Imagination: A Lens, Not a Mirror

Philosophers' Imprint 19 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

The terms "imagination'' and "imaginative'' can be readily applied to a profusion of attitudes, experiences, activities, and further phenomena. The heterogeneity of the things to which they're applied prompts the thoughts that the terms are polysemous, and that there is no single, coherent, fruitful conception of imagination to be had. Nonetheless, much recent work on imagination ascribes implicitly to a univocal way of thinking about imaginative phenomena: the imitation theory, according to which imaginative experiences imitate other experiences. This approach is infelicitous. It issues in unhelpful descriptions of imaginative activities, experiences, and attitudes, and frustrates theorizing about imagination's applications and intensional characteristics. A better way of thinking about imagination is the lens theory, according to which the imagination is a set of ways to focus, refine, clarify or concentrate the matter of other experiences. This approach offers better characterizations of imaginative phenomena, and promises brighter theoretical illumination of them.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,311

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Knowledge by Imagination - How Imaginative Experience Can Ground Knowledge.Fabian Dorsch - 2016 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 35 (3):87-116.
Characterizing the Imaginative Attitude.Nicholas Wiltsher - 2019 - Philosophical Papers 48 (3):437-469.
Imagination.Fiora Salis - 2014 - Online Companion to Problems in Analytic Philosophy.
The Imagination Box.Shen-yi Liao & Tyler Doggett - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy 111 (5):259-275.
Fictional assent and the (so-called) `puzzle of imaginative resistance'.Derek Matravers - 2003 - In Matthew Kieran & Dominic McIver Lopes (eds.), Imagination, Philosophy, and the Arts. Routledge. pp. 91-106.
The rational imagination and other possibilities.Ruth Mj Byrne - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (5-6):470-476.
Why Do Schools Fail? Dewey on Imagination.Keiichi Takaya - 2006 - Contemporary Pragmatism 3 (1):145-163.
Toward an Imagination-based Environmental Ethics.Yoshihiro Hayashi - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 23:37-43.
Ecological Imagination.Steven Fesmire - 2010 - Environmental Ethics 32 (2):183-203.

Analytics

Added to PP
2019-07-10

Downloads
158 (#108,357)

6 months
24 (#95,696)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Nick Wiltsher
Uppsala University

Citations of this work

Imagination.Shen-yi Liao & Tamar Gendler - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Imagination.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2011 - In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford University.
Two Kinds of Imaginative Vividness.Julia Langkau - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (1):33-47.
Imagination as a process.Nicholas Wiltsher - 2023 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 106 (2):434-454.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references