What does imagination do for our perception of the world? Why should reality be broken off from our imagining of it? It was not always thus, and in these essays, Tim Ingold sets out to heal the break between reality and imagination at the heart of modern thought and science. Imagining for Real joins with a lifeworld ever in creation, attending to its formative processes, corresponding with the lives of its human and nonhuman inhabitants. Building on his two (...) previous essay collections, The Perception of the Environment and Being Alive, this book rounds off the extraordinary intellectual project of one of the world's most renowned anthropologists. Offering hope in troubled times, these essays speak to coming generations in a language that surpasses disciplinary divisions. They will be essential reading not only to for anthropologists but also for students in fields ranging from art, aesthetics, architecture and archaeology to philosophy, psychology, human geography, comparative literature and theology. (shrink)
It is standard practice in philosophical inquiry to test a general thesis (of the form 'F iff G' or 'F only if G') by attempting to construct a counterexample to it. If we can imagine or conceive of1an F that isn't a G, then we have evidence that there could be an F that isn't a G — and thus evidence against the thesis in question; if not, then the thesis is (at least temporarily) secure. Or so it is standardly (...) claimed.But there is increasing skepticism about how seriously to take what we can imagine or conceive as evidence for (or against) a priori philosophical theses, given the many historical examples of now-questionable theses that once seemed impossible to doubt — and also the recent experimental research .. (shrink)
Imagining Dewey' features productive (re)interpretations of 21st century experience using the lens of John Dewey's 'Art as Experience', through the doubled task of putting an array of international philosophers, educators, and artists-researchers in transactional dialogue and on equal footing in an academic text. This book is a pragmatic attempt to encourage application of aesthetic learning and living, ekphrasic interpretation, critical art and agonist pluralism.0There are two foci: (a) Deweyan philosophy and educational themes with (b) analysis and examples of how educators, (...) artists, and researchers envision and enact artful meaning making. This structure meets the needs of university and high school audiences, who are accustomed to learning about challenging ideas through multimedia and aesthetic experience.00Contributors are: James M. Albrecht, Adam I. Attwood, John Baldacchino, Carolyn L. Berenato, M. Cristina Di Gregori, Holly Fairbank, Jim Garrison, Amanda Gulla, Bethany Henning, Jessica Heybach, David L. Hildebrand, Ellyn Lyle, Livio Mattarollo, Christy McConnell Moroye, Maria-Isabel Moreno-Montoro, Maria Martinez Morales, Stephen M. Noonan, Louise G. Phillips, Scott L. Pratt, Joaquin Roldan, Leopoldo Rueda, Tadd Ruetenik, Leisa Sasso, Bruce Uhrmacher, David Vessey, Ricardo Marin Viadel, Sean Wiebe, Li Xu and Martha Patricia Espiritu Zavalza. (shrink)
Imagination is crucial to Joseph Margolis’ philosophy: he addresses its significance for the experience of works of art and, more importantly, he portrays it as constitutive of human reality itself. I explicate these claims and define Margolis’ notion of imagination vis-à-vis Jean-Paul Sartre’s, whose own conception of imagination Margolis rejects. Studying Margolis and Sartre in relation to each other illuminates crucial differences between their positions and highlights the different commitments that underlie their philosophical anthropology as a whole. (...) In the conclusion of this paper, I argue that there are in fact certain affinities between their positions and suggest that we think of the problem of imagination meta-philosophically, as a problem that guides philosophical thought in its various attempts to define the human. (shrink)
Children, even very young children, distinguish moral from conventional transgressions, inasmuch as they hold that the former, but not the latter, would still be wrong if there was no rule prohibiting them. Many people have taken this finding as evidence that morality is objective, and therefore universal. I argue that reflection on the phenomenon of imaginative resistance will lead us to question these claims. If a concept applies in virtue of the obtaining of a set of more basic facts, then (...) it is authority independent, and we therefore resist the attempts of authorities to claim that it does not apply. Thus, the moral/conventional distinction is a product of imaginative resistance to claims that a concept does not apply when its supervenience base is in place (or vice versa). All we can rightfully conclude from the fact that children are disposed to make the moral/conventional distinction is that our moral concepts belong to the class of authority-independent concepts. Though the set of basic facts in virtue of which an authority-independent concept obtains must be objective, the concept itself might be conventional, inasmuch as we could easily draw its boundaries wider or narrower, or fail to have a concept that corresponds to these properties at all. (shrink)
_Imagination, Philosophy and the Arts_ is the first comprehensive collection of papers by philosophers examining the nature of imagination and its role in understanding and making art. Imagination is a central concept in aesthetics with close ties to issues in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of language, yet it has not received the kind of sustained, critical attention it deserves. This collection of seventeen brand new essays critically examines just how and in what form the notion (...) of imagination illuminates fundamental problems in the philosophy of art. (shrink)
Imagination, like other higher cognition, is often thought to arise after the evolution of language. Stephen Asma argues instead that imagination is much older and forms a kind of early cognition --harvesting sensory, motor and affective impressions, and generating novel generate-and-test information.
