Synthese:1-28 (forthcoming)

Authors
Dan Cavedon-Taylor
Open University (UK)
Abstract
How tight is the conceptual connection between imagination and perception? A number of philosophers, from the early moderns to present-day predictive processing theorists, tie the knot as tightly as they can, claiming that states of the imagination, i.e. mental imagery, are a proper subset of perceptual experience. This paper labels such a view ‘perceptualism’ about the imagination and supplies new arguments against it. The arguments are based on high-level perceptual content and, distinctly, cognitive penetration. The paper also defuses a recent, influential argument for perceptualism based on the ‘discovery’ that visual perception and mental imagery share a significant neural substrate: circuitry in V1, the brain’s primary visual cortex. Current neuropsychology is shown to be equivocal at best on this matter. While experiments conducted on healthy, neurotypical subjects indicate substantial neural overlap, there is extensive clinical evidence of dissociations between imagery and perception in the brain, most notably in the case of aphantasia.
Keywords aphantasia  brain imaging  cognitive penetration  high-level content  imagination  mental imagery  predictive processing  primary visual cortex
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-021-03110-x
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References found in this work BETA

A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1958 - Philosophical Quarterly 8 (33):379-380.
The Modularity of Mind.Robert Cummins & Jerry Fodor - 1985 - Philosophical Review 94 (1):101.

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Citations of this work BETA

Mental imagery: pulling the plug on perceptualism.Dan Cavedon-Taylor - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (12):3847-3868.

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