Imaginative Content

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Sensuous imaginative content presents a problem for unitary accounts of phenomenal character (or content) such as relationism, representationalism or qualia theory. Four features of imaginative content are at the heat of the issue: its perspectival nature, the similarity with corresponding perceptual experiences, the multiple use thesis, and its non-presentational character. I reject appeals to the dependency thesis to account for these features and explain how a representationalist approach can be developed to accommodate them. I defend the multiple use thesis against Kathleen Stock’s objections but separate the putative non-presentational character of imaginative content into two elements. Loss of presentation is accounted for by the reduced representations involved in imagination and lack of potential response-dependent representational properties. Absence of commitment to reality is accounted for by representational properties characterised in terms of the absence of a certain kind of aetiology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerceptual Imagination and Perceptual Memory
EditorsFiona Macpherson, Fabian Dorsch
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages37
ISBN (Electronic)9780191787355
ISBN (Print)9780198717881
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

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