There is Something about the Image: A Defence of the Two-Component View of Imagination

Dialectica 72 (1):121-139 (2018)
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Abstract

According to the two-component view of sensory imagination, imaginative states combine qualitative and assigned content. Qualitative content is the imagistic component of the imaginative state and is provided by a quasi-perceptual image; assigned content has a language-like structure. Recently, such a two-component view has been criticized by Daniel Hutto and Nicholas Wiltsher, both of whom have argued that postulating two contents is unnecessary for explaining how imagination represents. In this paper, I will defend the two-component theory by arguing that it has three explanatory advantages over its competitors. First, it makes explicit a widely acknowledged distinction between engaged imagination and mere supposition. Second, it explains how imagination is constrained by objects’ perceptual appearances. Third, it explains how imaginings can be exploratory.

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Uku Tooming
University of Tartu

Citations of this work

Characterizing the Imaginative Attitude.Nicholas Wiltsher - 2019 - Philosophical Papers 48 (3):437-469.
The Problem of Modally Bad Company.Tom Schoonen - 2020 - Res Philosophica 97 (4):639-659.
A Sensibilist Explanation of Imaginative Resistance.Nils Franzén - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy (3):159-174.

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References found in this work

Imagining as a Guide to Possibility.Peter Kung - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (3):620-663.
The Puzzle of Imaginative Resistance.Tamar Szabo Gendler - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (2):55.
Imaginative Attitudes.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (3):664-686.
The Blue and Brown Books.Newton Garver - 1961 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 21 (4):576-577.
Coulda, woulda, shoulda.Stephen Yablo - 2002 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 441-492.

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