Colin McGinn

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9780199262618
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy


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The topic of imagination is broad and multifarious: we are dealing with an extended family of interrelated concepts and capacities. Imagining covers everything from the simple mental image, to the philosophical counter-example, to the most sublime act of creation. It takes in both dreaming and logical thinking, reverie and hypothesis formation. To bring order to this range of mental phenomena it helps to make an initial distinction between what the article calls sensory and cognitive imagination — roughly, between forming a mental image and entertaining a possibility in the conceptual style.

Keywords: imagination; mental image; logical thinking; hypothesis formation; cognitive imagination; sensory imagination

Article.  6371 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Mind

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