Imagination plays an important role in depiction. In this chapter, I focus on photography and I discuss the role imagination plays in photographic depiction. I suggest to follow a broadly Waltonian view, but I also depart from it in several places. I start by discussing a general feature of the relation of depiction, namely the fact that it is a ternary relation which always involves "something external." I then turn my attention to Walton's view, where this third relatum (...) of the relation of depiction is largely analyzed in terms of the role imagination plays in depiction. I consider the objection to his view that not all cases of depiction involve imagination – for instance, documentary photographs – as well as Walton's own strategy to face this objection, and I argue that it is partly adequate and partly wrong. As we will see, first, it is an unnecessary mistake to insist too heavily on the fact that photographs are produced in a mechanic way (as opposed to, say, paintings), and second, the notion of "imagining-seeing," as it is articulated by Walton, is perhaps too strong and does not entirely do justice to the external character of the role imagination plays here. I illustrate the view I want to advocate for by a series of different cases, where the nature of the role that imagination, knowledge/belief, and inference play in depiction will become apparent. (shrink)
Imagination contributes to human agency in ways that haven't been well understood. I argue here that pathways from imagistic imagining to emotional engagement support three important agential capacities: 1. bodily preparedness for potential events in one's nearby environment; 2. evaluation of potential future action; and 3. empathy-based moral appraisal. Importantly, however, the kind of pathway in question (I-C-E-C: imagining-categorization-emotion-conceptualization) also enables engagement with fiction. So human enchantment with fiction is a consequence of imaginative pathways that make us the kind (...) of agents we are. Finally, I use this approach to address imaginative resistance and the paradox of fiction. [The version archived here is a penultimate draft. Please email me at [email protected] to receive a pdf of the final in accordance with fair use.]. (shrink)
Imagination will remain a mystery—we will not be able to explain imagination—until we can break it into parts we already understand. Explaining Imagination is a guidebook for doing just that, where the parts are other ordinary mental states like beliefs, desires, judgments, and decisions. In different combinations and contexts, these states constitute cases of imagining. This reductive approach to imagination is at direct odds with the current orthodoxy, according to which imagination is a sui generis (...) mental state or process—one with its own inscrutable principles of operation. Explaining Imagination upends that view, showing how, on closer inspection, the imaginings at work in hypothetical reasoning, pretense, the enjoyment of fiction, and creativity are reducible to other familiar mental states—judgments, beliefs, desires, and decisions among them. Crisscrossing contemporary philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and aesthetics, Explaining Imagination argues that a clearer understanding of imagination is already well within reach. (shrink)
Actor Paul Giamatti and philosopher Stephen Asma collaborate to describe the imagination (phantasia) as a form of embodied cognition. They explore the actor's ability to replicate embodied affective states and communicate those to audiences that are capable of catching (via emotional contagion) those affective states. The role of social affordances in imaginative work is explored. Finally, the role of imagination in political conspiracy thinking is considered.
To imagine is to form a mental representation that does not aim at things as they actually, presently, and subjectively are. One can use imagination to represent possibilities other than the actual, to represent times other than the present, and to represent perspectives other than one’s own. Unlike perceiving and believing, imagining something does not require one to consider that something to be the case. Unlike desiring or anticipating, imagining something does not require one to wish or expect that (...) something to be the case. // -/- Imagination is involved in a wide variety of human activities, and has been explored from a wide range of philosophical perspectives. Philosophers of mind have examined imagination’s role in mindreading and in pretense. Philosophical aestheticians have examined imagination’s role in creating and in engaging with different types of artworks. Epistemologists have examined imagination’s role in theoretical thought experiments and in practical decision-making. Philosophers of language have examined imagination’s role in irony and metaphor. // -/- Because of the breadth of the topic, this entry focuses exclusively on contemporary discussions of imagination in the Anglo-American philosophical tradition. (shrink)
Imaginative resistance refers to a phenomenon in which people resist engaging in particular prompted imaginative activities. On one influential diagnosis of imaginative resistance, the systematic difficulties are due to these particular propositions’ discordance with real-world norms. This essay argues that this influential diagnosis is too simple. While imagination is indeed by default constrained by real-world norms during narrative engagement, it can be freed with the power of genre conventions and expectations.
