David Hume: Imagination

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2015)

Jonathan Cottrell
University of Edinburgh
This article explains Hume's conception of the imagination and its relations to our other faculties of thought, highlighting the continuities and discontinuities between his views and those of his Early Modern predecessors. It then presents some of the basic functions that Hume thinks the imagination performs, and surveys some highlights of his science of man, showing how he uses the imagination’s basic functions to explain several important mental phenomena; examines “fictions of the imagination,” which have an important place in his science of man; examines his view that whatever we can clearly imagine is possible; and discusses the relationship between Hume’s theory of the imagination and his skepticism.
Keywords Hume  imagination
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