Overly Enactive Imagination? Radically Re‐Imagining Imagining

Southern Journal of Philosophy 53 (S1):68-89 (2015)
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A certain philosophical frame of mind holds that contentless imaginings are unimaginable, “inconceivable” (Shapiro, p. 214) ‐ that it is simply not possible to imagine acts of imagining in the absence of representational content. Against this, this paper argues that there is no naturalistically respectable way to rule out the possibility of contentless imaginings on purely analytic or conceptual grounds. Moreover, agreeing with Langland‐Hassan (2015), it defends the view that the best way to understand the content and correctness conditions of non‐basic, hybrid imaginative attitudes is to assume that basic sensory imaginings are enlisted to play many different kinds of cognitive roles depending on the surrounding contentful attitudes that imaginers adopt toward them. Finally, it argues that when it comes to understanding how pure, basic sensory imaginings do their explanatorily important work there is every reason to focus on the properties of such imaginings that enable appropriate interactions and exactly no reason for thinking that representational contents are amongst those properties.



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Daniel D. Hutto
University of Wollongong

Citations of this work

The roots of remembering: Radically enactive recollecting.Daniel D. Hutto & Anco Peeters - 2018 - In Kourken Michaelian, Dorothea Debus & Denis Perrin (eds.), New Directions in the Philosophy of Memory. New York: Routledge. pp. 97-118.
Why pretense poses a problem for 4E cognition (and how to move forward).Peter Langland-Hassan - 2022 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 21 (5):1003-1021.
Getting real about pretense.Daniel Hutto - 2022 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 21 (5):1157-1175.

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References found in this work

Intentionality: An Essay in the Philosophy of Mind.John R. Searle - 1983 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind.Evan Thompson - 2007 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Origins of Objectivity.Tyler Burge - 2010 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.

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