1st Edition

Epistemic Uses of Imagination

Edited By Christopher Badura, Amy Kind Copyright 2021
    340 Pages
    by Routledge

    340 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    Chapters 6 and 12 of this book are freely available as downloadable Open Access PDFs at http://www.taylorfrancis.com under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license. 


    Section I: Modality and Modal Knowledge

    1. Why We Need Something Like Imagery

    Peter Kung

    2. An Imaginative Person’s Guide to Objective Modality

    Derek Lam

    3. Crossing Rivers: Imagination and Real Possibilities

    Rebecca Hanrahan

    4. Imagination, Metaphysical Modality, and Modal Psychology

    Michael Omoge

    Section II: Reasoning

    5. Reasoning with Imagination

    Joshua Myers

    6. Equivalence in Imagination

    Franz Berto

    7. How Imagination Can Justify

    Christopher Badura

    8. Imagination, Inference, and Apriority

    Antonella Mallozzi

    Section III: Thought Experiments

    9. Narratives and Thought Experiments: Restoring the Role of Imagination

    Margherita Arcangeli

    10. Two Ways of Imagining Galileo’s Experiment

    Margot Strohminger

    11. Attention to Details: Imagination, Attention, and Epistemic Significance

    Eric Peterson

    Section IV: Understanding Self and Others

    12. Bridging the Divide: Imagining Across Experiential Perspectives

    Amy Kind

    13. On Imagining Being Someone Else

    Julia Langkau

    14. "Imagine If They Did That to You!": The Complexity of Empathy

    Luke Roelofs

    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