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Is imagination introspective?

Reuter, Kevin (2011) Is imagination introspective? Philosophia 39 (1), pp. 31-38. ISSN 0048-3893.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11406-010-9275-4

Abstract

The literature suggests that in sensory imagination we focus on the imagined objects, not on the imaginative states themselves, and that therefore imagination is not introspective. It is claimed that the introspection of imaginative states is an additional cognitive ability. However, there seem to be counterexamples to this claim. In many cases in which we sensorily imagine a certain object in front of us, we are aware that this object is not really where we imagine it to be. So it looks as if in these cases of imagination, we are aware of the mere appearance of the imagined object, and hence introspection is a constitutive part of imagination. In this article, I address this contradictory state of affairs and argue that we should classify at least some forms of sensory imagination as introspective. For this purpose I use the appearance-reality distinction as a central notion for introspection. I also defend the thesis of introspective imagination against the objection that young children imagine without yet understanding the concept of experience.

Item Type: Article
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Philosophy
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2011 10:27
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:20
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/3702

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