Book

Imaginative Minds

Edited by Ilona Roth

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780197264195
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734540 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197264195.001.0001

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Imaginative Minds

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Imagination is one of the most distinctive characteristics of human thought. The supreme powers of flexibility, supposition and inventiveness that are its hallmarks, whether in science, technology, business or the visual, literary and performing arts, are highly prized in contemporary societies. Yet in the fields of psychology and cognitive science, where we might expect to find the topic ‘centre-stage’, there has been comparatively little work. This volume addresses this omission by bringing together the theories and methods of these disciplines with other perspectives offering important insights into the imagination. The fifteen chapters address key questions about the imaginative workings of the mind, including how the capacity for imagination evolved, how it is expressed and what roles it plays in children’s thinking, what psychological processes and brain mechanisms are involved, and how imagination operates in universal cultural phenomena such as music, fiction and religion, which are both the fruits of and the ‘fuel’ for imaginative minds. The exceptional interdisciplinary scope of the volume, and its exploration and juxtaposition of different forms of imaginative cognition, offer an engaging and innovative take on the topic, bringing together approaches from psychology, cognitive science, anthropology and evolutionary studies with philosophy and the humanities. The contributors demonstrate their own imaginative flair in a varied collection of essays about this most elusive and special human capacity.

Keywords: imagination; psychology; cognitive science; evolutionary studies; children; brain mechanisms; music; fiction; religion; imaginative cognition

Book.  384 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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