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Knowledge Through Imagination

Amy Kind and Peter Kung


From daydreaming to decision-making, from pretending to planning, imagination plays a central role in many of the activities of everyday life. But as even these brief examples suggest, we call upon imagination for two distinct and seemingly incompatible kinds of projects. Though imagination is sometimes used to enable us to escape or look beyond the world as it is, as when we daydream or fantasize or pretend, it is also sometimes used to enable us to learn about the world as it is, as when we plan or make decisions or make predictions about the future. This raises something of a puzzle, since ... More

Keywords: imagination, knowledge, simulation, modal epistemology, empathy, decision-making, rationality, perception

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780198716808
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198716808.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Amy Kind, editor
Claremont McKenna College

Peter Kung, editor
Pomona College

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Amy Kind and Peter Kung

Part One Taxonomical and Architectural Approaches

2 On Choosing What to Imagine

Peter Langland-Hassan

3 The Imaginative Agent

Neil Van Leeuwen

Part Two Optimistic Approaches

4 Knowing by Imagining

Timothy Williamson

5 Modals and Modal Epistemology

Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa

Part Three Skeptical Approaches

8 Knowing Me, Knowing You

Heidi L. Maibom

End Matter