Imagination Cannot Justify Empirical Belief

Episteme:1-7 (forthcoming)

Jonathan Egeland Harouny
Stockholm University
A standard view in the epistemology of imagination is that imaginings can either provide justification for modal beliefs about what is possible (and perhaps counterfactual conditionals too), or no justification at all. However, in a couple of recent articles, Kind (2016; Forthcoming) argues that imaginings can justify empirical belief about what the world actually is like. In this article, I respond to her argument, showing that imagination doesn't provide the right sort of information to justify empirical belief. Nevertheless, it can help us take advantage of justification that we already have, thereby enabling us to form new doxastically justified beliefs. More specifically, according to the view I advocate, imagination can contribute to one's satisfaction of the proper basing condition – which turns propositional justification into doxastic justification – but without conferring any new justification that the subject isn't already in possession of upon their beliefs. Very little attention has been devoted to the distinction between propositional and doxastic justification in the literature on imagination, and the view I here argue for takes up a yet-to-be occupied position.
Keywords Imagination   Justification   Propositional and doxastic justification   Simulation
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DOI 10.1017/epi.2019.22
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References found in this work BETA

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