Mind and Language 17 (4):426-455 (2002)

Authors
Paul Noordhof
University of York
Abstract
A number of philosophers have argued in favour of the Dependency Thesis: if a subject sensorily imagines an F then he or she sensorily imagines from the inside perceptually experiencing an F in the imaginary world. They claim that it explains certain important features of imaginative experience, in brief: the fact that it is perspectival, the fact that it does not involve presentation of sensory qualities and the fact that mental images can serve a number of different imaginings. I argue that the Dependency Thesis is false and that, in any event, it does not have the explanatory credentials claimed for it. Some of the features of imaginative experience are incorrectly specified, namely the absence of presentation of sensory qualities. With a more precise idea of what we need to explain, I argue that the explanation should proceed by noting that imagination and perception have phenomenally similar contents and that this is to be explained in terms of the similar kinds of representations in play. I trace the consequences of my discussion for disjunctivist theories of perception, Berkeleian Idealism and the characterisation of knowing what an experience is like
Keywords Dependency  Epistemology  Imagining  Perception  Senses
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DOI 10.1111/1468-0017.00206
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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 - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (2):304-322.
Perceptual Content and the Content of Mental Imagery.Bence Nanay - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (7):1723-1736.
Imaginative Attitudes.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (3):664-686.

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