cannot generate imaginative experiences structurally similar to the experiences elicited by complex and interesting works of fictional art.
Is it ever morally wrong for a consumer to imagine something immoral in a work of fiction, or for an author to prompt such imagining? Brandon Cooke has recently argued that it cannot be. On Cooke’s account, fictive imagining is immune to moral criticism because such cases of imagining do not amount to the endorsement of the immoral content, nor do they imply that the authors of such fictions necessarily endorse their contents. We argue against Cooke that in fact fictively (...) imagining something immoral can be morally blameworthy, specifically in cases where fictive imagining is engaged in the service of immoral desires. Taking one potent case—namely, rape-fantasy pornography—we argue that the proper engagement with pornography requires the engagement of the consumer’s desires. Insofar as it is morally wrong to desire something immoral, or to encourage others to desire something immoral, then consumers can be held morally blameworthy for engaging in such fictive imaginings and works of fiction that are crafted to fit these purposes can be open to moral condemnation. (shrink)
From the examination of the Deduction of pure aesthetic judgments, followed by its articulation with interpretations on the specifically aesthetic function of the imagination, we present the hypothesis according to which the beautiful form can be understood as a product of imagination considered as “exemplary of rules”, according to the imaginative model proposed by Hanna Ginsborg. By doing so, we contemplate the possibilities and implications of admitting the capacity of imagination to produce normative representations. Accepting her model, we intend to (...) take a step further than the author, showing how it is opportune to elucidate the notion of beautiful form. (shrink)