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Knowledge Through Imagination$
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Amy Kind and Peter Kung

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198716808

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198716808.001.0001

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On the Epistemic Value of Imagining, Supposing, and Conceiving

On the Epistemic Value of Imagining, Supposing, and Conceiving

Chapter:
(p.41) 1 On the Epistemic Value of Imagining, Supposing, and Conceiving
Source:
Knowledge Through Imagination
Author(s):

Magdalena Balcerak Jackson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198716808.003.0002

Philosophers frequently invoke our ability to imagine, conceive or suppose various thing in order to explain how we achieve our cognitive goals when we make decisions about future actions, when we perform thought experiments, and when we engage in games of pretense. But what is the relationship between imaginings, conceivings, and supposings? And what exactly are the epistemic roles they play in the cognitive projects in which they are involved? This chapter provides answers to these questions by first bringing out a contrast between what we do when we imagine and what we do when we suppose, and then by showing how to fit conceivings into the emerging systematic picture of the ways we use different forms of hypothetical thinking to acquire knowledge.

Keywords:   imagination, supposition, conceiving, thought experiment, justification, belief

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