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Gertler, Brie, , . Renewed Acquaintance
2012, In: Declan Smithies and Daniel Stoljar (ed.). Introspection and Consciousness. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 89-123
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Added by: Lukas Schwengerer, Contributed by:

Summary: This chapter elaborates and defends a set of metaphysical and epistemic claims that comprise what is called the acquaintance approach to introspective knowledge of the phenomenal qualities of experience. The hallmark of this approach is the thesis that, in some introspective judgments about experience, (phenomenal) reality intersects with the epistemic, that is, with the subject’s grasp of that reality. While this approach is a descendant of Russell’s acquaintance theory, it is epistemically more modest than that theory. The chapter shows that the acquaintance approach’s hallmark thesis does not carry the ambitious epistemic implications often associated with acquaintance views. And the chapter defends that thesis from objections stemming from what is required for an epistemically substantial grasp of the phenomenal, and from Stalnaker’s worry that, if the thesis were true, information about the phenomenal would be incommunicable.

Comment: An in-depth discussion of the acquaintance approach to introspection, providing a clear explanation and defense of the approach.

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Spaulding, Shannon, , . Imagination Through Knowledge
2016, In Amy Kind & Peter Kung (eds.), Knowledge Through Imagination. Oxford University Press. pp. 207-226 (2016)
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Added by: Andrea Blomqvist, Contributed by:

Abstract: Imagination seems to play an epistemic role in philosophical and scientific thought experiments, mindreading, and ordinary practical deliberations insofar as it generates new knowledge of contingent facts about the world. However, it also seems that imagination is limited to creative generation of ideas. Sometimes we imagine fanciful ideas that depart freely from reality. The conjunction of these claims is what I call the puzzle of knowledge through imagination. This chapter aims to resolve this puzzle. I argue that imagination has an epistemic role to play, but it is limited to the context of discovery. Imagination generates ideas, but other cognitive capacities must be employed to evaluate these ideas in order for them to count as knowledge. Consideration of the Simulation Theory’s so-called ‘threat of collapse’ provides further evidence that imagination does not, on its own, yield new knowledge of contingent facts, and it suggests a way to supplement imagination in order to get such knowledge.

Comment: This is a relatively difficult paper, but it deals with the interesting topic of whether we can get knowledge through imagination. It would be suitable to suggest as a further reading for senior year undergraduate students.

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