About this topic
Summary Perception provides us with access to the actual world -- to things that actually exist and to states of affairs that actually occur.  In contrast, imagination provides us with access to merely possible worlds -- to things that do not actually exist and to states of affairs that do not actually occur.  Imagination is philosophically important for its role in many different domains of inquiry.  In aesthetics, imagination is invoked to explain our engagement with fiction, music, and the visual arts.  In modal epistemology, imagination is invoked to explain how we can justify our modal beliefs.  In philosophy of mind, imagination is invoked to explain our capacity for mindreading.  More generally, imagination is thought to connect with creativity and thus to play a role not only in artistic creation but also in scientific and mathematical discovery. 
Key works Kind 2016 contains over 30 articles covering topics related to both historical and contemporary treatment of imagination.  White 1990 provides a survey of historical treatments of the imagination.  Walton 1990 and Currie 1990 are the seminal texts for the use of imagination in our engagement with fiction.  Several useful recent collections include Nichols 2006 (focusing on pretense, possibility, and fiction), Gendler & Hawthorne 2002 (focusing on modal epistemology), and Kieran & Lopes 2003 (focusing on literature and the visual arts).  Block 1981 is a slightly older collection that focuses on mental imagery.  For a discussion of the nature of imagination, see Kind 2001.
Introductions Useful encyclopedia articles include Gendler 2011 and Kind 2005.
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  1. The Two Faces of Mental Imagery.Margherita Arcangeli - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Mental imagery has often been taken to be equivalent to “sensory imagination”, the perception‐like type of imagination at play when, for example, one visually imagines a flower when none is there, or auditorily imagines a music passage while wearing earplugs. I contend that the equation of mental imagery with sensory imagination stems from a confusion between two senses of mental imagery. In the first sense, mental imagery is used to refer to a psychological attitude, which is perception‐like in nature. In (...)
  2. Imagination.Shen-yi Liao & Tamar Gendler - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    To imagine is to form a mental representation that does not aim at things as they actually, presently, and subjectively are. One can use imagination to represent possibilities other than the actual, to represent times other than the present, and to represent perspectives other than one’s own. Unlike perceiving and believing, imagining something does not require one to consider that something to be the case. Unlike desiring or anticipating, imagining something does not require one to wish or expect that something (...)
  3. Justification by Imagination.Magdalena Balcerak Jackson - 2018 - In Fiona Macpherson & Fabian Dorsch (eds.), Perceptual Imagination and Perceptual Memory. Oxford University Press. pp. 209-226.
  4. The Scientific Imagination: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives.Arnon Levy & Peter Godfrey-Smith (eds.) - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
  5. Was Heisst "Sich Vorstellen, Eine Andere Person zu Sein"?Tammo Lossau - 2014 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 90 (1):307-316.
    Talking about “being another person”, many different things may be meant. I make use of Wollheim’s distinction between three different modes of imagination and invoke four different kinds of possible content of what may be imagined. In effect, I aim at a hopefully complete overview of the possible imaginative projects of “imagining being another person”. I try to keep an eye on the role of numerical identity in each case.
  6. Is Phenomenal Force Sufficient for Immediate Perceptual Justification?Lu Teng - 2018 - Synthese 195 (2):637-656.
    As an important view in the epistemology of perception, dogmatism proposes that for any experience, if it has a distinctive kind of phenomenal character, then it thereby provides us with immediate justification for beliefs about the external world. This paper rejects dogmatism by looking into the epistemology of imagining. In particular, this paper first appeals to some empirical studies on perceptual experiences and imaginings to show that it is possible for imaginings to have the distinctive phenomenal character dogmatists have in (...)
  7. Book Review: Knowledge Through Imagination. Amy Kind and Peter Kung (Editors). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. [REVIEW]Masashi Kasaki & Kengo Miyazono - 2016 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 37 (2):175-181.
  8. Impossible Dreams: Rationality, Integrity, and Moral Imagination.Susan E. Babbitt - 1998 - Hypatia 13 (3):168-173.
  9. Imagination and Other Minds. [REVIEW]Peter Forrest - 1986 - Behavior and Philosophy 14 (1):57.
  10. Imagining, Recognizing and Discriminating: Reconsidering the Ability Hypothesis.Bence Nanay - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (3):699-717.
    According to the Ability Hypothesis, knowing what it is like to have experience E is just having the ability to imagine or recognize or remember having experience E. I examine various versions of the Ability Hypothesis and point out that they all face serious objections. Then I propose a new version that is not vulnerable to these objections: knowing what it is like to experience E is having the ability todiscriminate imagining or having experience E from imagining or having any (...)
  11. Imagination and Power.A. O. Rorty - 1983 - Social Science Information 22 (6):801-816.
  12. Profit, Alertness and Imagination.Karen I. Vaughn - 1990 - Journal de Economistes Et des Etudes Humaines 1 (2):183-188.
  13. The Potentials of Imagination.Bert van Oers - 2005 - Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 24 (4):5-18.
    Starting from a Vygotskian analysis of imagination as “image formation,” this paper explores some emergent qualities of the phenomenon of imagination in the play activities of young children. In the context of the early grades of Dutch primary schools different activities of children were studied while they were making symbolic representations of real or imaginary situations. Observations in two activity settings show that the children got engaged in two types of imagination: an ‘etc-act of imagination’ and a ‘production of alternatives.’ (...)
  14. Mind and Imagination in Aristotle.Christopher Shields & Michael V. Wedin - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (2):371.
