Article

Imagination

Peter Lamarque

in Philosophy

ISBN: 9780195396577
Published online May 2010 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396577-0130
Imagination

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It is a commonplace to preface discussions of imagination with disclaimers about how unclear the concept is and how the history of the subject is riddled with confusion and ambiguity. It is also often said that there have been few treatments by analytical philosophers, and that this is largely a “neglected” concept. In fact, as the readings cited here indicate, there is a substantial literature on the subject over the past sixty to seventy years (what follows being merely an illustrative selection with the focus largely, but not exclusively, on analytical approaches), revealing many an effort to clear up the confusions and pin down imagination as a workable concept in, for example, philosophy of mind or aesthetics. There is little evidence of neglect in recent decades, although the degree of clarity attained is certainly a matter of judgment. What is plain is that there are many different aspects of imagination—from creativity to mental imagery, from a cognitive faculty to art appreciation—and it is far from obvious that there is a unified conception underlying all such applications.

Article.  2939 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art ; Epistemology ; Feminist Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy ; Metaphysics ; Moral Philosophy ; Non-Western Philosophy ; Philosophy of Language ; Philosophy of Law ; Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic ; Philosophy of Mind ; Philosophy of Religion ; Philosophy of Science ; Social and Political Philosophy

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