In A. Kind & P. Kung (eds.), Knowledge Through Imagination. Oxford University Press. pp. 61-84 (2016)

Peter Langland-Hassan
University of Cincinnati
If imagination is subject to the will, in the sense that people choose the content of their own imaginings, how is it that one nevertheless can learn from what one imagines? This chapter argues for a way forward in addressing this perennial puzzle, both with respect to propositional imagination and sensory imagination. Making progress requires looking carefully at the interplay between one’s intentions and various kinds of constraints that may be operative in the generation of imaginings. Lessons are drawn from the existing literature on propositional imagination and from the control theory literature concerning the prediction and comparison mechanisms (or “forward models”) involved in ordinary perception. A more general conclusion is reached that, once we have the tools to understand how some imaginings are both under willful control and helpfully guide action and inference, we will have what we need to understand the cognitive basis of imagination in general.
Keywords Imagination  Propositional Imagination  Sensory Imagination  Mental Agency
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Does Conceivability Entail Possibility.David Chalmers - 2002 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 145--200.
The Language of Thought.J. A. Fodor - 1978 - Critica 10 (28):140-143.

View all 29 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Impossible Worlds.Franz Berto & Mark Jago - 2013 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The imagination model of implicit bias.Anna Welpinghus - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1611-1633.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Imaginative Attitudes.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (3):664-686.
Is Imagination Introspective?Kevin Reuter - 2011 - Philosophia 39 (1):31-38.
Światłocienie Wyobraźni.Szymon Wróbel (ed.) - 2008 - Wydział Pedagogiczno-Artystyczny Uam.
Some Recent Work on Imagination.Lilly-Marlene Russow - 1978 - American Philosophical Quarterly 15 (1):57-66.
L'imagination Dérobée.Ronald Creagh - 2004 - Atelier de Création Libertaire.
Dreaming and Imagination.Jonathan Ichikawa - 2009 - Mind and Language 24 (1):103-121.


Added to PP index

Total views
281 ( #25,432 of 2,324,949 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
26 ( #25,648 of 2,324,949 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes