Overly enactive imagination? Radically re-imagining imagining



Publication Details

Hutto, D. D. (2015). Overly enactive imagination? Radically re-imagining imagining. The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 53 (Supplement S1), 68-89.


A certain philosophical frame of mind holds that contentless imaginings are unimaginable, “inconceivable” (Shapiro 2014a, p. 214) - that it is simply not possible to imagine acts of imagining in the absence of representational content. Against this, this paper argues that there is no naturalistically respectable way to rule out the possibility of contentless imaginings on purely analytic or conceptual grounds. Moreover, agreeing with Langland-Hassan (2015), it defends the view that the best way to understand the content and correctness conditions of nonbasic, hybrid imaginative attitudes is to assume that basic sensory imaginings are enlisted to play many different kinds of cognitive roles depending on the surrounding contentful attitudes that imaginers adopt toward them. Finally, it argues that when it comes to understanding how pure, basic sensory imaginings do their explanatorily important work there is every reason to focus on the properties of such imaginings that enable appropriate interactions and exactly no reason for thinking that representational contents are amongst those properties.

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