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Kind, Amy, , . Imagery and imagination
2005, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
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Abstract: Both imagery and imagination play an important part in our mental lives. This article, which has three main sections, discusses both of these phenomena, and the connection between them. The first part discusses mental images and, in particular, the dispute about their representational nature that has become known as the ‘imagery debate’. The second part turns to the faculty of the imagination, discussing the long philosophical tradition linking mental imagery and the imagination – a tradition that came under attack in the early part of the twentieth century with the rise of behaviorism. Finally, the third part of this article examines modal epistemology, where the imagination has been thought to serve an important philosophical function, namely, as a guide to possibility.

Comment: This could be used as a week 1 reading in a module introducing students to mental imagery. It’s a comprehensive guide of the history of mental imagery, and its standing today.

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Kind, Amy., , . Putting the Image Back in Imagination
2001, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (1):85-110.
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Abstract: Despite their intuitive appeal and a long philosophical history, imagery-based accounts of the imagination have fallen into disfavor in contemporary discussions. The philosophical pressure to reject such accounts seems to derive from two distinct sources. First, the fact that mental images have proved difficult to accommodate within a scientific conception of mind has led to numerous attempts to explain away their existence, and this in turn has led to attempts to explain the phenomenon of imagining without reference to such ontologically dubious entities as mental images. Second, even those philosophers who accept mental images in their ontology have worried about what seem to be fairly obvious examples of imaginings that occur without imagery. In this paper, I aim to relieve both these points of philosophical pressure and, in the process, develop a new imagery-based account of the imagination: the imagery model.

Comment: The role of imagery in imagination is a much debated topic, and this paper could be used in teaching as an introduction to the contemporary issues in this debate.It is suitable in a third or fourth year module on imagination, perception, or representation.

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Lennon, Kathleen, , . Imagine and the Imaginary
2015, Imagination and the Imaginary. Routledge.
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Summary: The concept of the imaginary is pervasive within contemporary thought, yet can be a baffling and often controversial term. In Imagination and the Imaginary , Kathleen Lennon explores the links between imagination – regarded as the faculty of creating images or forms – and the imaginary, which links such imagery with affect or emotion and captures the significance which the world carries for us. Beginning with an examination of contrasting theories of imagination proposed by Hume and Kant, Lennon argues that the imaginary is not something in opposition to the real, but the very faculty through which the world is made real to us. She then turns to the vexed relationship between perception and imagination and, drawing on Kant, Merleau-Ponty and Sartre, explores some fundamental questions, such as whether there is a distinction between the perceived and the imagined; the relationship between imagination and creativity; and the role of the body in perception and imagination. Invoking also Spinoza and Coleridge, Lennon argues that, far from being a realm of illusion, the imaginary world is our most direct mode of perception. She then explores the role the imaginary plays in the formation of the self and the social world. A unique feature of the volume is that it compares and contrasts a philosophical tradition of thinking about the imagination – running from Kant and Hume to Strawson and John McDowell – with the work of phenomenological, psychoanalytic, poststructuralist and feminist thinkers such as Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, Lacan, Castoriadis, Irigaray, Gatens and Lloyd. This makes Imagination and the Imaginary essential reading for students and scholars working in phenomenology, philosophy of perception, social theory, cultural studies and aesthetics.

Comment: This book introduces the reader to the history of imagination as an area of philosophy, as conceived by Hume and Kant, and as explored by Merleau-Ponty and Sartre. It concerns the relationship between imagination and perception, and the formation of the self and social world based on imagination. It is suitable in a module focusing on imagination, or more broadly on aesthetics.

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