Imaginative immersion refers to a phenomenon in which one loses oneself in make-believe. Susanna Schellenberg says that the best explanation of imaginative immersion involves a radical revision to cognitive architecture. Instead of there being an attitude of belief and a distinct attitude of imagination, there should only be one attitude that represents a continuum between belief and imagination. -/- We argue otherwise. Although imaginative immersion is a crucial data point for theorizing about the imagination, positing a continuum (...) between belief and imagination is neither necessary nor sufficient for explaining the phenomenon. In addition, arguing against Schellenberg’s account reveals important but underappreciated lessons for theorizing about the imagination and for interpreting boxological representations of the mind. (shrink)
Imagination has always been recognised as an important faculty of the human soul. As mediator between the senses and reason, it is rooted in philosophical and psychological-medical theories of human sensation and cognition. Linked to these theories was the use of the imagination in rhetoric and the arts: images had not only an epistemological role in transmitting information from the outside world to the mind's inner eye, but could also be used to manipulate the emotions of the audience. (...) In this tradition, with Cicero and Quintilian as its auctoritates, images were used to arouse and manipulate the emotions. Both traditions had to be revalued in the seventeenth century with the advent of a mechanist, Cartesian picture of human cognition and the physical world. In spite of their usual suspicion of imagination, which was commonly associated with illusions, dreams and fiction, seventeenth-century philosophers realised that the imagination also had its place in mathematical, scientific and philosophical thinking. This volume, number XII in the series Groningen Studies in Cultural Change, offers the papers presented at a workshop on imagination, organised by the editors in September 2002. It covers both the philosophical-psychological as well as the humanist-rhetorical traditions, discussing key figures such as Kilwardby, Lorenzo Valla, Leon Battista Alberti, Agricola, Gianfrancesco Pico, Erasmus, Paracelsus, Kepler, Bacon, Suarez, Descartes and Spinoza, but also treating hitherto neglected texts and writers such as Nicholas of Amsterdam and Jean Lemaire de Belges. By focusing on the ever-shifting ideas of the imagination as a philosophical and rhetorical tool, this volume not only deepens our understanding of its central theme but also sheds new light on the thought and writings of these and other authors. (shrink)
AbstractDespite the evident importance of imagination in both ethical decision-making and entrepreneurship, significant gaps remain in our understanding of its actual role in these processes. As a result, scholars have called for a deeper understanding of how imagination impacts value creation in society and how this critical human faculty might more profoundly connect our theories of ethics and business decision-making. In this paper, we attempt to fill one of these gaps by scrutinizing the underlying philosophical foundations of (...) class='Hi'>imagination and applying them to the challenges facing entrepreneurs attempting to create new value in an increasingly unpredictable and kaleidic world. Accordingly, we apply a view of imagination developed by the pragmatist philosopher John Dewey to the radically subjective economic philosophy of G.L.S Shackle. As a result, we develop a concept of imagination which we believe can be both significant and hopeful for research at the intersection of business ethics and new value creation. (shrink)
This paper comparatively presents three notions related to the concept of creative fantasy. These three terms (”imagination”, ”imaginaire”, ”imaginal”) have been developed by the French school of research on the imagination (“recherches sur l’imaginaire”), which is little known in the Anglo-Saxon academic field. As such, the terms don’t even have convenient translations and linguistic equivalents. Briefly, imagination is fantasy conceived as a combinatory faculty of the psyche. French rationalistic “philosophes” saw it as a misleading and rather weakly (...) creative ability. ”L’imaginaire” is the resourceful and inventive aspect of fantasy, as conceived by the Romantics and then theorized by psychoanalysis and contemporary French philosophers. ”L’imaginal”, or ”mundus imaginalis” is a concept defined by Henry Corbin in order to designate fantasies as self-sustained, ontological beings. (shrink)
Imagination seems to play an epistemic role in philosophical and scientific thought experiments, mindreading, and ordinary practical deliberations insofar as it generates new knowledge of contingent facts about the world. However, it also seems that imagination is limited to creative generation of ideas. Sometimes we imagine fanciful ideas that depart freely from reality. The conjunction of these claims is what I call the puzzle of knowledge through imagination. This chapter aims to resolve this puzzle. I argue that (...)imagination has an epistemic role to play, but it is limited to the context of discovery. Imagination generates ideas, but other cognitive capacities must be employed to evaluate these ideas in order for them to count as knowledge. Consideration of the Simulation Theory's so-called "threat of collapse” provides further evidence that imagination does not, on its own, yield new knowledge of contingent facts, and it suggests a way to supplement imagination in order to get such knowledge. (shrink)
Imagination is a source of evidence for objective modality. It is through this epistemic connection that the idea of modality first gains traction in our intellectual life. A proper theory of modality should be able to explain our imagination’s modal epistemic behaviors. This chapter highlights a peculiar asymmetry regarding epistemic defeat for imagination-based modal justification. Whereas imagination-based evidence for possibility cannot be undermined by information about the causal origin of our imaginings, unimaginability-based evidence for impossibility can (...) be undermined by information about the causal origin of the unimaginability. It is argued that an acceptance of S4 over S5 as the true logic for objective modality best explains this epistemic asymmetry. (shrink)
We attribute the capability of imagination to the madman as to the scientist, to the novelist as to the metaphysician, and last but not least to ourselves. The same, apparently, holds for thought experimentation. Ernst Mach was the first to draw an explicit link between these two mental acts; moreover -in his perspective- imagination plays a pivotal role in thought experimentation. Nonetheless, it is not clear what kind of imagination emerges from Mach’s writings. Indeed, heated debates among (...) cognitive scientists and philosophers turn on the key distinction between sensory and cognitive imagination. Generally speaking, we can say that sensory imagination shares some processes with perception, cognitive imagination with the formation of belief. Both the vocabulary used in the literature on thought experiments and what I refer to as “Machian tradition” indicate imagination as a notion of central importance in the reasoning involved in thought experiments. However, most authors have really focused on sensory (in particular, visual) imagination, but have neglected the second kind. Moreover, some authors attribute to Mach the idea that it is visual imagery that is primarily at work in thought experiments. I claim another interpretation is possible, according to which Mach can be said to deal with cognitive imagination. The main aim of this paper is to retrace Mach’s original arguments and establish a connection with the cognitive literature on imagination. I will argue that imagination tout court could play a role in thought experimentation. Once imagination is seen as the key to the “cognitive black-box” of the thought experiment, we will have moved a step closer to a simulative imagining-based account of thought experimentation. (shrink)
Recent work on the imagination has stressed the epistemic role of imaginative experiences, notably in justifying modal beliefs. An immediate problem with this is that modal beliefs appear to admit of justification through the mere exercise of rational capacities. For instance, mastery of the concepts of pig, flying, and possibility should suffice to form a justified belief that flying pigs are possible, regardless of whether one imagines a flying pig. In this paper, I consider three ways to defend the (...) epistemic role of imagination in the face of this problem. One is that modal beliefs simply admit of justification by two separate sources: rational capacities and imaginative experience. Another is that while beliefs about logical or conceptual modality can be justified entirely by rational capacities, beliefs about metaphysical modality require imaginative experiences. The third, which I defend, is that imagination is relevant in the first instance not to modal knowledge but to modal understanding: even where imaginative experience is unnecessary for the justification of modal beliefs, it is indispensable for directly grasping certain modal facts. (shrink)
This chapter examines the imagination, its relationship to “common sense,” and its recent development in the notion of the social imaginary in Western philosophy and the contributions Miki Kiyoshi and Nakamura Yūjirō can make in this regard. I trace the historical evolution of the notion of the productive imagination from its seeds in Aristotle through Kant and into the social imagination or imaginary as bearing on our collective being-in-the-world, with semantic and ontological significance, in Paul Ricoeur, Cornelius (...) Castoriadis, and Charles Taylor. The two Japanese philosophers, when brought into dialogue with the above contemporary Western thinkers, can contribute to this recent development of the imagination’s creativity into the collective sphere. Miki shows a connection between the imagination and a certain form-formlessness dynamic he inherits from Nishida. Nakamura in turn points to a connection between imagination and place via his development of the Aristotelian notion of common sense. Both have implications on how we understand the social imaginary. (shrink)
Often in our everyday lives, for instance, in decision-taking, empathizing with others, and engaging with fictions, we are able to imagine what a particular emotion feels like. This chapter analyzes the structure of these imaginings as a kind of experiential imagining. After introducing the topic (section 1), I argue that these imaginings cannot be explained exclusively by their content and that a focus on the mode of imagining is required. We not only imagine having emotions, but we also imagine them (...) experientially, and this means that we imagine feeling them (section 2). I proceed to analyze the content of such imaginings in terms of the phenomenal properties of emotions undergone from a particular subjective perspective within the imagined scenario (section 3). Next, I argue that the mode in which such emotions are experientially imagined requires other-oriented perspective-shifting and the recreation of an emotion-like state (section 4). I examine how we recreate emotion-like states in two cases: when the emotion has been previously felt (section 5) and when it has not been previously experienced (section 6). The main findings are summarized in the conclusion (section 7). (shrink)
Abstract: This entry elucidates causal and constitutive roles that various forms of imagining play in human action. Imagination influences more kinds of action than just pretend play. I distinguish different senses of the terms “imagining” and “imagination”: imagistic imagining, propositional imagining, and constructive imagining. Each variety of imagining makes its own characteristic contributions to action. Imagistic imagining can structure bodily movement. Propositional imagining interacts with desires to motivate pretend play and mimetic expressive action. And constructive imagination generates (...) representations of possibilities and actions on the basis of which we choose what to do. [Version archived here is a penultimate draft.]. (shrink)
All religion and much philosophy has been concerned with the contrast between the ephemeral and the eternal. Human beings have always sought ways to overcome time, and to prove that death is not the end. This book consists then in an exploration of certain closely related ideas: personal identity, time, history and our commitment to the future, and the role of imagination in life.
Following Husserl’s analyses of perception and imagination, the paper introduces two basic modes of intelligibility – the normalizing and the imagining – and argues that they are deeply intertwined, despite radical qualitative differences between them. What sets these two modes apart are their distinctive teleological orientations. To show this, the paper looks closely at the ways in which we experience difference in these respective modes. This discussion requires, however, that we challenge Husserl’s own framework for analyzing the imagination, (...) which emerges as non-exhaustive, perhaps even misleading. What transpires is that imagining consciousness exhibits a unique critical dimension, a potentially powerful resource for socio-cultural critique. (shrink)
When Paul Ricoeur died in 2005, the New York Times described him as "one of the most eminent philosophers of the twentieth century." In his lifetime, Ricoeur published influential works on language, memory, identity, and history, creating an innovative blend of hermeneutics and phenomenology. Despite his major interest in the imagination, however, he never wrote a complete text on the topic. The present volume, Lectures on Imagination, fills this gap, providing an indispensable resource for philosophically inclined readers from (...) all backgrounds. Over the course of these lectures, Ricoeur examines classical and contemporary philosophical theories of imagination, ranging from thinkers such as Aristotle, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, and Kant to Husserl, Wittgenstein, Sartre, and Ryle. He argues that, with few exceptions, Western philosophy has focused on reproductive rather than productive imagination, thus diminishing the creative capacity of the human mind. For Ricoeur, productive imagination is a form of fiction-a new dimension of reality generated by the human mind. His theory has far-reaching implications. In all domains, we are not restricted by existing structures or institutions, because the productive imagination has the power to break through and transform our sense of our own horizons. (shrink)
Recently, various philosophers have argued that we can obtain knowledge via the imagination. In particular, it has been suggested that we can come to know concrete, empirical matters of everyday significance by appropriately imagining relevant scenarios. Arguments for this thesis come in two main varieties: black box reliability arguments and constraints-based arguments. We suggest that both strategies are unsuccessful. Against black-box arguments, we point to evidence from empirical psychology, question a central case-study, and raise concerns about a (claimed) evolutionary (...) rationale for the imagination’s reliability. Against the constraints-based account, we argue that to the extent that it works, this does not give rise to knowledge that is distinctively from the imagination. We conclude by suggesting that the imagination’s role in raising possibilities, traditionally seen as part of the context of discovery, can in fact play a role in justification, including as a bulwark against certain sorts of skepticism. (shrink)
The verb 'imagine' admits of perspectival modification: we can imagine things from above, from a distant point of view, or from the point of view of a Russian. But in such cases, there need be no person, either real or imagined, who is above or distant from what is imagined, or who has the point of view of a Russian. We call this the puzzle of perspectival displacement. This paper sets out the puzzle, shows how it does not just concern (...) language, but also states of imagining themselves, and then presents a solution. The solution draws on the idea that many reports of imagining conceal a distinctive kind of question, and such concealed questions have an extra argument place for (what we will call) an experiencer from whose perspective things are imagined. This solution has a range of advantages over other proposals in the literature, and helps to advance two debates concerning perspectival engagement with fiction. (shrink)
In this paper, I provide an account of the role of the associative function of the imagination in causal cognition for Kant. I consider, first, Kant’s treatment of the imaginative faculty in the student notes to Kant’s lectures on anthropology in the 1770s, with the aim of working up a more-or-less comprehensive taxonomy of its various sub-faculties. I then turn to Kant’s account of the activity of the imagination, particularly in accordance with the law of association, in the (...) theory of cognition presented in the notes, and show that Kant, apparently in spite of Hume, takes the result of this activity as the basis for causal cognition. I then contend that Kant’s treatment of affinity in the A edition Deduction is animated precisely by his concern to shore up his previous account of causal cognition against Hume’s sceptical challenge. (shrink)
The term ‘imagination’ may seem harmless. We talk about imagination all the time. Nonetheless, I will argue that we should treat it with suspicion. More precisely, I will argue that the explanatory power of the concept of imagination can be fully captured by a scientifically more respectable and more powerful concept, namely, the concept of mental imagery.
