Pretense, imagination, and belief: the Single Attitude theory

Philosophical Studies 159 (2):155-179 (2012)
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Abstract

A popular view has it that the mental representations underlying human pretense are not beliefs, but are “belief-like” in important ways. This view typically posits a distinctive cognitive attitude (a “DCA”) called “imagination” that is taken toward the propositions entertained during pretense, along with correspondingly distinct elements of cognitive architecture. This paper argues that the characteristics of pretense motivating such views of imagination can be explained without positing a DCA, or other cognitive architectural features beyond those regulating normal belief and desire. On the present “Single Attitude” account of imagination, propositional imagining just is a form of believing. The Single Attitude account is also distinguished from “metarepresentational” accounts of pretense, which hold that both pretending and recognizing pretense in others require one to have concepts of mental states. It is argued, to the contrary, that pretending and recognizing pretense require neither a DCA nor possession of mental state concepts.

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Peter Langland-Hassan
University of Cincinnati

Citations of this work

Explaining Imagination.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2020 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Imagination.Shen-yi Liao & Tamar Gendler - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Two Faces of Mental Imagery.Margherita Arcangeli - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (2):304-322.
Imagination Through Knowledge.Shannon Spaulding - 2016 - In Amy Kind & Peter Kung (eds.), Knowledge Through Imagination. Oxford University Press. pp. 207-226.

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References found in this work

A Cognitive Theory of Consciousness.Bernard J. Baars - 1988 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Recreative Minds: Imagination in Philosophy and Psychology.Gregory Currie & Ian Ravenscroft - 2002 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press. Edited by Christoph Hoerl.

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