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Towards a dual process epistemology of imagination

Stuart, Michael T. (2019) Towards a dual process epistemology of imagination. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Sometimes we learn through the use of imagination. The epistemology of imagination asks how this is possible. One barrier to progress on this question has been a lack of agreement on how to characterize imagination; for example, is imagination a mental state, ability, character trait, or cognitive process? This paper argues that we should characterize imagination as a cognitive ability, exercises of which are cognitive processes. Following dual process theories of cognition developed in cognitive science, the set of imaginative processes is then divided into two kinds: one that is unconscious, uncontrolled, and effortless, and another that is conscious, controlled, and effortful. This paper outlines the different epistemological strengths and weaknesses of the two kinds of imaginative process, and argues that a dual process model of imagination helpfully resolves or clarifies issues in the epistemology of imagination and the closely related epistemology of thought experiments.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Stuart, Michael T.mike.stuart.post@gmail.com0000-0002-4165-2641
Keywords: Epistemology of imagination, Thought experiments, Scientific imagination, Dual process model of cognition
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
General Issues > Experimentation
General Issues > Thought Experiments
Depositing User: Michael Stuart
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2019 14:01
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2019 14:01
Item ID: 15725
Official URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11229-0...
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1007/s11229-019-02116-w
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
General Issues > Experimentation
General Issues > Thought Experiments
Date: 2019
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15725

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