Imagination as a generative source of justification

Noûs (forthcoming)
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One of the most exciting debates in philosophy of imagination in recent years has been over the epistemic use of imagination where imagination epistemically contributes to justifying beliefs and acquiring knowledge. This paper defends “generationism about imagination” according to which imagination is a generative source, rather than a preservative source, of justification. In other words, imagination generates new justification above and beyond prior justification provided by other sources. After clarifying the generation/preservation distinction (Section 2), we present an argument for generationism about imagination, which can be divided into two parts; the philosophical part and the empirical part. In the philosophical part of our argument (Section 3), we claim that generationism about imagination follows from what we call “INACCESSIBILITY”. According to INACCESSIBILITY, imagination is properly constrained by the imaginative constrainers (i.e., the prior representations that constrain the development of a scenario in imagination) to which non-imaginative belief-forming processes do not have access. In the empirical part of our argument (Section 4), we claim that INACCESSIBILITY is plausible in light of relevant studies and theories in the empirical literature, especially the literature on mental simulation (Section 4.1), core cognition (Section 4.2), and intuitive physics (Section 4.3).



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Author Profiles

Kengo Miyazono
Hokkaido University
Uku Tooming
University of Tartu

Citations of this work

How Imagination Informs.Joshua Myers - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
Imaginative Beliefs.Joshua Myers - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
Imagination as a source of empirical justification.Joshua Myers - 2024 - Philosophy Compass 19 (3):e12969.

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References found in this work

Contemporary Theories of Knowledge.John Pollock - 1986 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 39 (1):131-140.
Generative memory.Kourken Michaelian - 2011 - Philosophical Psychology 24 (3):323-342.

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