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Daniel Munro
York University
  1. Are We Free to Imagine What We Choose?Daniel Munro & Margot Strohminger - 2021 - Synthese (5-6):1-18.
    It has long been recognized that we have a great deal of freedom to imagine what we choose. This paper explores a thesis—what we call “intentionalism (about the imagination)”—that provides a way of making this evident (if vague) truism precise. According to intentionalism, the contents of your imaginings are simply determined by whatever contents you intend to imagine. Thus, for example, when you visualize a building and intend it to be of King’s College rather than a replica of the college (...)
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  2. Imagining the Actual.Daniel Munro - 2021 - Philosophers' Imprint 21 (17).
    This paper investigates a capacity I call actuality-oriented imagining, by which we use sensory imagination in a way that's directed at representing the actual world. I argue that this kind of imagining is distinct from other, similar mental states in virtue of its distinctive content determination and success conditions. Actuality-oriented imagining is thus a distinctive cognitive capacity in its own right. Thinking about this capacity reveals that we should resist an intuitive tendency to think of the imagination’s primary function or (...)
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  3. Cults, Conspiracies, and Fantasies of Knowledge.Daniel Munro - forthcoming - Episteme:1-22.
    There’s a certain pleasure in fantasizing about possessing knowledge, especially possessing secret knowledge to which outsiders don’t have access. Such fantasies are typically a source of innocent entertainment. However, under the right conditions, fantasies of knowledge can become epistemically dangerous, because they can generate illusions of genuine knowledge. I argue that this phenomenon helps to explain why some people join and eventually adopt the beliefs of epistemic communities who endorse seemingly bizarre, outlandish claims, such as extreme cults and online conspiracy (...)
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  4. Perceiving as knowing in the predictive mind.Daniel Munro - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (4):1177-1203.
    On an ‘internalist’ picture, knowledge isn’t necessary for understanding the nature of perception and perceptual experience. This contrasts with the ‘knowledge first’ picture, according to which it’s essential to the nature of successful perceiving as a mental state that it’s a way of knowing. It’s often thought that naturalistic theorizing about the mind should adopt the internalist picture. However, I argue that a powerful, recently prominent framework for scientific study of the mind, ‘predictive processing,’ instead supports the knowledge first picture. (...)
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  5. Capturing the conspiracist’s imagination.Daniel Munro - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (12):3353-3381.
    Some incredibly far-fetched conspiracy theories circulate online these days. For most of us, clear evidence would be required before we’d believe these extraordinary theories. Yet, conspiracists often cite evidence that seems transparently very weak. This is puzzling, since conspiracists often aren’t irrational people who are incapable of rationally processing evidence. I argue that existing accounts of conspiracist belief formation don’t fully address this puzzle. Then, drawing on both philosophical and empirical considerations, I propose a new explanation that appeals to the (...)
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  6. Remembering Religious Experience: Reconstruction, Reflection, and Reliability.Daniel Munro - forthcoming - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences.
    This paper explores the relationship between religious belief and religious experience, bringing out a role for episodic memory that has been overlooked in the epistemology of religion. I do so by considering two questions. The first, the “Psychological Question,” asks what psychological role religious experiences play in causally bringing about religious beliefs. The second, the “Reliability Question,” asks: for a given answer to the Psychological Question about how religious beliefs are formed, are those beliefs formed using generally truth-conducive cognitive mechanisms (...)
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  7.  64
    Remembering the Past and Imagining the Actual.Daniel Munro - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (2).
    Recently, a view I refer to as “hypothetical continuism” has garnered some favour among philosophers, based largely on empirical research showing substantial neurocognitive overlaps between episodic memory and imagination. According to this view, episodically remembering past events is the same kind of cognitive process as sensorily imagining future and counterfactual events. In this paper, I first argue that hypothetical continuism is false, on the basis of substantive epistemic asymmetries between episodic memory and the relevant kinds of imagination. However, I then (...)
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  8. Mental Imagery and the Epistemology of Testimony.Daniel Munro - 2022 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 52 (4):428-449.
    Mental imagery often occurs during testimonial belief transmission: a testifier often episodically remembers or imagines a scene while describing it, while a listener often imagines that scene as it’s described to her. I argue that getting clear on imagery’s psychological roles in testimonial belief transmission has implications for some fundamental issues in the epistemology of testimony. I first appeal to imagery cases to argue against a widespread “internalist” approach to the epistemology of testimony. I then appeal to the same sort (...)
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  9.  58
    Visual and bodily sensational perception: an epistemic asymmetry.Daniel Munro - 2019 - Synthese 198 (4):3651-3674.
    This paper argues that, assuming some widely held views about how vision justifies beliefs, there is an important epistemic asymmetry between visual perception and the perception of bodily sensations. This asymmetry arises when we consider the epistemic significance of the distinction between low-level and high-level properties in perceptual experience. I argue that a distinction exists between low-level and high-level properties of bodily sensations which parallels that distinction in the objects of visual experience. I then survey evidence revealing systematic unreliability in (...)
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    A More Democratic Overlapping Consensus: On Rawls and Reasonable Pluralism.Daniel Munro - 2006 - Politics and Ethics Review 2 (2):159-177.
  11.  15
    A More Democratic Overlapping Consensus: On Rawls And Reasonable Pluralism.Daniel Munro - 2006 - Journal of International Political Theory 2:159-177.
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  12.  23
    Faith, democracy, and deliberative citizenship: Should deliberative democrats support faith-based arbitration|[quest]|.Daniel Munro - 2011 - Contemporary Political Theory 10 (1):102.
    Although Ontario's first experiment with faith-based arbitration ended in 2006 with the Liberal government's amendment of the 1991 Arbitration Act to disallow faith-based arbitration, the debate about whether such tribunals should be permitted in a multicultural democracy is still open given that actors in a number of jurisdictions persist with campaigns to have faith-based arbitration recognized as legitimate. Are faith-based arbitration tribunals permissible in a multicultural democracy? Does faith-based arbitration put the rights of women and children at risk? More generally, (...)
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    Faith, democracy, and deliberative citizenship: Should deliberative democrats support faith-based arbitration?Daniel Munro - 2011 - Contemporary Political Theory 10 (1):102-122.
    Although Ontario's first experiment with faith-based arbitration ended in 2006 with the Liberal government's amendment of the 1991 Arbitration Act to disallow faith-based arbitration, the debate about whether such tribunals should be permitted in a multicultural democracy is still open given that actors in a number of jurisdictions persist with campaigns to have faith-based arbitration recognized as legitimate. Are faith-based arbitration tribunals permissible in a multicultural democracy? Does faith-based arbitration put the rights of women and children at risk? More generally, (...)
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  14.  34
    Norms, motives and radical democracy: Habermas and the problem of motivation.Daniel Munro - 2007 - Journal of Political Philosophy 15 (4):447–472.