This book explores a topic that has recently become the subject of increased philosophical interest: how can imagination be put to epistemic use? Though imagination has long been invoked in contexts of modal knowledge, in recent years philosophers have begun to explore its capacity to play an epistemic role in a variety of other contexts as well.
In this collection, the contributors address an assortment of issues relating to epistemic uses of imagination, and in particular, they take up the ways in which our imaginings must be constrained so as to justify beliefs and give rise to knowledge. These constraints are explored across several different contexts in which imagination is appealed to for justification, namely reasoning, modality and modal knowledge, thought experiments, and knowledge of self and others. Taken as a whole, the contributions in this volume break new ground in explicating when and how imagination can be epistemically useful.
Epistemic Uses of Imagination will be of interest to scholars and advanced students who are working on imagination, as well as those working more broadly in epistemology, aesthetics, and philosophy of mind.
Table of Contents
Section I: Modality and Modal Knowledge
1. Why We Need Something Like Imagery
2. An Imaginative Person’s Guide to Objective Modality
3. Crossing Rivers: Imagination and Real Possibilities
4. Imagination, Metaphysical Modality, and Modal Psychology
Section II: Reasoning
5. Reasoning with Imagination
6. Equivalence in Imagination
7. How Imagination Can Justify
8. Imagination, Inference, and Apriority
Section III: Thought Experiments
9. Narratives and Thought Experiments: Restoring the Role of Imagination
10. Two Ways of Imagining Galileo’s Experiment
11. Attention to Details: Imagination, Attention, and Epistemic Significance
Section IV: Understanding Self and Others
12. Bridging the Divide: Imagining Across Experiential Perspectives
13. On Imagining Being Someone Else
14. "Imagine If They Did That to You!": The Complexity of Empathy
15. Imagination, Selves, and Knowledge of Self: Pessoa’s Dreams in The Book of Disquiet
Nick Wiltsher and Bence Nanay
Christopher Badura is a PhD student in philosophy at the Ruhr University Bochum, Germany, working on logics of imagination. His research interest is philosophical logic and its application to philosophical issues concerning imagination.
Amy Kind is Russell K. Pitzer Professor of Philosophy at Claremont McKenna College, where she also serves as Director of the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies. In addition to authoring the introductory textbooks Persons and Personal Identity and Philosophy of Mind: The Basics, she has edited Philosophy of Mind in the 20th and 21th Centuries, The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Imagination, and (with Peter Kung) Knowledge Through Imagination.
"This is a stunning and original collection of essays on imagination. It will advance discussions in epistemology, aesthetics, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and even philosophy of science."
Neil Van Leeuwen, Georgia State University, USA
"Any one who has a serious interest in the epistemology of imagination and its epistemic uses stands to benefit from this great collection of essays. Showing both the range of topics where imagination is relevant as well as pointing out novel connections and subtle distinctions, this edited volume will be of interest both to philosophers who are starting to work on this topic as well as to those who have been working on imagination for a long time."
Tom Schoonen, The Philosophical Quarterly