Aristotelian imagination -- A Bonaventuran synthesis -- Imagination in Bonaventure's Meditations -- Exercising imagination: the Meditationes vitae Christi and Stimulus amoris -- From "wit to wisedom": Langland's Ymaginatif -- Imagination in translation: Love's myrrour and The Prickynge of love -- Conclusion.
The present essay grew out of an inte:rest in exploring the relationship be tween "imagination" and "reason" in the history of naturalistic thinking. The essay tries to show something of the spirit of naturalism coming to terms with the place of imagination and reason in knowing, making, and doing as activities of human experience. This spirit is discussed by taking as its point of departure the thinking of five writers: Plato, Aristotle, Giam battista Vieo, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and John (...) Keats. Plato and Aristotle are considered as spokesmen of reason in a world which appeared to be dominated by non-reason. They found it essential for human beings to try to learn how to distinguish between the work of imagin ation and the work of reason. In trying to make such a distinction, it becomes clear that imagination has its legitimate place, along with reason, in human activity. Or we might say that determining the place which each has is a continuing problem when human beings take seriously what is involved in shaping mind and character. (shrink)
What does it mean to say that imagination plays a role in moral reasoning, and what are the theoretical and practical implications? Engaging with three traditions in moral theory and confronting them with three contexts of moral practice, this book offers a more comprehensive framework to think about these questions. The author develops an argument about the relation between imagination and principles that moves beyond competition metaphors and center-periphery schemas. He shows that both cooperate and are equally necessary (...) to cope with moral problems, and combines insights of different theories and disciplines to explore how this works in practice. (shrink)
IMAGINING and remembering, two of the most frequent and fundamental acts of mind, have long been unwelcome guests in most of the many mansions of philosophy. When not simply ignored or over-looked, they have been considered only to be dismissed. This is above all true of imagination, as first becomes evident in Plato’s view that the art of making exact images tends to degenerate into the making of mere semblances. Kant, despite the importance he gives to imagination in (...) the first edition of The Critique of Pure Reason, nevertheless considers images to be lowly "monograms" that are unruly and thus untrustworthy. In more recent times, Sartre, who is nearly as ambivalent as Kant on the subject, has stressed imagination’s "essential poverty"—its character as "debased thought"—while Ryle, in covert counterpoint, has attempted to conceive imagining as parody and pretense: as mere make-believe. (shrink)
What role does the imagination play in scientific progress? After examining several studies in cognitive science, I argue that one thing the imagination does is help to increase scientific understanding, which is itself indispensable for scientific progress. Then, I sketch a transcendental justification of the role of imagination in this process.
Although imagination is not one of the subjects treated extensively in Husserl's phenomenology, it is one of its most important 'instruments'. In his phenomenology as a work of imagination, imagination even acquires for Husserl primacy over perception. But in his phenomenology of imagination as its subject matter, Husserl seems to repeat the old distinction between original and image in his differentiation between perception as the reaIization of full bodily presence and imagination as referring to inferior (...) modes of presence. -/- The author criticaIly analyses Husserl's distinction (within imagination) between phantasy and image-consciousness. The fact that Husserl describes the image-object in image-consciousness as a "mere image" which appears only as "a nothing" on the scene of actual presence, and the fact that Husserl distinguishes phantasy from image-consciousness by its lacking any representational consciousness, leads one to suspect greatly that Husserl reverts to a contentbased approach which was to have been excluded by his theory of intentionaIity. -/- In the last section the author outlines a reorientation according to which imagination is thought of not in reference to presence (as has been done in the history of metaphysics), but in reference to an appearing, an imaging, a showing, that would never be a matter simply of presence, but rather of spacings that would fracture presence. This conception of imagination could explain the power of imagination to open up phenomenology. (shrink)
I propose a way of understanding empathy on which it does not necessarily involve any-thing like thinking oneself into another’s shoes, or any imagining at all. Briefly, the empa-thizer uses an aspect of her own mental state as a sample, expressed by means of a phenomenal concept, to understand the other person. This account does a better job of explaining the connection between empathetic experiences and the objects of empathy than most traditional ones do. And it helps to clarify the (...) relations among different varieties of empathy and empathy-like experiences, including empathy with fictional characters. -/- . (shrink)
I lay out the framework for my theory of sensory imagination in “Imagining as a guide to possibility.” Sensory imagining involves mental imagery , and crucially, in describing the content of imagining, I distinguish between qualitative content and assigned content. Qualitative content derives from the mental image itself; for visual imaginings, it is what is “pictured.” For example, visually imagine the Philadelphia Eagles defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers to win their first Super Bowl. You picture the greenness of the field (...) and the football’s brown oblong shape. Some of what you imagine isn’t explicitly pictured, however. That it is Sunday, that it is the Super Bowl: these facts are assigned. (shrink)
My contribution seeks to unfold an ontology of the imagination based on the history of the productive imagination in its relation to common sense and recent developments of the notion of the social imaginary, while making use of ideas found in both Western and Japanese thinkers. Kyoto School philosopher Miki Kiyoshi shows a connection between the imagination he inherits from Kant and a certain form-formlessness dynamic he inherits from Nishida Kitarō’s notion of a self-forming formlessness. The source (...) of the imagination’s creativity is in that formlessness that lies both within the interior depths of the psyche and outside in the environing nature. Post-war Japanese philosopher Nakamura Yūjirō—taking off from Miki’s attempts to concretize Nishida’s theory of place in terms of the imagination—in turn points to a connection between imagination and place and explicates this via his development of the Aristotelian notion of common sense (koinē aisthēsis, sensus communis). Common sense in itself has a long history within the West that involves a variety of meanings starting with the Aristotelian faculty for integrating the various senses (as koinē aisthēsis) that was closely associated with the imagination, and ending with two contrasting notions of a communal or social sensibility (as sensus communis)—the vulgar “commonplace” notion of common sense as habituated custom and the healthy sense of common sense as prudential, contextual, ethical judgment explicated by thinkers like Hannah Arendt. Both are found in Kant’s Critique of Judgment but the imagination’s creativity expressed in genius comes into tension with the latter communal sense of common sense that attempts to fetter that creativity of genius with the judgment of taste. The contemporary notion of the social imaginary, for example in Cornelius Castoriadis, seems to encompass both the vulgar and the healthy senses of common sense, and also recalls the close connection between the imagination and common sense in Aristotle. Contrary to what Kant sought, however, this underscores the temporal contingency or historicity and non-transcendental status of common sense, even in its healthy sense, and its communal judgments. At the same time, the form-formlessness dynamic found in Miki and the tension between unbounded creativity and communal responsibility found in Kant’s third Critique in a certain sense also reappears in Castoriadis’ ontology (of magmas) whereby chaos is the source of the imagination’s creativity not only for the individual psyche but for the social-historical or social imaginary significations as well, that is, in the social imaginary’s inner tension between the instituting and the instituted. Recalling the fact that Nishida was inspired by the Greek notion of chōra in developing his theory of place, I then suggest that the linking of the imagination with the process of the forming of the formless as well as with place may allow us in turn to understand the creative imagination ontologically in the Greek terms of chōrismos—etymologically related to chōra—as the difference that brings order to chaos by allotting beings, each to its own place. Imagination as Ein-bildung might then be viewed as the ontological formation that, through differentiation, gives shape, form, to place. This then leads to the issue of autonomy—To whom does the spontaneity of the creative imagination belong when the chaos or formlessness, indeed “freedom,” at the root of its creativity exceeds the boundaries of subjectivity or reason? Heidegger in his later works, albeit in only a few places, suggests such a sense of the imagination as no longer a faculty of the human subject, no longer a doing of man. (shrink)
The (dis)continuism debate in the philosophy and cognitive science of memory concerns whether remembering is continuous with episodic future thought and episodic counterfactual thought in being a form of constructive imagining. I argue that settling that dispute will hinge on whether the memory traces (or “engrams”) that support remembering impose arational, perception-like constraints that are too strong for remembering to constitute a kind of constructive imagining. In exploring that question, I articulate two conceptions of memory traces—the replay theory and the (...) prop theory—that return conflicting answers to whether remembering is constructive imagining. The prop theory’s vision of traces is suggestive of continuism, while the replay theory’s is a natural fit for discontinuism. Which view of traces is in fact correct remains undetermined by current empirical work. Nevertheless, it may already be possible to reach a compromise in the (dis)continuism debate, through the development of a conciliatory continuist causal theory. This view—only outlined here—accepts the continuism-friendly prop theory of traces, while still requiring that genuine remembering fulfills an appropriate causation condition, as required by the kinds of causal theories of remembering typically favored by discontinuists. (shrink)
Imagination in Inquiry investigates the nature, kinds, component elements, functions, scope, and uses of the imagination that are at work in inquiry. It develops a homeostatic model and discusses its applications in various branches of philosophy, from the philosophy of science and the philosophy of technology to ethics and aesthetics.
