British Journal of Aesthetics 62 (1):33-48 (2022)

Amy Kind
Claremont McKenna College
Underlying much current work in philosophy of imagination is the assumption that imagination is a skill. This assumption seems to entail not only that facility with imagining will vary from one person to another, but also that people can improve their own imaginative capacities and learn to be better imaginers. This paper takes up this issue. After showing why this is properly understood as a philosophical question, I discuss what it means to say that one imagining is better than another and then discuss the kinds of imagination training and techniques that might be employed in an effort to get better at imagining. The discussion of these techniques draws insight from consideration of other skills-based activities, as well as from consideration of the creation of art and our engagement with literature and poetry. Over the course of this discussion, we also gain further insight into the nature of imagination.
Keywords Imagination  Skill  Creativity  Training  Mental Imagery
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/aesthj/ayab037
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
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

What is It Like to Be a Bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.David Hume - 1955 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology. Oxford University Press. pp. 112.

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Possibility of Imagining Pain.Amy Kind - 2021 - Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia 12 (2):183-189.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Imagery and the Coherence of Imagination: A Critique of White.Nigel J. T. Thomas - 1997 - Journal of Philosophical Research 22:95-127.
Imagery and the Coherence of Imagination: A Critique of White.Nigel J. T. Thomas - 1997 - Journal of Philosophical Research 22:95-127.
The Two Faces of Mental Imagery.Margherita Arcangeli - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (2):304-322.
The Skill of Imagination.Amy Kind - 2020 - In Ellen Fridland & Carlotta Pavese (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Skill and Expertise. Routledge. pp. 335-346.
Explaining Imagination.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2020 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Imagery and Imagination.Amy Kind - 2005 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Roots of Imagination.Mostyn W. Jones - 1994 - Dissertation, The University of Manchester
Imaginative Resistance as Imagistic Resistance.Uku Tooming - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (5):684-706.
The Workings of the Imagination.Amy L. Kind - 1997 - Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles
Imagination Constrained, Imagination Constructed.Christopher Gauker - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
Putting the Image Back in Imagination.Amy Kind - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (1):85-110.
Imagination.Fiora Salis - 2014 - Online Companion to Problems in Analytic Philosophy.


Added to PP index

Total views
120 ( #96,229 of 2,499,038 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
120 ( #5,613 of 2,499,038 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes