Imagination and epistemology

Dissertation, Rutgers University (2008)

Authors
Jonathan Ichikawa
University of British Columbia
Abstract
Among the tools the epistemologist brings to the table ought to be, I suggest, a firm understanding of the imagination--one that is informed by philosophy of mind, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience. In my dissertation, I highlight several ways in which such an understanding of the imagination can yield insight into traditional questions in epistemology. My dissertation falls into three parts. In Part I, I argue that dreaming should be understood in imaginative terms, and that this has important implications for questions about dream skepticism. In Part II, I argue that an understanding of the imagination is important for understanding important parts of philosophical methodology--particularly those involving thought experiments. I mean in Part II to be vindicating a great deal of traditional methodology. In Part III, I explore what I take to be a number of deep connections between knowledge and counterfactuals. I defend a form of contextualism in each domain, and argue that inference among imaginings, with its important structural similarities to inference in belief, plays a central role in the epistemology of counterfactuals.
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References found in this work BETA

Epistemic Luck.Duncan Pritchard - 2005 - Oxford University Press UK.
Does Conceivability Entail Possibility.David Chalmers - 2002 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 145--200.
Elusive Knowledge.David K. Lewis - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.

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