Through the reconstruction of Leibniz's theory of the degrees of knowledge, this e-book investigates and explores the intrinsic relationship of imagination with space and time. The inquiry into this relationship defines the logic of imagination that characterizes both human and non-human animals, albeit differently, making them two different species of imaginative animals. -/- Lucia Oliveri explains how the emergence of language in human animals goes hand in hand with the emergence of thought and a different form of rationality (...) constituted by logical inferences based on identity and contradiction, principles that are out of reach of the imagination. The e-book concludes that the presence of innate principles in human animals transforms the way in which they sense-perceive the world, thereby constantly increasing the distinction between human and non-human animals. -/- Keywords: human and non-human animals, Leibniz and Locke on ideas, Leibniz on bodies, Leibniz on conceivability, Leibniz on degrees of knowledge, Leibniz on degrees of perception, Leibniz on innate ideas, Leibniz on modality, Leibniz on similarity and congruence, Leibniz on space and time, Leibniz’s philosophy of language, theory of types. (shrink)
I develop a psychological account for how it is that we use imagination to metaphysically modalize, i.e., to reach conclusions about metaphysical modality. Specifically, I argue that Nichols and Stich’s (2003) cognitive theory of imagination can be extended to metaphysical modalizing. I then use the extension to explicate philosophical disagreements about whether a scenario is metaphysically possible. Thereafter, I address Nichols’ (2006) objection that psychologizing imagination makes it clear that imagination is unreliable when used to metaphysically (...) modalize. The end result is a naturalistic account for how imagination enables us to metaphysically modalize. (shrink)
In part because "imagination" is a slippery notion, its exact role in the production of scientific knowledge remains unclear. There is, however, one often explicit and deliberate use of imagination by scientists that can be (and has been) studied intensively by epistemologists and historians of science: thought experiments. The main goal of this article is to document the varieties of thought experimentation, not so much in terms of the different sciences in which they occur but rather in terms (...) of the different functions they fulfil. I argue that thought experimentation (and hence imagination) plays a role not only in theory choice but in singular causal analysis and scientific discovery as well. I pinpoint, moreover, some of the rules governing the use of thought experiments in theory choice and in singular causal analysis, that is, some of the criteria they should meet in order to fulfil those functions successfully. (shrink)
Is imagination a source of knowledge? Timothy Williamson has recently argued that our imaginative capacities can yield knowledge of a variety of matters, spanning from everyday practical matters to logic and set theory. Furthermore, imagination for Williamson plays a similar epistemic role in cognitive processes that we would traditionally classify as either a priori or a posteriori, which he takes to indicate that the distinction itself is shallow and epistemologically fruitless. In this chapter, I aim to defend the (...) a priori-a posteriori distinction from Williamson’s challenge by questioning his account of imagination. I distinguish two notions of imagination at play in Williamson’s account – sensory vs. belief-like imagination – and show that both face empirical and normative issues. Sensory imagination seems neither necessary nor sufficient for knowledge. Whereas, belief-like imagination isn’t adequately disentangled from inference. Additionally, Williamson’s examples are ad hoc and don’t generalize. I conclude that Williamson’s case against the a priori-a posteriori distinction is unconvincing, and so is the thesis that imagination is an epistemic source. (shrink)