Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Imagining and KnowingThe Shape of Fiction$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Gregory Currie

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780199656615

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199656615.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 July 2021

Knowledge from imagination

Knowledge from imagination

(p.127) 8 Knowledge from imagination
Imagining and Knowing

Gregory Currie

Oxford University Press

We start with the idea of the role of imagination in planning and in the formation of conditional beliefs. We then consider ways in which the process of belief-fixation by imagination can be unreliable, taking as my example a legal judgement. I argue that the role of the imagination in learning may be very restricted, and yet have conferred a selective advantage on those who possessed it, paving the way for an adaptive account of the imagination. The role of the imagination in the fixation of conditional belief suggests a role for it in thought experiments. It has been suggested that we should think of fictions such as novels as offering thought experiments, and hence as able to facilitate learning in the way that thought experiments in science and philosophy do. I argue that there are features of fictions-as-thought experiments which should make us pessimistic about their epistemic value.

Keywords:   imagination, planning, conditional belief, adaptation, thought experiments

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .