The Architecture of the Imagination: New Essays on Pretence, Possibility, and Fiction

Paperback | October 7, 2006

EditorShaun Nichols

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This volume presents new essays on the propositional imagination by leading researchers. The propositional imagination---the mental capacity we exploit when we imagine that everyone is colour-blind or that Hamlet is a procrastinator---plays an essential role in philosophical theorizing,engaging with fiction, and indeed in everyday life. Yet only recently has there been a systematic attempt to give a cognitive account of the propositional imagination. These thirteen essays, specially written for the volume, capitalize on this recent work, extending the theoretical picture of theimagination and exploring the philosophical implications of cognitive accounts of the imagination. The book also investigates broader philosophical issues surrounding the propositional imagination. The first section addresses the nature of the imagination, its role in emotion production, and its sophistication manifestation in childhood. The essays in the second section focus on the nature of pretence and how pretence is implicated in adult communication. The third section addresses theproblem of 'imaginative resistance', the striking fact that when we encounter morally repugnant assertions in fiction, we seem to resist imagining them and accepting them as fictionally true. In the final section, contributors explore the relation between imagining, conceiving, and judgements ofpossibility and impossibility. The iArchitecture of the Imagination/i will be an essential resource for the growing number of philosophers and psychologists studying the nature of the imagination and on its role in philosophy, aesthetics, and everyday life.

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This volume presents new essays on the propositional imagination by leading researchers. The propositional imagination---the mental capacity we exploit when we imagine that everyone is colour-blind or that Hamlet is a procrastinator---plays an essential role in philosophical theorizing,engaging with fiction, and indeed in everyday lif...

Shaun Nichols is Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Science at the University of Arizona. He is the author of iSentimental Rules/i (OUP, 2004), and co-author, with Stephen Stich, of iMindreading/i (OUP, 2003).

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Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility
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Format:PaperbackDimensions:296 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.71 inPublished:October 7, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199275734

ISBN - 13:9780199275731

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Table of Contents

1. Shaun Nichols: IntroductionThe nature of the imagination2. Tim Schroeder and Carl Matheson: . Imagination and Emotion3. Alvin Goldman: Imagination and Simulation in Audience Responses to Fiction4. Adam Morton: . Imagination and Misimagination5. Deena Skolnick and Paul Bloom: The Intuitive Cosmology of Fictional WorldsPretence6. Peter Carruthers: Why Pretend?7. Gregory Currie: Why Irony is PretenceImaginative resistance8. Kendall Walton: . On the (So-Called) Puzzle of Imaginative Resistance9. Tamar Szabo Gendler: Imaginative Resistance Revisited10. Jonathan Weinberg and Aaron Meskin: Puzzling Over the Imagination: Philosophical Problems, Architectural SolutionsImagination and possibility11. Christopher Hill: Modality, Modal Epistemology, and the Metaphysics of Consciousness12. Shaun Nichols: Imaginative Blocks and Impossibility: An Essay in Modal Psychology13. Roy Sorensen: Meta-conceivability and Thought Experiments

Editorial Reviews

"While the simulation theory/theory-theory debate over mindreading informs several of the chapters, The Architecture of the Imagination expands the discussion of imagination beyond the confines of this debate. It is the only collection on anyone interested in the topic. The essays provide a valuable overview of current work on the propositional imagination and insight into its potential philosophical significance. They also indicate the ways in which philosophical, psycho9logical, and neuroscientific considerations can illuminate each other. "This collection demonstrates the way in which essays that are both empirically informed and philosophically sophisticated can greatly improve our understanding of the imagination."