  15. Realism and Imagination in Ethics.Susan Wolf & Sabina Lovibond - 1985 - Philosophical Review 94 (2):290.
  16. A Common Sky: Philosophy and the Literary Imagination.Anita Silvers & A. D. Nuttall - 1976 - Philosophical Review 85 (1):126.
  17. Imagination.J. M. Shorter & E. J. Furlong - 1963 - Philosophical Review 72 (1):125.
  18. Science and the Human Imagination.Norwood Russell Hanson & Mary B. Hesse - 1958 - Philosophical Review 67 (4):565.
  19. On the Imagination.Dino Bigongiari, Gianfrancesco Pico Della Mirandola & Harry Caplan - 1931 - Philosophical Review 40 (3):298.
  20. Imagining India.Rosane Rocher & Ronald Inden - 2003 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 123 (1):267.
  21. Imagining India.David Kopf & Ronald Inden - 1992 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 112 (4):674.
  22. Creative Imagination in the Sūfism of Ibn 'ArabīCreative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn 'Arabi.George F. Hourani, Henry Corbin & Ralph Manheim - 1970 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 90 (2):404.
  23. Fancy and Imagination: Cultivating Sympathy and Envisioning the Natural World for the Modern Child.Kimberly E. Perez - unknown
    This dissertation examines the attitudes that scientists, educators, and nature-writers held toward fancy and imagination in nature-study and nature books for children around the turn of the century. In a period where science was professionalizing, scientists were respected for their authority on the natural world, and nature was increasingly valued as a source for rational knowledge, there were those who allowed for a fanciful and imaginative approach toward nature, especially for children. Some educators, nature-writers, and even scientists, argued that fancy (...)
  24. Inner Speech.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2019 - Routledge.
    This book will be a part of Routledge's "New Problems of Philosophy" series.
  25. Showing, Sensing, and Seeming: Distinctively Sensory Representations and Their Contents.Dominic Gregory - 2013 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Certain representations are bound in special ways to our sensory capacities. What do these representations have in common, and what makes them different from representations of other kinds? Dominic Gregory employs novel ideas on perceptual states and sensory perspectives to explain the special nature of distinctively sensory representations.
  26. Imagining de Se.François Recanati - unknown
    My contribution to the 'MIMESIS, METAPHYSICS AND MAKE-BELIEVE' conference held in honour of Kendall Walton in the University of Leeds.
  27. Imagination and Psychic Body: Apparitions of the Divine and Geometric Imagination According to Proclus.Alain Lernould - unknown
  28. Imagining the Given and Beyond.Lior Levy - 2016 - Contemporary Pragmatism 13 (1):70-87.
  29. Imagination et formalisation : enquête sur les indexicalités de la science.Michèle Leclerc-Olive - 2001 - Rue Descartes 31 (1):127.
  30. The Religious Function of Imagination.H. W. S. & Richard Kroner - 1942 - Journal of Philosophy 39 (2):54.
  31. L'Imagination.G. B. & J. P. Sartre - 1937 - Journal of Philosophy 34 (1):25.
  32. Imagination and Human Nature.H. T. C. & Livingston Welch - 1935 - Journal of Philosophy 32 (19):529.
  33. Discovering New Worlds: Essays on Medieval Exploration and Imagination.Scott D. Westrem.Sylvia Tomasch - 1993 - Speculum 68 (3):907-909.
  34. The Cartographic Imagination of Thomas Elmham.Alfred Hiatt - 2000 - Speculum 75 (4):859-886.
  35. Caught Between History and Imagination.Alessandra Beasley Von Burg - 2010 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 43 (1):26.
  36. Imagining Community.Gerard McCabe - 2012 - New Blackfriars 93 (1047):562-571.
  37. Art and the Imagination.Edward Sarmiento - 1955 - New Blackfriars 36 (424-425):271-276.
  38. Imagination and Society.Conrad Lpepler - 1942 - New Blackfriars 23 (271):390-397.
  39. On Imagination.Kenelm Foster - 1940 - New Blackfriars 21 (248):651-660.
  40. Imagination.Ilham Dilman & Hidé Ishiguro - 1967 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 41 (1):19-56.
  41. II—Stacie Friend: Fictive Utterance and Imagining II.Stacie Friend - 2011 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 85 (1):163-180.
  42. I—Kathleen Stock: Fictive Utterance and Imagining.Kathleen Stock - 2011 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 85 (1):145-161.
  43. VI.—Is the Imagination Creative?A. H. Hannay - 1936 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 36 (1):109-130.
  44. XI.—Art and Imagination.Margaret MacDonald - 1953 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 53 (1):205-226.
  45. II.—Concerning Imagination.C. A. Mace - 1943 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 43 (1):21-36.
  46. Imagining Experiences Correctly.Phil Joyce - 2003 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (3):361-369.
  47. XI-Imagination as Motivation.Gregory Currie - 2002 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 102 (3):201-216.
  48. Dino Del Garbo Et le Pouvoir de L’Imagination Sur le Corps.Aurélien Robert - 2014 - Archives d'Histoire Doctrinale et Littéraire du Moyen Âge 81 (1):139.
  49. Another Reason: Science and the Imagination of Modern India. Gyan Prakash.Abha Sur - 2000 - Isis 91 (3):563-565.
  50. The Scientific Imagination: Case StudiesGerald Holton.Andrew Pickering - 1980 - Isis 71 (2):302-303.
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